Supposing you have an orchard, or planning one. And you want to add to your nursery from seed from your orchards trees. Wouldn't it be great to cut down on the time it takes to get your first fruit from the seedlings you grow. If in your orchard you plant some trees that are known to be precocious then their offspring will also be precocious. Look at the image below as evidence of what I say. That image is from a study a 100 years or so ago called A study of the results of Crossing Varieties of Apples by Clarence C. Vincent for UMass.
It becomes obvious looking at that image that you can produce fruit faster growing apples from seed than from seedlings that you have to pay for. This is probably exaggerated because the apples shown in the image are examples where both parents are precocious. The important point to get from the study is that precociousness is an inheritable trait.
So what apples are precocious, here's a list:
Cox's Orange Pippin
Grimes Golden, same apple as Golden Delicious??
Yellow Delicious (Everfresh)
So my suggestion is that you plant a precocious apple thru out your orchard. But how do you know which seeds will have the trait. Well I'd guess that if you harvested seed from the precocious tree that they will have that attribute. And I'd also say that if your precocious tree was also a delicious apple you'd get some very good,early bearing apples. Let's say you have a Cox's Orange Pippin in your nursery. Some say this is the best tasting apple there is, and it's an early bearer. If you plant seed from apples from that tree I'd guess you're going to get better apples from a cross between a cider apple and that crab apple next door.
I've been saving gourd, squash, and pumpkin seeds for years. I rinse the seeds a couple times and then dry them on a paper towel. When they're dry I carefully stack them on top of my tomato and other paper towels full of seeds. My tomato seeds I don't rinse so they stick. The seeds above, since they are rinsed, don't stick The reason I say carefully stack them. They're fine the following spring, I never tried growing them in later years. I'm going to test that next spring as they raided the pumpkin patch this fall. I don't save seeds from hybrids, so don't buy hybrid seeds any longer.
I've found that if I leave gourds and pumpkins in the garden they come up next spring on their own. If I leave any of these varieties unfenced they don't come up. I think they get eaten. I've seen 16" pumpkins disappear over night, nothing but the stem left.
I like beets. I've never knowingly eaten dirt. But using beets as a guide, then I guess I like dirt! Clean dirt is best!..... I guess. Maybe it'd be a good idea to use a brush on your beets before you scald them.
I found this search page with a link to an online order link which includes a cart like online shopping everywhere on the internet. But the 2018 catalog still has some useful capabilities. I find it interesting to just scroll over the 80+ pages looking for hidden nuggets that I'd never think of searching for.
I've ordered and found some gems that I can't resist. Like Niedzwetzkyana, Redfield and Roberts Crab. Niedzwetzkyana is the Kazakhstan apple with red flesh that was used for several apple breeders to develop the red flesh apples line RedField, Pink Pearl and others. Redfield is a merger of Wolf River and Niedzwetzkyana. Pink Pearl was developed using an apple called Surprise and the same Niedzwetzkyana apple again. Roberts Crab is another red fleshed 2 1/4 inch crab apple. I'd like to cross the Niedzwetzkyana with a juicy apple like McIntosh, or maybe something bigger and just as juicy to get maybe a red dessert apple.
Myself I think I'd be more interested in Antonovka seed than the serveseii ? variety.
If you're looking for nothing but detailed info on a specific apple there's a wealth of info on any variety you click on. You do need to use a horizontal scroll bar to read it tho. That's where I got the size of the apple above.
If you're looking for trees and bushes in quantity look at musserforests.com.
Elderberry: 25 rate= $1.13 to to $1.78 depending on size (years) 300 rate is 35¢ to 55¢ea
Sugar Maple = 45¢
PawPaw 25 rate = $3.08ea
Black Walnut 300 rate 50¢
Honey Locust 100 rate = 74¢ 300 rate = 45¢
Black Locust = 35¢
Many items also have 5 and 10 quantities available. They have 4 pages of Evergreens, including most, if not all, of the trees grown for Christmas trees. They have most of the hardwoods tree seedlings and some bushes including Rho's, Laurels, and Azalias = 300 rate = $1.65 ea.
