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The First Lubera UK Facebook Live Show

Markus broadcast the first English Lubera live Facebook show from his garden in Switzerland on Tuesday, in ‘SwEnglish’ (Swiss English). This is a quick recap of the topics Markus covered in the show, with links to the plant varieties that he mentions. 

At the beginning of the show, Markus mentions last week’s ‘deal of the week’, which was for a lemon and lime duo. (Check the Lubera UK home page for the current deal.)

The best citrus plant for beginners is a lemon, and Markus feels that the Four Seasons variety is the most interesting, because it has, buds, fruits and flowers at the same time.

Its perfect pairing is with the Mexican lime, the quintessential lime for drinks, and the original ‘Key Lime’.

Then Markus talks about pollination of citrus plants, which is an interesting topic. Citrus plants can be pollinated by themselves, or by different varieties, and they can also dispense with pollination and reproduce via apomixis (asexual reproduction). And they can do this thing called polyembronywhere they produce seedlings that are clones of the parent plant.  Of course, if you plant a citrus pip then it will take 7-15 years for it to fruit, as citrus plants have a long juvenile period. So the advantage of buying plants is that you get your fruit quicker!

Moving on to figs, Markus explains that Lubera varieties are selected for their hardiness, as well as fruitfulness. Winters in the Swiss Alps are more extreme, and variable, than they are here in the UK, so growing Lubera figs here should be a doddle.

Morena is a very fruitful plant, and a good choice for growing in a pot on the patio or a balcony. It produces fruits early, in its first or second year, but it needs a little bit of winter protection when it’s young.

Perretta grows more quickly, and so is hardier. It grows fewer fruits, but they are much larger, and very juicy. It’s a good choice for planting out in the garden. It will need winter protection for 2-3 years, but once it is mature it is winter hardy.

TwoTimer isn’t a variety with dubious morals, but it has the unusual ability - for a fig that’s happy in a northern climate - that it can fruit twice in one season. Most northern figs ripen fruits on year-old wood, in August. TwoTimer does that, but then it also ripens fruits on new wood, in September or October. It’s also one of the hardiest fig varieties.

Moving on to a very English topic, Markus explains his love of gooseberry jam. Then he explains why he decided to breed new, improved vodka varieties - a story which involves a research trip to the Ukraine, and lots of vodka! The result is new Lubera gooseberry varieties that are perfect for eating straight off the bush, and also have a higher resistance against mildew.

Golding is a yellow variety with very big fruit that are sweet very juicy. It’s also very productive.

Darling has smaller, red fruits, but Markus thinks it’s the best variety he’s ever bred for flavour.

 

And you may think that Potentillas  are just ornmental plants, but in the last segment of the show Markus explains that they are being used to breed varieties of strawberries with pink and red flowers. He mentions Miss Willmott, which has pink blooms with a darker centre.

'Swiss Red' is a Lubera variety with acceptable fruit quality and dark red blooms. But watch this space! Lubera is breeding new varieties, which should be available in 2 or 3 years, with blooms in different shades of pink and red, with the ornamental darker centres, and better fruit quality.

 

That’s all for this episode, but tune in to the second show on Tuesday at 6pm (BST), live on Facebook. Markus likes questions, so don’t be afraid to ask them!

Until then - HAPPY BIRTHDAY MARKUS!

Emma Cooper

 

 
 
 
 

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