Archive for May, 2010

A Europom event staged in Belgium

The contribution by Jean Pierre Billen on the new book ‘Some Typical Dutch Fruits’ is very timely, because Royal Horticultural Society Wisley Gardens will be staging an event in October called Europom, which had been formed some years’ ago by a number of fruit loving organisations in Europe and occurs yearly in one of the countries involved. The North Hollanders (N.P.V.) have also been invited so I hope we will see their exhibit, which may well include some copies of the book Oude Fruitrassen and hopefully samples of some of the fruit mentioned in the article.

I am interested in the large number of pears that are mentioned. They do not appear to be of international fame, but it is perhaps relevant that many years’ ago the Dutch invented ‘Stroop’, sometimes called ‘Sirop’, made from 80% pears and 20% apples, boiled down to a thick syrup or paste. This was quickly copied by the Flemish,  which also have a lot of pears, I have sampled the paste several times and I find it delicious spread on bread. Let us also hope that this will also be available for sale at this year’s Europom.

Europom will be held from Thursday 21st October to Sunday 24th at the Royal Horticultural Society’s Gardens, Wisley, Surrey.

Howard Stringer

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The European legislation allows the sale of only very large or very small packs of the fungicide dithane widely used as a treatment against mildew. This results in very costly spraying for gardeners and a prohibitive cost for the grower with more than a dozen or less than a few thousand vines. Any apparently useful alternative is worth a trial, for it is the case that in the event of having no spraying programme against mildew, the result is inevitably infection and loss of up to the entire crop.

A local commercial wine grower has told me of his success with potassium phosphite as protection against mildew and I have found amateur’  sized (500ml) packs as ‘Uncle Tom’s Rose Tonic’ . It comes recommended by UK Rose Breeders as presumably against black spot. The suggested dosage is 1:100 every ‘week or two’. I intend to spray as if with dithane from bud burst.

The science is that rapidly growing shoots, leaves and fruits suffer deficiencies in phosphorous and potassium and allow the ingress of spores. The delivery of extra phosphorous and potassium are said to be efficacious. I will report my observations at the end of the season.

Alan Rowe

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My fruit trees have sticky little brown balls all over the branches, what are these ? There are also a lot of ants in the trees, I don’t know if they have anything to do with the sticky balls or not.

Lora Williams

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