"usually people who raise horses are not going to use any herbicides in their pastures.
If you are collecting manure that has self composted for more than a month, you are not getting any residual wormer contamination either."....
I felt comfortable after I read that, but then it seamed to get contradicted by some of the later comments. Also the hay that's used comes from an unknown, to me, source. I think that I'm better off growing my own veggies than what's for sale in the store. Shortly after that thread I was told by someone I know that her father used a herbicide on his family garden plot before he plowed it. I think that old pile might be 5 years old, more or less. I don't know why there'd be worms in the soil below one pile and not the other. The piles are maybe 50 feet apart and on the same hillside. But I have no idea what might have changed over the years there.
We all need to eat. I'm going to grow some of my own veggies. I've never used bagged fertilizers, herbicides or any kind of ick products. I don't spray for insects in my gardens. I'm not 100% comfortable with the manure, but then what was in the ground before I bought this place?
I'd prune only the branches that don't produce Honeycrisp apples. If a branch produces Honeycrisp then it's above the graft. If I wasn't sure now or late this winter, I'd let it grow till I knew what it was.
Peaches, pears and cherries don't grow big trees, or so they say. I remember one when I was a kid in the fifties that was too big to climb. It was on empty land, I think the city owned it. I say this as I'd consider only growing those as full size trees. Let me tell a story.
I planted two peach trees. One a semi-dwarf 3 1/2 years ago, and a full size tree 2 1/2 years ago. The newer one was said to grow large peaches, my reason for planting the second peach. After 2 years the semi-dwarf produced 10 peaches. After 3 years it produced 10 peaches. The full size tree after 2 years produced 100 peaches, this year. We baked a pie, froze enough for 2 more pies and some peach pancakes. And we canned about a dozen pints of peaches.
My semi-dwarf Stella cherry produced a few cherries in the second spring, we got one, the birds got the rest. The next year it produced a few cherries, we got none, the birds got them all. I'm thinking next spring to cut 4 or so scions and graft enough trees that we can overwhelm the birds and get a few our ownselves. I also ordered a pie cherry scion which I plan on grafting to a full size rootstock and maybe double work a Stella cherry on the same rootstock??
Staking might be considered at the time of planting.
Antonovka ( full size ) is very winter hardy. They come from Poland or Russia. They grow a large tree which will require pruning, but on the plus side they live for as long as twice as long as smaller trees. This rootstock along with the semi-full M111 don't need staking. The bigger rootstocks take longer to produce fruit for the first time.
Something else that I think needs consideration is what rootstock should be used on a slow growing tree. For instance, Honeycrisp is a slow grower, they also say it's hard to grow. I have one from Stark that's 4+ years old and I had one apple that dropped shortly after the fruit developed. It's a semi-dwarf, but I don't know which rootstock it's on. That's the reason I mention where it came from. Whatever they use is what rootstock it's on. I've never trimmed it for height. I'm thinking of cutting a scion off it and grafting it to an M111. I wonder if the slow growth rate is the reason they say it's hard to grow.
Check what St Lawrence nursery grows and sells trees in NY state, north of you. Here;s what they say about dwarfing and semi-dwarfing in zone 5 and lower:
"A well-pruned apple tree on Antonovka rootstock, when grown in Zones 3-5, will be equivalent to a "semi-dwarf" tree in size (10-12 feet at maturity), and it will have many advantages........"
