Abelia Frutteto

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since Mar 02, 2018
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chicken forest garden trees
flatlands IT
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Recent posts by Abelia Frutteto

I'm interesting in doing a smaller cob-structure test run and also need a new chicken coop.  Can the two projects be combined?  I'm concerned about ventilation and moisture & amonia build up (with the addition of chicken droppings from about 20 chickens) and also not sure if I can build a cob coop that would provide protection from pests and predators (esp mice/rats).  I live in a hothumid/rainyfoggy climate.  Do you have any advice?   Thanks much, Abelia
7 months ago
Hi all,
Here is a large family nursery outside of Modena in Italy that offers Bacon, Hass, Reed and No-name avocado trees.  I haven't got any info on shipping, though.  They also sell the rootstock, called portainnesto in Italian.  http://www.maiolifruttiantichi.it/p9/risultato-della-ricerca/?nome_form=fCercaEcommerce&tipo_richiesta=ricerca-e-commerce&modalitaRicercaEcommerce=and&searchStringEcommerce=avocado&btnSearchEcommerce=Cerca

If that strange-looking link doesn't work try maiolifruttiantichi.it   then search (cerca prodotti) for avocado (same as English).

((If you are looking for organic/biodynamic heirloom fruit trees in IT there's also Omezzolli in Riva del Garda.  Don't know if they sell avocados.))
10 months ago
Though I unfortunately live too far away to order here, Trees of Antiquity (mail order and CA nursery) has a fabulous online site with a search function to select your hardiness zone, pollination windows, harvest times, fruit storage, etc and also a load of information about and pictures of each cultivar they sell.    
11 months ago
Hi Aida,  I also live in 9a and here the figs grow almost as weeds.  They are really tough and stunningly drought resistant. Young unprotected trees do die back in the winter here too, but come back stronger the next spring.

The older generation of local farmers and garden putters not only prune the fig trees to keep them low, but also tie plastic water bottles (to varying degree of fullness/weight) to the fig branches over the winter and summer so they are weighed down and growing low and mostly horizontally. Not sure if those are removed when the tree is fruiting though I doubt it. I'll try to get a photo and post it later. Good luck keeping your tree productive and contained and warm!    
11 months ago
Thanks Jane.  

These people should be experts; they've been in the business over 3 generations and almost 100 years.  They said to soak the trees for a couple of hours right before planting and trim before putting the roots in the ground.  Thanks for the advicie.

Do you prune to central leader or open bowl shape?  What type of trees have you got?
11 months ago
I've been reading up about pruning fruit trees and have been trying to revive some very neglected plum and apple trees etc but am new to this metier.  When I picked up 10 bare root trees last Sunday at an heirloom nursery I was told to be sure to prune/trim the roots quite a bit before planting.  That was news to me.  These are free hanging bare roots, not a bundled rootb ball or container-bound roots.  Does anyone have knowledge about pruning/shortening roots??  These trees are 2 years old, one year after graft though a couple are "franc" -- or "seedling."

Another quandry: central leader or open vase pruning?  My young trees are apple, cherry, plum and apricot.  Some apples and a cherry have standard rootstock or franc, the rest are all semi-standard (M111) or dwarf (colt)

Thanks so much for any ideas or advice.  
11 months ago
Thanks very much for your replies!  I'lll have a look at the stone and pipe condensation ideas.  To clarify, rain here stays where it falls; the land is flat flat flat.  It used to be marshy but a few hundred years ago drain ditches were dug around fields.  Back then all fields also had hedgerows but these were ripped out for tractoring convenience.  The property I am dealing with was a poplar tree field (planted x paper) for 30 years and that was 'harvested' about 20 years ago leaving stumps/roots to rot in place (or re-sprout).  Many stumps now produce poplar/pioppini mushrooms.  After the poplar harvest the field became a Blackthorn jungle and I am slowly taking part of that out with a few trees remaining for shade.  I will take all of your ideas for soil improvement to heart; the land here is quite alkaline so will have to think about the calcium addition.  I'm still wondering about the idea of SUNKEN beds though.  We are struggling with a well that tends to run dry before watering is finished in the summer (hand water, hose & pump) and each August seems to be hotter and dryer than the last.  I'd like to plan a small 20 tree orchard/forest for this increasingly arid zone and wonder if creating 'earthworks' as very wide & slightly sunken beds (30-50 cm deep?) around each plant hole would be a wise idea.  I do find information about sunken bed gardening but not about semi-sunken orchards.  Thanks again!
11 months ago
I live Italy, hardiness zone 9a, lots of clay in soil, semi-abandoned property in the middle of monocrop fields.  This area is  F L A T.  I'm trying to figure out how to plan an orchard that doesn't need to much water and have read up a bit about water harvesting methods.  I'll be planting a few local varieties of plum, apricot, apple and cherry trees.  What is the best way to plan for a drought-filled future?  I have done a few hugel beds a few years ago, but realized that raising land level is a poor choice for this area.  Now I am considering digging down and planting trees in the middle of slightly sunken beds dug at a diameter of the projected mature tree canopy.  Ideally these beds would be planted with nitrogen fixers & mulched. Obviously the creation of sunken beds would cause massive disruption to the soil.   What are peoples' thoughts on this?  Any advice?  Thank you!
11 months ago
Thank you!
Time to sharpen the saw!
11 months ago
Hi all
I've been trying to figure out what to do with some fruit trees that are young (4 -8 years) but have been growing in a very shady location and have never been pruned.  They've tried to make a run for the sunlight, so are quite tall for their relative age.  I've opened up the area a bit so they get a lot more sun, but now how to prune?  I cannot really imagine cutting the central leader at this point.  It's 2 - 3 inches diameter at eye level on these trees and they are 10 - 15 feet tall.  Already no chance at reaching most of the fruit.  Thank you!
11 months ago