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Monday, October 3, 2016

A Sweet Gala Tribute

~Farmers market * Haltom City, TX
photo by suzanne * September 26, 2016

Hello dear readers! Here we are into October, with a few cool breezes gracing our city, and, all is buzzing in anticipation of Halloween! 

Well...don't look so skeptical!!!

Today, we're going to touch lightly on a subject I don't know a whole lot about!  The home where I grew up, in Kansas, had an adjacent lot, and there were 3 apple trees already growing and thriving on this lot when my family moved to the home.  Two of the trees produced green apples (I'm guessing Granny Smith), and one tree produced an apple that would turn red (don't know what it was).  So, I must say, I spent more time eating the apples, than trying to figure out what kind they were, or how to grow them, lol!

Right now, though, I'm going to focus on the Gala apple, which seems to have originated from New Zealand in the 1930's, with an Orchardist by the name of 'Kidd', who crossed the Golden Delicious apple with the Kidd's Orange Red.  This union made the Gala one of the most widely grown apple varieties in the world!  Gala apple is known for its sweet, pleasant, flavor, and, good keeping qualities.  It is said to be suitable to drier, warm climates, and, available year round from northern and southern hemisphere suppliers.  The tree is capable of reaching heights over 20', with a maximum spread of 22'.   And one tree can take over an entire yard if the conditions are right.  Gala was introduced into the United States around 1974, after a plant patent for the cultivar was obtained in October of that year.  This is interesting, as, I figured that we in the US always had Gala apples!!!  
"Gala is aromatic and juicy, great for slicing or sinking your teeth into raw!"
~Southern Living Magazine

Now, if you're about to purchase some Gala apples and, are wondering how old they are, the color is a good indicator.  If the apple is very pale, then it's probably from the new season crop and was picked early.  If the apple is very dark, possibly it has been in cold storage for a while, where it matured, or, was left on the tree longer in order to mature.

Gala apples keep well in cold storage.  Though the season only lasts 9 to 10 months, the Gala can be refrigerated for some months, making them available all year in some of the Australian markets.  In the UK, the season begins in August, and, storage makes the fruit available nearly all year long.

Moving right along!

Here are some useful pruning tips for young apple trees that I will be using myself.

These pruning tips are alphabetical & coincide with the drawing that follows:
A.  Suckers
B.  Stubs or broken branches
C.  Downward-growing branches
D.  Rubbing or criss-crossing branches
E.  Upward or interior branches
F.  Competing leaders
G.  Narrow crotches
H.  Whorls


Well, my gracious readers, we're about to come to a close on our Gala apples program.   I hope this information helps you with any future apples purchases.  And, I'll bet you're ready to devour one of those juicy fruits as we speak!  I can't just yet...I just had some dental work done, and, it's soup for me tonight! 

As I said earlier, "I don't know much at all about raising apple trees".  But I just so happen to have an apple tree in my front yard.  I hope that what I've learned through my research will aid in success of Karo's tree.  So far, so good!

  The story goes like this:
My husband Karo was eating a Gala apple one day, and, a seed fell out with a small root attached.  So Karo, planted it in a tiny pot.  It did start growing, and before long, it was planted in a coffee can.  He really didn't expect much from it, and eventually planted it in a larger pot, where it stayed for a little over a year.  He was so skeptical about the future of this tree, but, I finally convinced him to plant it in our yard.

~Apple tree * April 24, 2014
* photo by Suzanne

~ Apple Tree * September 10, 2016
photo by Suzanne

~Karo's apple tree * October 1, 2016
Scootie and Me * photo by Rusty

It's hard to see in the sun, but, the tree towers way above my head now.  The leaves will drop soon, and, then I will do some pruning as Winter's close nears.


I am dedicating this post to my husband Karo, who passed away in January this year.  I am so proud to watch this tree as it grows, and, I am looking forward to its first blooms.  I have to chuckle about it, because Karo was sure it wouldn't grow to be very large! 
He would be pleasantly surprised!   

* I will keep you informed of this tree's progress as time goes by.

and now, my thanks to:
Southern Living

And, my sincerest thanks to you, dear friends for stopping by to see what's happening at MyTexasGardens!   If you have time, step in and say hello!  I'm always glad to hear from you.

Prayers and best wishes for safety and well-being going out to the folks in the path of Hurricane Matthew.

Take care, love and laugh!  I will see you next time.

Oh...EEK!!!  Really?