Grow out the Avocado pits and then graft scions ( cuttings ) from your store bought tree onto them. I have no experience with avocados, but I grafted apples for the first time last spring and had 100% success. I'd suggest you follow the examples that you google or watch a video like these. You can google "whip and tongue grafting" to get an idea of what you need to do. I used a retractable safety knife and bought grafting tape on eBay for a few bucks which included the shipping. I used plumbers teflon tape to seal the tips. They sometimes use wax to seal the tips. If decide on the wax you can find it at your supermarket if you ask for "Gulfwax". I think it was $5 for a box about the size of a pound of butter. When I graft again I'm going to cut a hole in the bottom of a half gallon milk jug and use it as a hand guard when I cut the tongue into the two pieces I'm grafting.
You can reproduce your trees this way for zero cost.
I've had success reseeding the spots and covering with mushroom manure. Which says to me the problem is the salt in the urine. Otherwise the nitrogen in the mushroom manure would make the problem worse.
For small packages the simplest shipping method is to use the US post office. If you use another shipper they will charge a brokerage fee. In addition some shippers will charge you any possible import duty. For instance on a small value item you may not be charge import duties by Canada. But the shipper will charge you anyway. This also happens with eBay's Global Shipping Program. On eBay find a seller who ships his packages him/herself.
If it's a big package you should know that UPS will ship a 150 pound package from the US to Canada. I'd guess that would cover 99+% of all shipments.
Have you checked with St Lawrence Nursery. They're just across the river from Canada, so I'm guessing they know what they need to know to ship to Canada. They are though; in the northeast so shipping would cost you more.
I have a Bartlett pear that's now 4 years old. I have a 5 foot fence around the tree, as do you, for deer protection. I've been pulling the branches down with twine I'd saved on my trips to the big box store. I tie it off to the fence, actually on the fence end of the rope I try to use S hooks from old bungee cords. I tie up the branch and then find an appropriate spot on the fence to hook it to.
My knots of the branch side need some work. I should be using a bowline knot but never looked it up. I don't want a knot that tightens on the branch. So far I've been mangling a jury rig knot.
After a month or two you can move your twine to a different branch, the branch will retain the new shape, most of the time.....
My mower would bag, but I can't lift the blower attachment that's needed. I need it for leafs, the alternative is to blow the leafs into a pile, until the belt burns out and then I'm done for the year.
I'm no medical expert but I can tell from experience that shaking chills are a sign of bacterial pneumonia, or Streptococcal pneumonia. When I had the cryptococcal pneumonia or fungal pneumonia I didn't get shaking chills. I don't know why you get the chills; but I'd avoid those chips and maybe any chips if I were you.
My problem now is what do I do with that 4 cu yard, +/- that's sitting about 400 feet from the house waiting for me to spread them in the paths of my veggy garden and under those spruces up by the road. I have a lot of experience with hardwood bark and horse and mushroom manure but not with wood chips. Maybe I should stick to horse doo.
What I've noticed about volunteers, which is all the experience I have, is that they seem much hardier than the seedlings I grew. They sprout really early and by the time I'm setting out my tomato seedlings they're as big or bigger than my seedlings. Perhaps it's like the calf that's born in the pasture is hardier than those born in the barn.
Here's my idea: There are two reasons not to use potatoes from the store as seed potatoes.
1. They apply a chemical to prevent the spuds from sprouting, and
2. They're not certified seed potatoes.
So my idea is to plant those store bought potatoes in the fall and let the seed potatoes rinse off over the winter in your garden bed. If you grow potatoes and miss some while harvesting they will grow the following spring. So I'm assuming that if you put potatoes in the ground in the fall they will also sprout in spring. I can't argue the merits of using certified seed potatoes. But for the price difference you may decide it's worth the risk. That's up to you. But I would say that if you continue to use potatoes from your garden as seed for the following year you'd be increasing the odds of creating problems. But that's true whether you used seed potatoes or store potatoes. You also have to gamble on how much blight, for instance, is in the fields where store potatoes are grown and where seed potatoes are grown. I do know that a field of seed potatoes is permitted to have some blight, a low amount, but if that's true then you can get blight from your seed potatoes. What I have no idea about is how much blight is in the fields where my store potatoes are grown.
