If there is one thing you will read me saying this year, Bringing it in house.. This means that If I can find a way to make things work based on what I have or based on a very small local circle that I am working with.. The less I need to leave the farm, the better.
In this case I finally got something that has been back ordered for months.. 10 of these air rooting pots from Europe finally arrived at Lee Valley Tools here in Canada and have been shipped to the farm.
I have a large selection of different fruit trees and many of them are so wonderful that I would LOVE to have another one or two..
However in few cases there is no way to get them again as I snagged from the wild and they are one of kind.. In other cases, the places that sell them are sold out this year and in some cases they already say they are sold out next year. Last but not least, I am not keen to spend another 29.99 to 59.99 per tree or more if I can find a way around it.
In comes that very old way of creating new babies off the parent trees that will breed/product fruit tree..
Both photo’s credit go to Lee Valley Tools.. NOT MY PHOTOS on this post.
Air layering.. scoring the bark and adding rooting and covering with soil and letting them grow roots and then cut the whole thing off and potting it up.. sounds so simple and in a way it is..
Of course real life is not as easy as it is to write it out.. first while some trees, bushes and plants do well with this, others do better starting from seeds or do better if put on root stock etc.
Also you have access to the starter stock, I will admit that I do plan to put a few at higher risk in the “edge line” of a few local farmers fields to take off babies from some old apple trees, from a amazing huge hawthorn tree down the way that I would like to get into my own yard.
These pots are very cleverly made and I hope they will give me a good leg up.. The cup goes around and you put the cut in the middle with a soilless medium but it has a water reserve cup in the bottom, this will go a long way to making sure things do not dry out but you only need to check them around once a week on average (weather dependent) and they come with a dark peel on and removeable sticker that lets you write dates and so on you need the darkness for the roots but you need to be abel to move it to check the root growth.. once the roots are reaching the edge of the cup, time to get it out
Now It would be very temping to go to the full max of 3 feet.. but my own thoughts are that is a lot of top to be suppored on not alot of root once it loses the partne tree support..
So I am aiming for 18 inches as the idea.. I want enough to support the plant well, I want enough “plant” to make the effort worth while but I also want to give it the best chance of making its first winter.
I figure that the first round of these started in the spring, I plan to plant into the gardens themselves.. but the second round if the timing works right (and it might not) because to me weather does matter.. they will go into 3 or 4 gallon pots and given a helping hand and overwintered in a cold but draft free place and hardened off in the spring before planting them in 2022.
So lay it on me.. haha..
Have you done this? What was your result? Did you like it? if not, why not? What did you have the most success with? Share your stories, helpful hints and so on.