Sunday, January 25, 2009
Apples and Amaryllis
The last of the 2008 apple crop is plated and ready for savoring on this cold January Sunday. I recently had the pleasure of speaking to the Winnebago County Master Gardeners about apple bagging and took them a sample to see. The three apples pictured are the very last of my fruit harvest. They were bagged in late May and harvested in October. The fruit stays in the plastic bags in storage until we eat them because they keep better. In a few months the pruning of the trees will begin and as we get closer to fruit bagging time I will give more details on that procedure. I have been bagging apples for over ten years and find the fruit this process produces to be as good if not better than any other pest prevention procedure that I have tried. My process is not totally organic but as Eco friendly as I can make the process. Even the used plastic bags the apples are stored in can be recycled. So I look forward to sharing the process this spring.
The time has come to wake up the amaryllis. Fifteen bulbs were sequestered in the cool of the basement crawl space in early November for a rest. Each week several pots are brought out, pots and bulb soaked in warm water, and pruned or cleaned. Then they are moved to the basement fluorescent light area and as they show a bud shoot are moved upstairs to a sunny south window. In the past some of the bulbs have been affected by the red fungus that attacks the flowering stem or leaves but those bulbs have been discarded for the health of the rest of the collection as little can be done for them and the fungus can spread to the other bulbs. Scale was a problem with summer growth last fall but the plants were treated with neem oil and I hope infestation is gone. We should have lovely color for at least two months and with any luck by then we should have crocus blooming outside. Some of these bulbs are five or more years old and reliable bloomers. I have always been very satisfied with bulbs that I have purchased from John Scheepers, Inc of Connecticut. Any recommendations of a plant source is my personal preference. This blog does not accept advertising.