Saturday, March 28, 2015

Puttering. 3.28.15

Main orchard.  3.28.15

Jonagold with multigrafts from Fedco.  3.28.15
 Most plants are out of dormancy or nearly so.

Plums are basically finished blooming.  Unable to see if and how much fruit set has happened.  All Asian plums are done.  Toka finished just after Asian plums.  Euro plums, Green gage is almost done, and Stanley is still blooming.  Stanley is the last to bloom.

Sweet cherries are in about full bloom.

Tart cherries barely beginning to bloom.  They really are later than sweet cherries, which is good for late frost avoidance.

Too early to say anything about the apple and plum grafts.  I look at them every day.

Pawpaw flower buds are swelling, Sunflower and NC-1.  I check those every day too.

Persimmons are growing, even Yates that I planted this January.  I often read that they may take until mid or late summer to grow, their first year.  Mine are budding out at the same time as mulberries.  Nikita's Gift and Saijo both have swelling buds, almost open.

The Mishirasu Asian pear graft, that I grafted last year and was eaten off twice by deer, is growing nicely.  The tree is fenced with a deer cage now.  Other grafts on that tree - 3 are have their first flower clusters.  It's been raining during bloom.  Too early to know if there is fruit set.  I should get the first Shinseiki on the Battleground tree this year - 2 year old cleft graft - and the first Hosui, the tree that I planted in 2012 and grafted others onto it since then.

Plum whip and tongue graft.  Ember.  3.28.15

NC-1 Pawpaw flower buds, swelling.  3.28.15
 Grapes are budding out and starting to grow.

Apples nearly blooming.

Prairie fire crab apple, almost blooming.  There are a couple of flowers, so this is among the first of apples to bloom.

Mishirasu growing despite deer browsing.  3.28.15

Yates Persimmon buds swelling.  3.28.15

Fig Progress Report. 3.28.15

Brunswick Fig Brebas.  3.28.15
Update on Battleground fig trees.

Brunswick - This was a ~11 year old tree grown from local cutting, moved to the Battleground place 3 1/2 years ago.  Last year there was about 6 inches of new growth.  I am not encouraging a lot of growth, because I want it to have strong, durable, fully lignified branches before start of winter.  This is the most breba it's had since moving it, and maybe before that.  This tree usually drops its brebas.  Wait and see.

Newer fig trees -

Atreano survived its second winter.  The first winter it was killed to ground, and regrew.  This tree is considered more cold hardy than some others.  Now I can consider it well established.

Petite aubique - looks dead.  I give up.  Replace with one of the container trees.  I'm thinking, Dominick.   Maybe the other Atreano.

Tiger.  Survived and growing.  This one was covered with trash can for the winter.

Carini.  Survived and growing.  Also covered.

Sal's.  Unsheltered.  Survived and growing.  Has grown slowly, but minimal die back each winter.

Planted in-ground late winter, after sheltering in shed:  King, Lattarula, Hardy Chicago, Dominick.  All growing.

Anxious for them to get bigger.  I did pee-cycle limited amount, twice, in the fig tree row.  Need to be careful not to overdo it, don't want growth that is rank and not able to survive next winter.

Container fig trees - all starting to grow.  Champagne has lots of brebas, Tiger has a few too.

The good thing - almost all survived winter, and growing.  The sole casualties, in-ground:  Champagne (unsheltered), Petite aubique (sheltered) and Smith (sheltered)

T-bud Grafting Update. 3.18.15

Apricot T-bud 1st leaf.  3.28.15

Hollywood T-bud 1st leaf.  3.28.15
Rainier Cherry T-bud 1st Leaf.  3.28.15
 These are some of the T-bud grafts that I did last summer.  All of the plums took.  Of the cherries, only 1 took.  I think that was Ranier, that is on Almaden Duke.  None of the tart cherries took.