I have a potato sitting on the window sill, which is were this idea sprouted from. ( sic ) The potato is a store potato. I put it there to see what would happen. When I was a kid our potatoes started sprouting as spring approached. The sprouts would get a foot or more long, sometimes 18" long from potatoes in the heavy paper sack they were sold in. The potatoes were in the dark in the back corner of a cabinet. So this potato has been on the sill for 6 weeks or more, maybe two months. I considered planting it when it started sprouting; which it did. I sometimes think of rinsing it off, a couple times, soaking it overnight, leaving it out in the rain. But whatever occurred to me was dismissed cause it's too late in the season. But now, the season is next spring.
However you plant your spuds, please rotate your crops, don't plant spuds in the same garden space, some say every other year, some say two years, some say 3 year rotation. Take your guess.
I've been gardening since the early 1980's. I've never done a soil test. I've never added bagged commercial fertilizer, and I've never added any feritilizers during the growing season. I did once add a couple of inches or manure the time I grew two crops of corn on the same plot.
If you dig in soil amendments, at least the first time you use a plot and them keep adding amendments over the years you can grow great crops. I like to use free manure, horse manure is the most readily available for me. But I don't think you need manure every year. But you need to keep improving the soil with crop residues and kitchen scraps.
I bring this up as it seems like an insurmountable task to learn to garden when you have to have a degree to read a soil test. I grow in acid clay. I'd like a PH meter. But I've always managed to grow what I want by using the crops as my gauge. If my first tomatoes show blossom end rot I add some lime and the tomatoes the rest of the year are fine. From my experience when I do get blossom end rot it's only on one or two plants so I don't feel I've lost a lot.
I have a suggestion for frost protection with out covers. If you have a mower that will bag, put the clippings in plastic bags. I've used the contractors bags and the big can liners. You put the bags between and around the crops you wish to protect. Of course; if you also cover the crops and bags you'll get protection to a lower temperature. You can also use grass clippings with leafs, or all leaves. But the more grass clippings the more heat you'll get in the short time your bags have to get active.
I picked all my remaining tomatoes in advance of possible frost overnight. They weighed 5.5 pounds mostly beefsteaks, with a few yellow pear tomatoes thrown in. I already have 4 mostly ripened beafsteaks which I picked prior to this pick. The only thing I have left is some carrots, in the ground, and a few as yet unpicked gourds. The neighbors took every pumpkin we had, even the small one inch developing fruit just after blossoming. We've been planting the same very small and small pumpkins for years from seed saved from prior years. I do still have seed from last years crops which I'll have to plant and reestablish that line. We also grew some big pumpkins for the first time.
I'm in the process of digging manure intp a new garden that was an inch of sod over clay. I dug in about two inches of horse manure and from the looks of it I plan to dig in another two inches. So four inches of mulch sounds about right. This is for my root crops which I plan to plant into the ground. The price of $10 a yard sounds like a real bargain. I'd get that delivered now to lock up that price. I spent $42 to rent a pickup to get free horse manure yesterday; and only got a yard because of my health.
I always keep the sod in place and turn it under. And I never mulch with anything except mulch, straw or manure.
I went manuring yesterday and dug out of two piles. One was about two years old at the bottom. I was there about six weeks ago and what I dug out then had filled in; I think the weight just smushed it down. One of the horse boarders came and showed me the old pile. I bring this up as the fresher pile had small red worms in it. The old pile didn't have a single worm.... that I saw.
I got a half truck load which surprised me. I couldn't push the wheel barrow up the planks, I went to a half wheel barrow load at a time instead of shoveling half into the truck. I had to rent the pickup and for a half truck load don't think it was worth it. Cost me $42 for the rental. For $62 I could have bought two yards of mushroom manure.
