Archive for the ‘Newton Pippin’ Category

December 2016

Another year is in the books.  The harvest was a bit weird this year.  Usually, Cox’s Orange Pippin does well and I have a bunch of apples.  This year, I had three.  Then, when I went to pick them, they were gone!  I think either the deer or a neighbor kid got to them before I could.  My Northern Spy had one apple that got beaten up and fell early.  Newton Pippin did pretty well and had a decent harvest for the first time.  Hauer Pippin was awesome, as per usual.  White Pearmain had about it’s usual crop of 10-15 apples.  The one that was crazy though was the Ashmead’s Kernel.  It is pretty biannual, but this was it’s “on” year.  There were TONS of apples.  That’s even after I picked a bunch that had worms.  They are such a delicious apple.  One of these years, I want to make a single variety cider with them.

I also planted two new trees this year.  Both of them are cider apple varieties.  Kingston Black and Dabinett.  They both were purchased online from Cummins Nursery out of Ithaca, New York.  Both of them, like the rest of my  trees, are on MM111 rootstock.

I took a slightly different route this year with the fencing for the trees.  For the two cider apple trees, I did the same old routine; fencing with posts to hold them in place.  For the other trees, I used the old piece of fencing that I had around my long gone blueberry bushes to go around three trees on one side.  I still have to get the other piece of fencing ready to go and put it around the other trees.  It got dark before I could finish.

Fall Update

Yea, I suck at posting new items to this.  The trees are doing alright, although the Newton Pippin has had some leaves eaten off from the upper half.  There was a while in the late summer that there were tons of beetles all over the place.  They ate the snot out of my weeping cherry tree.  In the middle of my tiny home orchard I planted two pumpkin plants this spring.  They have done very well.  On Saturday, my wife and I harvested five of them.  There are still plenty on the vines.  That includes what we see as carving pumpkins.  Many of the ones that did grow are fairly small.  Also on Saturday, I weeded a bunch of the crab grass away.  Most of the section I devoted to my apples has a thick layer of crab grass over it.  Not much I could do about it unless I had way more time to devote.  With it being football season and coaching the JVs, it just didn’t happen.  I made it happen this weekend finally though.

Next on the agenda is to get some fencing around the trees themselves.  I have seen 20 or more deer in the yard behind us last winter, so I need to ensure that I didn’t pay and care for trees that will be dead stumps by spring.  I contacted Terry Moore and asked him about fencing.  He told me that I could use fencing 5ft high and only do about 2ft in diameter.  Next spring we are hoping to fence in part of the yard which will have the trees and some sort of garden.  I want to grow more pumpkins and add some watermelon or something else fruity while my wife wants to grow some beans and tomatoes.  Ideally, we would fence the whole yard, but it’s a bit expensive to put in an acre of fencing!

Finishing The Work

It’s been an interesting month or so.  First, my Hauer Pippin tree had ants and aphids.  I bought diatomaceous earth which kills ants, but it’s been windy around my place, so it didn’t work too well.  Eventually, I used the old “kill it with my thumb” method.  That has worked pretty well.  I still see a few ants and aphids here and there, but i’m killing them with my thumb.  Not exactly permaculture or a holistic approach, but i’m working toward it.  I’m a newbie for goodness sake!  A few of the other trees had ants and aphids, but none of them like the Hauer.  Speaking of which, I need to name that tree still.  I named the Newton Pippin this week.  It’s named after Arthur Hill and Central Michigan standout, Brian Pruitt.  He played ball here and was a huge reason that CMU was any good in the early/mid 1990’s.  So, I have four of the six trees named.  Well, seven trees if I count the Bollosh Tree…maybe that’s what i’ll call that one.  It was given to me by the Bollosh Family, but it’s doing pretty poorly.  Most of the leaves are dead.  There are a few that are still green, but we moved the tree at the wrong time, it sat in the sun for most of one day, fell over once, was not watered properly for the first week or so, and it’s a dwarf tree to begin with.  This is the tree I was talking about at the beginning of the previous post.  Maybe i’ll call it BFT for Bollosh Family Tree.  They were the ones that gave me the mulch, some great black dirt, ramial chips, and brought it to my house.  Good thing he works at a golf course and has all that stuff on hand!

Speaking of mulch, I finally got my project finished.  I had to rake out the growth first.  There was a lot of plant life too close to the tree for my comfort.  These trees need to have no competition in the first few years.  After I raked out each tree, I put down the rest of the compost amendment that I got when I ordered the trees.  I had only put 1/3 of a bag on each tree, so I put an additional 2/3 of a bag on each tree.  Then, I scooped some of the black dirt I had gotten into a wheelbarrow and dumped it around the tree.  After that, the layer of ramial chips were laid down.  They were from the bottom of the mulch pile at the golf course, that’s also why I had some black dirt.  After those were down, I put a layer of regular chips on top.  I think this will be pretty good.  It already looks nicer than it did before.

It took me three months, but I believe that the trees are ready to go.  Now I just have to wait a few years until they begin to give me fruit!