Latest posts by Birdy13

Do Bramleys get bitter pit?

Posted: 19/11/2014 at 18:23

Thank you both  for your input.

Berghill: that idea for calcium treatment is a really useful tip - I may use it also on my James Grieve, although interestingly this year, after the very first fruits which were affected. the later fruit seemed less susceptible to bitterpit. 

Rachel: no, I haven't started the pruning yet but coincidently did think about it Today. It's now on the list.

Fortunately, for the last two years I have been pruning a lot more intelligently than in previous years, but I'm grateful for the advice, and thankyou for the suggestion of burning rubbish and info about mulch.

Do Bramleys get bitter pit?

Posted: 19/11/2014 at 14:47

For many years my Bramley apple tree has produced a good quantity of good apples. 

I keep the tree relatively small - around 10-12 foot high - and last year, after some very careful and quite radical pruning in places, during the preceding months, it gave the best ever performance: the quality was so good I was able to store over a hundred for quite a few months.  

This year the story was very different: the majority of fruits and becoming affected with a variety of conditions...    






Some fruit, however, apparently escaped the adverse conditions, whatever they were, and I was able to store some of the most promising fruit again.

But today, when using up the last of these stored apples, this is what I found inside an otherwise decent looking apple...  


(Sorry about the fuzzy image)

It looks like bitterpit, a condition which I have come across in previous years in my James Grieve eating apples.   The questions I am asking myself now are 

  1. What is this condition?
  2.  Can Bramley's get bitterpit? If so, why?
  3. And why this year but, as far as I know, never before?
  4. Can the apple still be used - eg stewed - without spoiling the flavour or edibility of one's dessert?

The outside of the affected apples mostly showed no sign of anything wrong inside...  


  ...although the one illustrated above must have had a penetration wound that has clearly gone bad in storage.   

I was wondering whether the little darker flecks on the otherwise unblemished skin were relevant, or are they just part of a normal Bramley's appearance? (I know: I should know, but I'm afraid I don't!)   

Any ideas and advice from apple growing /cooking experts would be welcome.

Weed or flower?

Posted: 12/11/2014 at 09:54

Thankyou again folks  for your advice and ideas. I shall now look around for where to buy Geranium  Macrorrhizum. So far the various links on the Internet have been quite promising.

I might try a combination of them plus a few root divisions from the ones I pictured (photo, by the way, was taken in July 2013)

Weed or flower?

Posted: 11/11/2014 at 16:58

Now, you saying geranium, I have just remembered something:

I have these two different coloured geraniums in another part of the garden:

Are they G Macrorrhyzum by any chance? They have certainly done the job of keeping the weeds down in front of my ferns.

Could I just take cuttings?

If so, would it just be a question of taking bits off the existing roots? there seemed to be a very strong root base present when I cut the foliage back to the ground before the end of summer, because new foliage grew back beautifully within a week or two (although no second flush of flowers).

Weed or flower?

Posted: 10/11/2014 at 15:27

Not a lot - I suppose about 4 - 6 sq metres around the tree. I'm happy to plant anything attractive that will suppress weeds and be easy to maintain.

As I would hope to still be able to get close up to the tree for pruning and maintenance I thought lowish ground cover plants would still enable be to get a step ladder in each year. Any ideas, anyone?

What's left for us to grow?

Posted: 10/11/2014 at 13:00

Yes, notwithstanding the need for commonsense, it does seem that in recent years fear in all walks of life has taken over with Health & Safety having gone a bit mad 

Perhaps what it comes down to is that birth itself - whether of people or of ideas - should come with a health warning: 'Beware of life: danger of death'.

Hope that's not too 'heavy' but I do know that when I look back at the things I got wrong in my life, my biggest mistakes have arisen from being afraid of  getting things wrong! 

Hopefully, I still have time to learn from that. 


Weed or flower?

Posted: 10/11/2014 at 12:16

Thankyou everyone for ypur advice and information.

Hm chickweed in salads...  I rather like that idea.

And bittercress... 

Trouble is I'm not sure which is which.  Are they both edible or might I poison myself if i start eating my garden clear of weeds? 

Can anyone advise on a more suitable, less invasive ground cover for the area please? I need to start making the plot a lot more manageable for the future - ground elder and grape hyacinth permitting, of course. 



Weed or flower?

Posted: 09/11/2014 at 16:32

Earlier in the year I cleared the ground around my Bramley Apple tree of a lot of ground elder. Since the disturbance to the ground ( deep forking and uprooting of the offending elder) this low growing plant colony has appeared. 

 I'm not sure whether to pull up, dig up or dig in. I don't know whether they are something that is supposed to be there (a lot of things were planted by by wife whom I lost two years ago) or is it a weed that will keep coming back?

Once the ground is clear again I want to replant some bluebell bulbs I salvaged during the removal of the elder roots. Should they go in soon?

The area has needed some attention for a few years and has been home to the ubiqitous grape hyacinth as well as the ground elder.

I would like to do more with this patch of ground so I was wondering what else to plant under the apple tree to help act as a less invasive ground cover?

Autumn Colour

Posted: 01/11/2014 at 13:47

Victoria Sponge, what is that lovely last shrub - the yellow one?

Is it some sort of marigold? Will it come up each year?

Progress so far

Posted: 01/11/2014 at 13:35


Both sites look reborn. I expect you feel you can breathe again.

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