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Gardening and what people don't know

 Chatting to the lady next door  who has a small pear tree.  It had one pear last  year when it had 12 the year before.  She had no idea why.

After discussion I discovered that she'd transplanted it from her mother's garden last year.  So transplant shock would account for a lot of it.

However, when I suggested adding some garden compost, she was surprised at the idea that it might need feeding....

She's no idea how to prune it either.  Fruit trees only bear fruit on horizontal branches - you have to prune regularly to get a good crop (I don't even have a fruit tree, and I know this, but my mother in law probably told me as she lived in an area with lots of orchards.)

She also didn't know that the flowers were where the fruit would eventually appear.  I was a bit flummoxed by that one.  I thought fertilisation of flowers was school biology level.

So, how much of what I assume to be general knowledge, is actually general knowledge?

How much do you know about where apples and pears come from?


This entry was originally posted on Dreamwidth where it has comment count unavailable comments.

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( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
reapermum
Apr. 8th, 2017 03:25 pm (UTC)
I know Bramley apples need two pollinators and St Julian A rootstock produces very nice little grren plums (I don't know if they are actually greengages) that make excellent jam.
watervole
Apr. 8th, 2017 05:20 pm (UTC)
Why do they need two pollinators?
reapermum
Apr. 8th, 2017 05:28 pm (UTC)
Because they're triploid. How they wrap three strands of dna I don't know but they need two strands from pollen to go with one strand from the blossom. Several apple varieties are triploid, but the only other one I can remember is Belle de Boscoop.
vjezkova
Apr. 8th, 2017 09:30 pm (UTC)
It is shocking for me that some people don´t know the basic information about things around us, not only trees. I often meet town folk with children and they don´t know where eggs, meat, milk cheese, bread and such come from.
I don´t have any pear trees but I have apple, cherry, plum and peach trees. At the moment I keep my fingers crossed for some decent weather so that bees could go out and pollinate the pear blossoms. Other trees are still far behind. Also I have seaberry bushes, you must have male and female if you want the berries. I am far from knowing everything but when I have something, trees or vegetables or flowers or pets, I must have some knowledge to do the things right - or to try my best...
vjezkova
Apr. 8th, 2017 09:31 pm (UTC)
This is very interesting, I have never heard of this complex pollination.
sallymn
Apr. 9th, 2017 05:13 am (UTC)
They come from the fruitmarket {veg}

Seriously, I know very little about the trees (we have a couple of miniature citrus trees in pots, which fruit, I suspect, in spite of me). Being me, of course I know quite a lot of old apple names for varieties I couldn't get over here even if I wanted to....
birdsedge
Apr. 9th, 2017 11:10 am (UTC)
We have three apple trees (one of them a Bramley and the other two 'eaters'), one plum and one pear tree. All of them bought from the local garden centre about five years ago with advice that they were either self-pollinating or OK in the combination that we had. The apples are espalier, the plum and the pear are fan-trained and we have pruned them all, according to instructions. We did get some fruit from them last year - though not much. One pie from the bramley, that's all. The year before we had nothing. In fact they've been hugely disappointing considering the price we paid. They actually had fruit on them when we bought them and that fruit matured pretty well ans was just about the only decent crop we've had. Hopefully they are coming to full maturity sometime within the next year or two and we'll start to get fruit. Compost is a good idea, though.The few apples we did get last year were badly scabbed. Must look up how to deal with that. I do well with strawberries, though. I bought a variety called marshmellow and they are very flavourful.
watervole
Apr. 10th, 2017 12:49 pm (UTC)
What variety were the non-Bramley apples?

One of my other friends on LJ has pointed out that Bramleys, being triploid, are really fussy about what pollinators they need. THough if they sold you two other trees with it, that suggests that they knew.

I did read somewhere that scabbed apples often have a very good flavour, but I can't remember why.
birdsedge
Apr. 10th, 2017 02:17 pm (UTC)
I can't recall the other varieties without going up the garden and trying to read the 5 year old labels, sorry. Re the scabbed apples, unfortunately they were small, so there wasn't much left after you'd peeled them - and peeling took a fair amount of time. We ate some and they were OK, but I ended up making crumbles with the rest because you couldn't store them, scabby as they were, they'd have rotted.
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )

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Judith Proctor

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