It's an interesting process.  These are grafted in summer, June, July, August.  With a couple of exceptions, the buds remain dormant until the following Spring, which is now. 

I pruned off the stem distal / above the grafts, about an inch above.  Now they have no competition and should grow vigorously.

I did not label some of the well.  All of the red leaf are Hollywood, and most of the green leaf are Shiro. 

Since these have been on the trees for about 9 months, if they are growing, that must mean they are solidly grafted now.

I hope to do more T-budding this coming summer.  Maybe, for the ones that did not take, I did not do them tight enough, or took off the wrapping too soon.  I'm very excited that many did take, and it gives me a sense of wonder.

Shiro T-bud 1st Leaf.  3.28.15

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Fruit Tree Blooming. 3.22.15

Unknown - Green Gage? - Plum in bloom.   3.22.15
In Vancouver fruit trees that have finished blooming. 
Shiro and Hollywood Plums.   Genetic Dwarf Peaches.
Fruit trees starting to bloom.  Sweet Cherries.

In Battleground, fruit trees that have finished blooming.
Older unknown Asian Plum.
Young unknown Asian Plum
 Crimson Pointe cerasifera plum.
All peaches almost done.  Indian Free is the last.
At its peak:   Toka plum
Starting to bloom.
Asian pears.
Sweet cherries.

Most apples have visible flower buds but not near opening yet.
Pawpaw buds starting to swell.
Shan Zha.  flower buds are visible.
Tart cherries.  flower buds are visible.

Growth buds are swelling on all 3 persimmons, but not near open leaves yet.

Pourin rain for next few days.  That could impact pollination.

Battery is dead.  Will need to finish in 2 days.

Add caption

Toka Plum in Bloom.  3.22.15

Hosui Asian Pear.  3.22.15

Unknown Asian Pear.  3.22.15

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Even More Grafting. 3.21.15

Fedco Scion Wood.  3.21.15

Jonared Apple with 5 other varieties now grafted.  3.21.15
I did the rest of the grafting at the Battleground place. 

Most of the scion looked good to me.  One - South Dakota - looked dead and a little mildewed, so I did not try.  One was a hybrid of McIntosh, which I did not want, so I did not try that one either.  Thought went into each choice.  No reason to grow one that I didn't choose, no idea about disease resistance, flavor, or other characteristics.

Jonared now has grafts of 5 varieties - Priscilla, Granite Beauty, Keepsake, Redfield, Porter. 

The unknown plum now has grafts of Ember, La Crescent, and Hanska.   There are 2 each of La Crescent and Hanska, making 2 4-inch scion from each 8-inch.  That plum already has grafts from Hollywood, Shiro, apricot seedling, and possibly, Toka.

 I also used left over 4-inch scion from the grafts made earlier from Ember and the Redfield apple.

Some sources list Hanska as a Plumcot.  Makes sense given its ancestry.  It might be a better choice than California - bred Pluots, which are also plum / apricot hybrids.

My prior listing and description of these apples and plums is here.

This time I did the initial wrap with polyethylene tape.  Then I thought, maybe that doesn't seal well enough, so over-wrapped with parafilm.

I also discovered that I can keep a jar candle burning, and dip the top end of each scion in melted candle wax, before grafting.  That seals them without the problem of potentially dislodging the graft while over-wrapping with parafilm.  It's also easily available, does not have to be specially bought.  I dipped a couple of times, each quickly, for a good seal.

More Grafting. 3.21.15
Image of Ember Plum from Starks.

Ember Plum Scion.  3.21.15
 More grafting.  The plum rootstock is Hollywood Plum grown from cuttings last year.  Hollywood is a hybrid of Prunus cerasifera, which I think makes it a variation of Myrobalan which is used for rootstocks.  I didn't know what to do with the plum saplings so no waste if it doesn't take.

Ember Plum is one of the scions from Fedco, arrived Thursday.  I kept in fridge in plastic with wet paper towel, just 2 days.  The scion looks healthy.

