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Growing Golden Dorsett Apples dwarf variety

Discussion in 'Fruit & Vegetable Growing' started by Mark, Jan 4, 2016.

  1. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    Here's a video I knocked up about growing dwarf apple trees in the backyard namely the Golden Dorsett variety but I also touch on the Tropical Anna.

    I've been testing netting to protect from fruit fly attack and whilst it does have some disadvantages netting has given us a good harvest this year so overall I am happy with the results!

     
  2. Nemesis034

    Nemesis034 Active Member Premium Member

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    Nice video Mark.

    Couldn't agree more with store bought apples. Disappointing.
     
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  3. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    Thanks!

    Yeah, we haven't purchased a red apple for 12 months because they just had no taste.

    I'm going to see how long I can store some of these Golden Dorsett apples in the fridge and the rest we'll preserve.
     
  4. Nemesis034

    Nemesis034 Active Member Premium Member

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    MArk, Where did you buy the Golden Dorsett tree?
     
  5. stevo

    stevo Backyard Farmer Premium Member GOLD

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    Nice vid Mark. While you were talking about the net issues my mind was constructing a frame... if you had something big enough you could walk around inside for easy access, and possibly grow other plants inside aswell. Depends on how much netting you can get I guess.
     
  6. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    Thanks Stevo, the netting is a bit of a challenge I'm not sure if I want it semi-permanent or something easy to put up and pull down...

    I've thought about a proper frame like a box or my standard irrigation piping or possibly using a pole running up the stem of the tree with a mushroom like top to spread the net out and then regather it at the base.

    Any ideas are welcome :)
     
  7. Kasalia

    Kasalia http://retired2006.blogspot.com.au/ Premium Member GOLD

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    I have always bagged or netted my trees, I wrote an article on it for aussiesliving simply, but links are haywire since they changed format.
    http://www.aussieslivingsimply.com.au/forum/discussion/19078/netting-your-fruit-trees#latest

    I have recently had to cut the trees in half as got way too big. The 2 apple trees I weigh the branches down with milk bottles of water. It is like trying to espalier mature trees, wish I did it when small. I just picked 25kgs of plums yesterday with netted tree. The number of fruit relates to the number of chill hrs. Below 7 degrees, and not to reach 19 during the day. Last winter was good hence lots of fruit this year.Roses were great also.The pears I am having trouble they are hard to set, and 6 years old, thinking of transferring to sons acre who gets 5 degrees less and frosts.
    If there is a small number of fruit bagging is good. Made some extra long ones with netting this year, to slip over branches, just sewed a strip in half of netting and tied top and bottom with string.
     
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  8. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    Great article Kasalia! I like your hangman's noose idea that's another method I can keep up my sleeve.

    Speaking of sleeves I purchased a couple of fruit fly net sleeves from Bunnings a few days ago (only cost 3 or 4 bucks) just to test them out and as I suspected they don't work too well. The main issue is fitting them to cover a branch is almost impossible to get a perfect limb that fits and then if you do the fruit is often touching the net so the fruit fly sting through - frustrating :mad:

    I'm still thinking full tree netting is best since I have had the most success with this method.

    I have tried bagging and individually netting fruit using some wire as a frame to hold the netting off and have had some wins but it's time consuming...

    The fruit saver nets (see this post) are ok but expensive and prone to holes through loose weave, animals, or branches. Nevertheless, I did get a good harvest of plums and apples by using these nets.
     
  9. Kasalia

    Kasalia http://retired2006.blogspot.com.au/ Premium Member GOLD

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    I uses veggie nets from Net Pro or Green Harvest.Polypipe and star pickets would suit your area
     
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  10. ClissAT

    ClissAT Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    Mark here are some photos of a net I put up 4yrs ago to cover the lychee tree against king parrots & bats.
    Within the first year the tree grew through the bird netting & I took it down the following year & pruned the tree substantially. The whole tree guard ended up about 4m high & had 3 ribs.

    It is made using 8ft steel posts not driven in very far & sloping inward at a bit of an angle so the stiff 2.5inch poly pipe will go over the top of the posts easily. I drilled holes & pushed wire through to hold the poly at the right height on the posts. It didn't help that one of my horses got itchy that year & pushed the posts over even more!