If there's no worms in the manure does that indicate that it's not as good a soil improver as manure that has worms in it. Would I be better with the fresher manure? What I'm doing is taking a lawn with an inch of sod over clay and making it into a garden. I'm thinking there's two improvements to the soil possible. One is the solids and the second is the nitrogen. I'm thinking that without the solids that the worms have eaten up and taken below I'm not really improving my soil. What do you folks think.
I sort of kept the two sources separated (somewhat) in the truck and shoveled the older manure where I'm putting potatoes next year. Maybe I'd be better with the newer manure which is well composted also. The old manure looks more like rich loamy topsoil, somewhat dry and loose. The newer manure is full of water and well.... mucky.
Is it possible that you could get an agreement with a neighbor that would also apply to their buyer should they sell the property. If you paid the entire water bill of the house where you obtain the water the owner would have a hard time saying no; now or in the future.
One of my problems is that I've been on well water for a few decades and no idea what a typical household water bill runs. And I don't know how you intend to use the land. If you're running a community garden, growing commercially or using this to raise crops for you're own use. If for instance this is for your own use then the bill you get would be the same as if you were growing on the property where your house is. If this is a community project then you'll need to charge a use fee that covers the water use. Obviously if this is commercial then your prices will just have to pay for the water use. Another problem I have is that here in the east you own the water on your property and under your property. If it was here in the east I'd suggest you drill a well or pump water out of a creek. I got a price many years ago to drill a well. It was $10 a foot for the first twenty feet and $8 a foot thereafter. It's probably triple that now???
I know of a community garden that dug a hole in front of the garden and tapped into the main. In that case there had been houses there so it might have been connecting to the pipe after it passed the curb box, and turning on the curb box. I wasn't there when this was done. Honest!
I'd say that this year I had my best tomato crop in many years. This was partly because we had warm weather in September and into October. But also I set out seedlings in mid June a couple weeks late, at least.
I've been picking nice big beefsteaks till yesterday. Today I only got a couple yellow pear tomatoes. But I do see some big tomatoes, 3-4 inchers, starting to ripen. And there's a lot of green ones, but they're not very big, maybe an inch and a half each. By this time in the fall in recent seasons my tomatoes are usually totally blighted out. It's my opinion that this is partially a result of the late planted tomatoes getting blight later and the fact that I quit growing tomatoes for two years prior to this in my old small garden.
I've learned a lesson; you can't continue to grow the same crop in the same ground, a dozen years for me. It's also obvious to me that with a small garden it's almost impossible to rotate crops. I'd been planting much more than half my garden space with tomatoes, which left me no room to do the rotation. If you're in the same situation I'd guess you'll soon have problems.
But right now I have a big handful of pear tomatoes and a big red beefsteak ready to eat, so I'm fat and happy.
My plans for next year is a new 34' X 64 foot garden. It's too big for me to get ready to grow in one year, but I'll slowly, over the years, get it ready to grow some of my household food needs. This new plot encompasses two existing apple trees and two peach trees. I'll take down the fencing and the posts and move most of it. I plan to cut 14 foot posts so I can get a wire 12 feet high to keep out the many deer here. I'll have the room to plant any vegetable only once in 3 years in the same space. I'm also thinking of taking a scion off my Golden Delicious apple and grafting to a semi-full rootstock to get some serious production. I've got a semi-dwarf peach which has produced 10 peaches two years in a row. My semi-full produced 100 peaches in it's second year. That first peach is on probation. There's also a Nanking cherry bush that I'm thinking of taking an axe to. I'm thinking of grafting a scion off my Stella Sweet cherry to a semi-dwarf rootstock for that same spot. But to get back to tomatoes I'm going to repeat my two week late tomato seedling setting out and try 3 weeks also, maybe one in late June. Just to see what happens.
So I'll have room to grow crops that I never had room for. Like potatoes, cabbage and other brassicas, more root crops than a few carrots, asparagus, pole beans, peas. Maybe in a future year grow some sweet corn. I'll convert my old small garden to an herb garden, near the kitchen.