Some photos were too blurry to use.  I did whip and tongue, but the photo that showed the whip and tongue together was too blurry.

Wrapped in Parafilm.  It's more awkward than polyethylene, still not sure what I think about using parafilm.  At the top of the scion, I melted the parafilm using a match.

I don't know if I have the finesse to do whip/tongue on plums which are more delicate than apple and pear.   If it doesn't take, it's my fault, not the scion which looks healthy and viable.

The rootstock Hollywood plum has grown about 1 to 2 inches of new growth, with healthy leaves.  I don't know how that will affect take of graft.  Impression is it is OK for rootstock to be growing, but scion needs to be dormant.

Matching size of scion and stock.  3.21.15

Diagonal cuts.  3.21.15
Fedco gives description of Ember as "(Prunus salicina Shiro x P. americana South Dakota #33) U Minn, 1936. Medium-sized roundish-conic slightly pointed mostly red-blushed fruit with a medium bloom. Rich yellow juicy sweet flesh is very firm and meaty but tender. Recommended for cooking and fresh eating. Tastes and looks like an apricot."  Since I have so much trouble growing apricots, maybe this will work better.  Stark's image of Ember does not look like apricot to me.
Final Graft.  3.21.15

Redfield Apple Scion.  3.21.15

Redfield Whip and Tongue.  3.21.15
 The Redfield apple is a red-leaf variety that is red and white inside the apple.  The young wood inside the scion is also colored with streaks of red.  The flowers are pink and the leaves appear to have reddish color as well.  Japanese link. gives Redfield as "Parentage: Wolf River x malus pumila niedzwetzkyana Originates from: United States Introduced: 1938 Developed by: New York State Agricultural Experiment Station, NY " and states not for fresh eating, juice is red.  Might be good for apple sauce and pies.  Other sites state Redfield is good for cider and jelly.

This went onto a scion that I forgot to label, has good roots and starting to grow at the top.

I think this rootstock was from the old Yellow Delicious semidwarf but could have been a minidwarf from removal of prior suckers from Jonagold.  Either is OK.  A little better scion/stock match compared to the last grafting attempt.

I wasn't sure if the parafilm was tight enough, so added rubber band.  Obviously I'm still no expert.

Final Redfield Apple Graft.  3.21.15

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Indoor plants. Propagating geraniums. 3.14.15

Yellow clivia.  3.14.15

Crassula argenta 14 years old.  3.14.15
 Ning discovered that his clivias are blooming.  This one was grown from seed, from a plant that was grown from seed.  At the time that was sold as "Sahin's yellow" but this being next generation, the variety name may not apply.  Clivias like storage dry and cool for the winter, until they send up flowers.

I repotted the Crassula argenta.  This one  is 14 years old.  It likes the conservatory - like environment of the sunroom.
Geranium scraps for cuttings.  3.14.15

Geranium cuttings in water.  3.14.15
I picked up some geranium scraps from the overwintered plants that I cleaned up last week, pruned of torn or dead parts, and placed them in water.  That often works.  If it does not work, they are free so nothing lost.  Several of my geranium plants were started that way.  The water should be changed every few days, and the plants potted when there are a few roots growing.

Apple Grafting. 3.14Not a p.15

Materials for grafting.  3.14.15

First cut, with pruners, to approximate size.  3.14.15
 For Pi day- 3.14.15 -  I grafted a little apple tree.  To begin life for a pie. 

This scion came from an aged apple tree that hangs over my back fence.  I do not know the variety.  It must be 55 years old - it looks it.  Maybe older. The tree gets no pruning, no spray, and no thinning.  As a result, the apples are lumpy and small and wormy.  The few that escape that fate are tasty.  It may be a while before the Fedco scion arrives - if ever.  I have one M27 - minidwarf - rootstock left over from last year, so decided to construct a new little tree, from scion, taken from a branch, from that apple tree.  Once in my hands, it will be pruned, and apples will be pampered, so maybe will be bigger, and not lumpy or wormy.  That is the plan.

