Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Apple Whip and Tongue Graft at 6 Months. 8.24.14

Almost 6 months.  I grafted these about March 1.  The graft is nearly invisible now.  Vigorous, 5 foot tall tree.  Another I did at the same time is about 2 feet tall.  I think the difference is, the taller one was grafted onto a more vigorous shoot.
Apple Whip and Tongue at 6 months

Apple Whip and Tongue Graft at 6 months.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Old Charlie. 8.23.14

Charlie.  8.13.14
He's 13 years old now.  The best friend I ever had.  His eyes are rheumy, and his joints are stiff in the am.  Once in a while he'll fall down for no apparent reason.  He can't handle the heat.  Neither can I.  He breathes heavily with minimal effort.  Even so, he runs up the stairs to greet me, barks at the cat, wags his tale all of the time, rests his chin on the computer keyboard, and stays not more than 5 feet away from me whenever I'm home.  He's comfortable and happy.  I wash his rheumy eyes every day.  His aging breaks my heart.

Garden Harvest. Bud Grafts. 8.23.14

Garden Harvest 8.23.14
Not much chance to garden this weekend.  All work via internet.

But here are the items Ning picked in the kitchen garden, raised beds.

Really nice.  We have a bunch of zucchini already.  I like the yellow supper squash better.

I did remove polyethylene tape from a few of the 3 weeks old bud grafts.  They look pretty good in general.  On some, the buds are hard to see, on others the buds are large and plump.  A couple might not have taken, but most are promising.  Also on the lilac that I budded.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Hollyhocks, Carnations from seeds. Saving Four O'Clock seeds. 8.21.14

Four O'Clock Seeds.  8.21.14

Collecting 4:00 Seeds.  8.21.14
 I collected seeds from the Four O'Clock plants.  They might grow fine from the roots.  I collected seeds just because I can.

They are open pollinated.  There is a good chance they may not come true from seeds.  That's fine with me.

I just lean the seed-containing tips into a labeled envelope and shake.  The ripened seeds fall in with no effort at all.  In fact, moving the plants, lots of seeds fall off.

I labeled the envelopes with the color of the plant I collected from.  Even if they don't come true, If I start them next year that should give me a diversity of types.  I can grow separately from red, yellow, white, yellow marble, and orange marble.

This is about 6 weeks for the carnation seedlings.  I just sprinkled the seeds on top of the potting soil, scratched them in a little, and kept them watered.  I didn't know they would grow so easily.  Soon I need to divide them and pot them up either separately or in much smaller bunches.

The Hollyhocks are ficifolia  "Happy Lights".  I started them about 8 weeks ago.  I have other plants in containers, either Fordham Giant or Carnival Mix, that are almost ready to bloom, from seeds started mid June.  I mixed the varieties so I don't know which one.
Saving 4:00 Seeds for Next Year.  8.21.14

All of these are new to me.  It's great trying new plants.
Carnation Seedlings.  8.21.14

Hollyhock Seedlings.  8.21.14

Fresh Tomatoes. Okra. Pears. 8.21.14

Lemon Boy, Cherokee Purple, SuperSweet 1,000, Sungold, and one I forget.  8.18.14

Burgundy Okra.  Container Grown.  8.21.14
 Now I know you can grow okra in the Pacific NW.  It takes effort, but it can be done.  Like anything else home grown, fresh is best.  The varieties that are working best for me are Burgundy, Dwarf Long Green Pod, and Baby Bubba.  Contrary to a lot of gardening advice, they can be started inside, very early.  They don't mind transplanting at all.  For me, container growing is clearly the best way.  The deck is as good as anywhere.

Nice looking plant, too.

Tomatoes are the best ever for me.  The seeds were left over from previous years.  The Lemon Boy were many years old.  Pee-fertilizing gave me the biggest, lushest, more productive tomato plants I've had.  I did not spritz them - the shine is their own juice.
Pears.  8.21.14
I still lose a lot of pears to spoilage.  But the ones I get before spoiling, I love.  I don't know the variety here, it's a multi-graft I planted 14 years ago.  I think this one is Bartlett.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Sweet Cherry Bud Grafts. Progress Report. 8.13.14

Sweet Cherry Bud Graft @ 17 days.  8.13.14

Sweet Cherry Bud Graft @ 17 days.  8.13.14 
The sweet cherry bud grafts have varying degrees of plumpness.  I think they took for the most part.  There were some hot days, which either stimulated callousing, or stressed them. 

Thinking about a few more lilacs to graft.  And a couple of ornamental flowering cherries.  And.....

Buddleia "Blue Chip" 8.13.14

Buddleia "Blue Chip"  8.13.14

Buddleia "Blue Chip"  8.13.14
Buddleia "Blue Chip" just started blooming.  It's much more compact than the other sterile buddleia.  It's the only one, so  far, that honeybees forage.  Nice shrub.
Buddleia "Blue Chip" 8.13.14

Rose of Sharon 8.13.14

Rose of Sharon Seedling 8.13.14
 This Rose of Sharon seedling continues to grow.  There was minimal deer foraging on this shrub, this year.  That resulted in more bloom.

I think it's a striking flower.  Much nicer than the parent shrub.
Rose of Sharon Seedling  8.13.14

Rose of Sharon seedling parent  8.13.14

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Bearded Iris Bed Maintenance. 8.10.14

Bearded Iris Raised Beds.  8.10.14

Trying not to over-do TLC for the bearded irises.  It's hard for me to just leave them alone, even if I think they might be better off without me puttering around them.

We are at the hottest day of the year, so far.  Around 95 F

I crushed eggshells and scattered them one the soil surface.   The eggshells provide calcium, which is deficient in my soil.  I think they don't raise pH.  I am guessing, lower pH might slow some fungal growth, so no more lime.  Eggshells might provide a little slow-release nitrogen, and if so that's all they get this time.

Removed more weeds.  Removed the last of the multiplier onions, which were a disappointment due to attracting deer or rabbits to eat them.
Bearded Iris Raised Bed.  8.10.14
Filled in some soil low spots with dry mole hill soil.  They were bone dry to a foot deep, so I did water them.  The watering might not be needed, and could be harmful, but it's hard for me to not-water.

Last week I also sprayed them all with a generous spray of Neem oil, following the manufacturer's recommendations of 2-4 tbsp per gallon.  I used 4tbsp per gallon.  My hope is that will keep any fungal diseases in check.

Will try not to mess with them more, unless there is a long dry stretch.  The Neem can be applied every 2-3 weeks, and it might be helpful to do that.

No more plants between iris clumps, except a few Sempervivum, which tolerate dry, heat, neglect, and do not spread much at all.  There is a grape cutting and genetic dwarf peach seedling in one bed, those will come out this fall.

Bud Grafting Lilac for a Bouquet Lilac Bush. 8.10.14

Bud Grafted Lilac Bush.  7.25.14
This is a late entry.  About 2 weeks ago I went around the yard in Vancouver collecting Lilac budwood, then grafted 5 varieties onto this young lilac bush.  This is a single-trunk lilac, so far.  I don't know if it will produce suckers of the original variety.  If it does, so much the better.

This bush has stems about 1/2 inch diameter.  This is a young bush, that had its first 2 flowers this year.  They didn't amount to much, so the grafts could enhance it quite a bit.  The bark slipped nicely. 

I don't know the names of any of these lilacs.  They are white, blue, lilac-color, purple, single, double.  The stock is pink-ish.

Checking today, the buds remain plump and green.  Same method as everything else. 

If they grow, that's great.  If not, at least I tried.

I expect, if the grafts take, it will be new growth next year, and potential flowers in Spring 2016.  Long way away.  But why not try?