You said "Despite two spring snow falls to ground level ". That's a new term; at least to me. I googled the term and found a reference to fog to ground level which is more self explanatory. If I switch from fog to snow I get the impression that your snow usually never reaches the ground. Did I guess correctly?
By the way; you have a wonderful view there in that last picture.
If you plant with a master plan then as your planting you'd have to put that plan on the ground in the field. I'm just thinking out loud. I wouldn't want to have stakes all over a field and have to avoid them and then when it comes planting time to have to convert those plans to realization out in a field of overgrown field grasses. I'm thinking you might want to consider planting them across the field in the order you plant them. You're likely to order them so that you get a variety of fruit planted and in the ground. So plant them in that same order. I'm thinking I'd likely order the varieties I most liked, or my family most liked first. If you planted them closest to the home site then they'd be the ones easiest to pick. And watch over. You could of course move over one triangle as you're out there planting.
I think you should reconsider the five foot trimming height. When the fruit is hanging on the limbs they will sag down. Those that don't sag probably don't have the fruit. If you're five feet high you can pick a fruit 6 feet high. So I'm thinking a 7 foot high branch will sag to a six foot picking height.
I have deer here, lots of them. I see them standing on their hind legs eating the buds, the leafs. I never actually saw them picking fruit off a tree, but I watch them saunter over to an apple tree. And then one realizes there's apples laying on the ground and they move faster, the other goes faster, and then they're all running to get to the apples. I never measured how high but I've trimmed the bottoms of the tree where there's nothing left but bare twigs and branches. When I'm done cutting the bare branches it's now easy to ride my mower under the tree. I'd guess about five feet high.
But then I don't know that you have deer and I don't know if you also want the children picking the fruit. I'm just thinking out loud.
Here's a link to another thread here on this site. I don't think they specifically mentioned the herbicide your talking about; but I think there might be something in it for you. I'd be uncomfortable growing food in that soil but I'd say that if you wait a month or so after application that you could grow a lawn there. It probably depends on how much was applied, which you'd have to guess
If it were me I think I'd plant a test patch with the same seed I'd plant the lawn with. Penn State mix here in PA. The rye grass in that mix will sprout in a week. If it sprouted I'd go ahead and replant the lawn. If you're in the south or south west ignore my grass types and plant what's appropriate where you are. I'd cover the seed with about an inch of mushroom manure. Some people use peat which can be found in most parts of the country, but I never liked it because it so dry that when it rains on it the stuff floats away. People also use straw to cover the seed with. I've tried to get that out of the lawn after the grass is growing. I can tell you that lawn ain't gonna be very pretty.
I've guerilla gardened one packet of country gentlemen for two years in the same approximate spot. The second year I used seed saved from what I grew in year one. I mowed the weedy grass and punched holes in the ground with a sharpened tree branch and dropped a seed in the hole. Most drops required a little putting to get the seed down the hole. That was it for site preparation and maintenance. I never weeded, watered, or fertilized. The results were mediocre the first year and very poor the second year. I planted about a foot apart in one foot wide rows. After year one I let one cob dry out and pulled the kernels off by wrenching the cob with my two hands. Got one cob per plant, at best.
Country Gentleman is a white corn with shoepeg kernels, which means the kernels grow scattered on the cob, without any rows. This is the corn used to can white creamed corn. I thought the corn was fairly good, but my wife wouldn't try it. It would have been much better if I'd put a little effort into the project, but I didn't want to make the project look anymore possessive than I had to. It also might have been better if the topsoil hadn't been bulldozed into the foundation of the house that used to be there.
From the stalks grown the first year I tied some to the mailbox post in the fall. My wife was embarrassed. The plants are short to begin with, I think. But these weren't very hardy stalks.