This time, instead of polyethylene strips, I used parafilm.  It's easy to buy through Amazon.  I don't know that parafilm is any better than polyethylene.  If no strips are available, it's easy to cut strips from plastic food bags, which is free and recycled and easy.

Parafilm does make a good air-tight-looking seal.  I don't know if it stretches quite as tight.  Maybe.

The rootstock was larger diameter than the scion.  As long as the cambium matches on one side, the graft should take, and fill in the other side.  Apple grafts are pretty forgiving.
Second cut, with knife, for whip matching.  3.14.15

Cutting the tongue.  3.14.15
Fitting the graft together.  3.14.15
 Forgot to use macro setting for first few photos.  The rest are more clear.

I tightened the parafilm so the bent cut edges matched.  I did not draw out a long tail on the ends this time.  Last year when I did that, they curled away from the graft and needed to be cut off.  The church window that remains will fill in, on its own.
On one side due to size mis-match.  3.14.15

It's OK if it doesn't take.  Prior experience tells me it might.

Meanwhile, the whip-and-tongue grafts I did on one-year-old columnar trees a couple of weeks ago, have swelling terminal buds.  That's better than dead terminal buds.   If they take, the bottom branches will have red apples, the next ones up will have yellow apples.  If next year is good, a third tier of another red could be added.  That would make for a couple of unusual trees.
Wrapped with parafilm.  3.14.15

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Bloom Time. Oregon Curl Free Peach. 3.10.15

Bloom Time for Oregon Curl Free Peach.  3.10.15
Last night aspirated the oral chemo.  Rough.  One day at a time.  This is Oregon Curl Free peach in bloom.  It's interesting to compare to the genetic dwarf peaches, which have larger, more vivid pink flowers, packed close together.  I don't know if these will bear this year.  They are reported not to need a pollinizer, but I did use the paintbrush yesterday to transfer pollen from genetic dwarf varieties to these flowers.

Can't go to Battleground today, but the photos are good for me to muse over. 

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Forsythia in bloom. 3.10.15

Forsythia.  3.10.15

Buds. Pollinating. Bud Grafts. 3.10.15

Crimson Pointe Plum.  3.10.15

Peach and Plum flowers for pollinating.  3.10.15
 Many of the plums and peaches are in full bloom.

Unkown Battleground plum.  Mid to late bloom.

Unknown #2.  Scattered bloom.

Crimson Pointe Plum.  Full bloom.

Toka.  Early, almost full bloom.

Oregon Curl Free Peach - Early, almost full.

Charlotte Peach - Early, almost full.

Q-1-8 Peach - Early.

Hollywood Plum.  Full bloom.

Shiro Plum.  Full bloom.

Methly Plum.  Only 3 flowers on the tree.

Genetic Dwarf Peaches.  All full bloom.

Stanley Plum.  Buds eginning to swell.

Gage Plum.  Buds beginning to swell.

Sweet cherries.  Buds beginning to swell.

Tart cherries.  Barely noticable swelling.

Apples.  Buds swelling.

Asian Pears.  Buds swelling.

Pawpaws.  Buds beginning to swell.

Persimmons.  Barely detectable growth bud swelling.

Mulberries.  No noticable swelling.

Shan Zha (Chinese Haw) - see photo.  I don't know if these are flower buds or new growth.

Shan Zha buds, almost open.  3.10.15
I cut stems from the genetic dwarf peaches, Hollywood and Shiro plums, to take to Battleground as pollen sources.  I used artist paintbrush to transfer pollen from those to peaches and plum flowers.

Many of the bud grafts from July 2014 are opened and growing.  They are a bit less vigorous compared to other buds on those trees.  I cut back the stems to about 1/2 to 1 inch above the growing buds.  It's a long wait, from July to March, to see if they took.

