The grafting and planting is complete!  I am now back home at the Lake.  Before I left I visited the local Warkworth Horseriding centre to collect a big load of manure to lay under all of the trees, before piling on the mulch.  Since I have been gone my wonderful Dad has built a good windbreak to protect them, thanks Dad!


Some of the grafts are bursting buds which I’m hoping means they are going to be successful.  The plums will be first as they are the first of the season to bud.

Here is an Angelina Burdett…..

Hopefully there will be lots more to come soon 🙂

The Beginnings…

 Plums are first to bud in Spring, so the first we need to graft. Well already, with help from a FANTASTIC friend (thanks Nat), we have 26 plums grafted…..

8 x Greengage

4 x Puhoi

4 x Angelina Burdett

4 x Morrisson’s Golden Drop

4 x Black Doris

2 x Duff’s Early Jewel

The above garden is for the trees on rootstocks preferring heavy soil.

We had lots of issues with heavy rains completely saturating where we were to plant so it ended up a bog.  After a bit of drainage digging, a day or so of sunshine and the addition of coastal topsoil, conditions improved.  I am using Soil Force (by Environmental Fertilisers) as a food source, since I hadn’t had a season to prepare a really good garden bed previously.  I have just 4 Scarletina plums to go.  Some plums are European and some Japanese, so they have different requirements when it comes to what type of tree thay are grafted onto (rootstock).  My Japanese plums are on Peach tree seedlings, which require free-draining soil, so the are in my raised bed.  My European plums I had the option of Peach seedling or Myrobalam as rootstock.  I chose Myrobalam as it does best on heavy clay soils which is the most common soil type in Northland.

 I’m having trouble with the focus on my camera, but here you can see how the Scion (a piece of the chosen tree variety with two or more buds) is attached to the rootstock.  In ‘Grafting Info’ I will explain this more clearly shortly and show the types of cuts made to fit them together.

On the right is a pic of all the bundles of rootstocks temporarily ‘heeled-in’ in my raised bed.

The first grafts…

 Well Nat and I set out to begin some trees last week…not all my rootstocks have arrived yet but I had three already.  I grafted Captain Kidd and Giant Geniton onto rootstocks 793.  Nat did Early Strawberry on rootstock MM106.  So far so good, we hope.  It was alot of fun!  Hopefully the rest of the rootstocks arrive tomorrow.

Site preparation and planning ahead

  I’m going to need lots of mulch as I’m not going to be in Warkworth to hand water during six weeks over Summer.  A good layer of mulch on the soil surface will retain the moisture in the soil, keep the tree’s roots cool, and suppress weeds.  Luckily Mum and Dad recently had their hedge cut, resulting in this wonderful huge pile!

For my 71 or so trees I need 14m2 of planting space.  A small number of the trees will be on rootstocks that prefer free-draining soil.  These will be going in a raised bed with bought in topsoil.

Dad and I got a trailor-load of beautiful Ruakaka topsoil from Tumbleweed Coastal Plants.  It was hard work moving all those wheelbarrow-loads of soil on my own!

All the other trees good on heavy soil types will be in a 10m x 1m bed (see final photo- the unprepared site is along the fenceline), with a small amount of compost and topsoil incorporated.  I will be fertilising all soil with Soil Force from Environmental Fertilisers, which is 100% natural and best suited to fruit trees.