    The whole structure used to be my greenhouse at Maleny for several years. It had white shade house plastic over it with shaped ends & a door.
    The bird netting was pretty good quality & has lasted several years. It's now over the tomato trellis. It was 6m wide I think or maybe it stretched a lot more than that but it was not joined & I bought just one piece 10m long. On the ends I brought it together & threaded a piece of baling twine through & gathered it to form a semicircle. I tied it to the posts part way down with baling twine.

    The basic design is sound & works for any tree. In the first yr I made it, it worked very well & I could walk around inside to pick the crop. I didn't realise that the netting would retain so much moisture to cause the tree to grow at a greater rate. You could use any sort of netting depending on what you need to keep out. You could even use shade house plastic or the lighter sort of shade cloth. by adding some guy wires at each end you could stabilize it a lot more.

    You can get taller steel posts now or you could make them out of gal water pipe concreted into the ground at an angle. Then drop the poly pipe over or even make semicircular ribs with gal pipe also.

    Mine had a bamboo pole for stabilizing across the top joining the 3 ribs together but Jude's rubbing broke it off.

    lychee net 2.jpg

    lychee net 3.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2016
  11. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    Very good Clissa - that's a great example of netting against larger animals and nice to see the horse in shot also.

    That's a big tree to cover, geez I bet the birds and bats were upset with you! :)

    That bird netting is reasonably priced but the insect netting (to stop fruit fly) is much more expensive unless I can find a cheaper product...
     
  12. ClissAT

    ClissAT Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    The thing about netting against fruit fly is that it also prevents the bees & other pollinators doing their job.
    Organic farms use fruit fly baits for male & female flies from before the flowers arrive.
    Applying paper bags etc is tricky because often the fly stings the fruit when it is still green pea sized which is before you can apply a bag.
    Those farms that fully enclose their trees inside growhouses use indoor pollinators which are specially bred & released each season. Similar to tomatoes.
    I think trapping is the way to go. I had some success with traps this past season for the mangoes. It wasn't until not long before I was forced to pick the whole crop due to crow activity, that more fruit flies came along to sting the fruit again. I had stopped servicing the traps by then.
    While the most immature fruit was ripening some of it was stung while others developed telltale signs of recent stinging before picking.
     
  13. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    The net goes over after flowering.

    For a plant that continually produces (like a tomato) then you can hand pollinate with an electric toothbrush buzzing the flowers if it's under netting for its whole life.

    I haven't used trapping very much yet but when I have my success rate at saving fruit susceptible to fruit fly has been poor unfortunately. I'm thinking next spring I'll use trapping or organic baiting in conjunction with nets plus I do want to build a fruit fly proof greenhouse or dome/tunnel to grow my larger tomato varieties.
     
  14. Kasalia

    Kasalia http://retired2006.blogspot.com.au/ Premium Member GOLD

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    Really you just have to shake the tomato bushes, wind also pollinates them.
    These 3 medium size tomatoes, have been growing since August and I covered them when the first fruit developed. They have been producing every since, with no problems except one lot of caterpillars on first lot which I go rid of by checking for eggs. They are now up to the top and sprawling over inside the net, but still producing.

    [​IMG]
    This is the plum again no problem. Covered after fruit set, which would have been September.
    [​IMG]

    Maybe because I am a little cooler being right on the border line of sub tropical.
    [​IMG]

    No spraying or setting up pots. Been like that with all my trees.
     
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  15. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    Whilst I agree with you for 90% of tomato varieties, I'm not sure that's always the case because I've conducted experiments with certain beefsteaks like (Italian Tree tomato) and fully netted them in outdoor garden beds exposed to wind only for the plants to grow well, flower heaps, and set hardly any fruit :(

    Anyway, obviously your method of netting is working really well and I can't think of a better way to protect growing produce from fruit fly so fine net exclusion is probably the best at the end of the day... And, the poly pipe method is cheap and easy to assemble.

    The cold is a natural enemy of fruit fly yes I agree.

    Talking tomatoes, here in the "hotter" subtropics if we start our plants in late summer/early autumn so they get to fruiting around winter it's possible to grow large varieties unprotected because the fruit fly are either gone or at least scarce. It's important to get the tomato plants well into maturity before the cold hits, because even though winters are mild in the subtropics tomato plants still suffer the cold. We still have to be mindful of the odd frost too, which is a possibility some years.

    That's why the best window is still late winter into spring for tomato growing but then the battle with fruit fly begins as the weather warms up.
     
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