It's interesting that some of the bud grafts are blooming, such as the Hollywood, pink, buds on the unknown, white flowered plum tree.   I noticed several such buds bloomed.  I think it's OK, the stem growth will follow.

New sign for the yard - Washington State Backyard Wildlife Sanctuary.  I had to fill out an application form describing the places in the yard where wildlife can find shelter, the trees, potential pollen and nectar sources for bees and butterflies, no-spray area, some native plants although by no means all.  Now signs up on both parts of the yard.

Hollywood buds on unknown variety of plum.  3.10.15
Toka plum in bloom.  3.10.15
 On bud grafts - it looks like plums did the best.  The couple I did on peach tree did not take.  Only 2 of about 8 on lilac took.  On cherries, hard to say because not all buds are swelling.  Some have fallen off.  I think all of the plum buds took.  Some are growing, some have flowers.
Backyard Wildlife Sanctuary

Sunday, March 08, 2015

Starting up overwintered plants. 3.8.15

Overwintered geraniums - dry.   3.8.15

Geraniums cleaned up.  3.8.15
 I took the planter box of geraniums, out of the garage.  These were overwintered without water since about early November.  There is some lanky growth. 

I pruned off the dead leaves and some of the lanky stems.  Watered.  It's now on the deck next to the house.  They should make a comeback in a dew weeks.

Meanwhile, the geraniums I overwintered in the sunroom bloomed for most of the winter. 

The advantages of overwintering geraniums are:
*After the first purchase, subsequent years are free.
*There are usually some stems for cuttings.   Geraniums are easy to start cuttings in a glass of water.
*The resultant plants are much bigger than bedding plants at the big box store.  They can be a sizable shrub in a few years.  Very colorful.

The disadvantages:
*They don't look good, for a few weeks.
*Sometimes they don't survive.  But they usually do.
*You need a place that is dry and frost free to store them dry.  Or, a sunny place to keep them growing.
Geraniums overwintered in sunroom.  3.8.15

Saturday, March 07, 2015

Joe Pye Weed. Start from seeds. 3.5.15

Joe Pye Weeds to stratify.  3.5.15
I read that Joe Pye Weed seeds need to be stratified.  I bought the seeds via mail order.  This plant is considered an excellent bee and butterfly plant.  I placed the seeds on damp paper towel, in zip-lock bag.  They should be in fridge for 2 or 3 weeks, then planted.  I have a few left.  If there is a chance, I can plant those outside.

Spring Tree Blossoms, Puttering. Container Fruit Trees. 3.7.15

Bonanza Peach in bloom.  3.7.15

Honeybees enjoying a sunny spring day.   3.7.15
 Today was sunny and warm.  Last week there was frost almost every night, but low was about 29F.   I don't think that is low enough to kill the plum flowers and peach flowers.

The Italian honeybees have been actively foraging.  I have not yet painted the Warre hive.  Need to do that soon.

The forsythia was grown from a cutting, then I moved the large bush to the Battleground place 2 1/2 years ago.  Nice display.

The Crimson Pointe Plum is columnar shape.  It makes a nice early showing of the flowers.  The fruits are good, small, but last year there were none.  The lowest branches were eaten by deer, but they don't browse about about 4 to 5 feet.

The Hollywood plum starts are growing.  The laburnum has not started growing yet, and the Forsythia is still blooming.
Forsythia.  3.7.15

Crimson Pointe Plum.  3.7.15

Trees and shrubs from cuttings, 1-2 years old.  3.7.15
Potted trees.  3.7.15
The potted trees were the new apricot variety, "Pixicot", listed as genetic dwarf.  I potted this tree, intending to grow in container and keep inside if blooms occur during frost days.  The Arbequina olive has flower buds.  I potted it up to a 2-gallon container.  The plan for the olive, is to spend winter in the sunroom and summer outside.