I found scions for every apple I could think of, and lots of variations of common apples. I found 5 different MacIntosh apples. I found 5 different Rome apples. I found ancient varieties of apples that were grown 100 years ago, like Esopus Spitzenurg, Wagener, and Ben Davis. I found new varieties like Honeycrisp. I found scions for rootstocks like M.111, M.9, and M.7.... What does one do with a scion of a rootstock? I found a 2005 version of the catalog which explains which are seeds and which are scions, that useless info isn't in the 2018 catalog version. I found many pages for seeds and scions of serveseii apples and I found multiple item numbers for Niedzwetzkyana scions on page 61, why so many and why no explanation of why so many.
I find this is awesome, such a huge resource.
But looking thru all those pages of what I think are apples, mostly crab apples from everywhere on the earth, but you can't figure out what you get, how many does 589287, the niedzwetzkyana apple, get you. If you need say 6, there's no place on the order page to put the quantity. But then you might get 6 packs of 25. I guess that as you pick up some experience you'll learn a little of what all that variety is.
But my first problem, nowhere in the 84 pages do I see a quantity of 100 seeds of 4 different serveseii apples. But I did find the niedzwetzkyana apple which I think I'd rather have than a 100 of 4 different unknown apple varieties. Or; was my first problem that the serveseii apples you guys discuss; aren't the many pages of free serveseii apples that I found.
I mentioned about the use of a rootstock scion. I finally realized that last spring when I grafted a piece of M.7 to a M.111 that I was using a scion of M.7. But I think it's a truism that every graft needs one rootstock.
John Weiland wrote:By the time I parked it under a tree, it was getting pretty warm and went indoors for a break. Soon I was snoozing on the shaded deck and awoke to the noise of my tractor being started. My wife likes to use it to move buckets of animal food and in my lazy haze decided that's what she would be doing. As soon as the memory hit that I had placed my saw in that front loader, I was awake and bumbling for the driveway
....only to see her plow the front-loader into a pile full of class-5 gravel and sand!
If you're in Maine you should be aware that there's a company in your state that does a big business raising and selling trees and other plants. I'm talking of Fedco Trees. They also have an Apple Grading Chart. It's my opinion that you never want to buy orchard stock grown farther south than where you live. These guys for you are southerners but relatively close. I'm always afraid to buy plants grown in the deep south and have to get them thru the first winter.
They sell trees and they also sell apple rootstocks and scions for apple varieties. They seem to me to do things differently than most other orchardists. They sell most of their apple trees on Antonovka and a few on M111 rootstocks. These are two of the biggest rootstocks available. From what I read they use these because they're hardier in Maine. They also sell over a dozen apple trees that they recommend in Zone 3. Most of those apples seem to me to be the older varieties. The exception being Honeycrisp.
If I wanted to grow a variety of apples in your climate, with space a consideration, I think I'd pick out the hardiest rootstock and grow one tree with those varieties all grafted to that one tree. I'd talk to them. See if they'll do a custom graft for you. Consider the price. Say you want 4 varieties, at their catalog price that'd be $121. If I were in the grafting business I'd be thrilled to get that money out of one graft. You would be vulnerable to losing your entire orchard if that one tree dies. I'm thinking you suggest to them that they find an old overgrown rootstock and graft your varieties to that. Say they had a 3/4 - 1" caliper rootstock. 4 sounds like maybe to many for that size but maybe 3, at least two. They're probably busy now and they start selling scions and rootstocks in January or so. In between they may have time to talk to you. There's also the possibility that they'd let their grafter do this for you. If I had to make this "Frankentree" It'd take me a couple years at least to do the multiple varieties on one tree. I did my first grafts last spring and had a 100% success. But then I tried to graft a second variety to one of those grafts and can't get the hang of a "T-Bud" graft.
I'm thinking that you grow big trees because they're hardy and then trim them to be 8 or 10 feet high. I'm thinking 3 or four varieties on one tree would take less space than the same number of smaller trees.