Apple Breeding, Planting Out the Seedlings in Nursery Rows

The apple breeding project is going pretty well.  I lost two of my seedlings to fireblight and I'm guessing they won't be the last two, but loses are to be expected even if they aren't welcome.  The good news is that 12 of my seedlings blossomed this year and I have fruit on at least most of those.  Stay tuned for tasting!  Honestly, I don't have very high hopes for most of them because of the primitive red fleshed apple genes I'm using, but we'll see.  It's all a learning adventure for me more than a destination.

The seedlings from last year's crosses are up to about 6 inches high and ready to plant out.  Ideally I may have planted them a little sooner, but they are still growing vigorously and have not used up all the nutrients in the flat mix yet.  I put them very close together this year because I have so many projects and cash crops in the garden now that I'm running out of room for food!  125 seedlings could take up a lot of bed space.  These will grow in the beds until next winter when they will be cut off and grafted onto dwarfing rootstocks for permanent placement in the trial rows.  I have made a lot of exciting crosses this year too, more than I can probably handle.  The plan is to offer some of the seeds for sale next winter/spring in my little web store for those adventurous enough to join me in this experiment.

Posted on April 30, 2016 .