Thursday, August 1, 2013

Greens, bees and roses

The seeds I planted along the road are starting to pop up.  I sowed a mix of chicory, kale and mangels.  My intention is to pick greens and to have this planting become self-sustaining.  The soil ranged from OK to road-gravel.
Seeds germinating on OK soil

Seeds germinating in road-gravel
Just to the east of this planting I have a feral bee hive.  The bee swarm settled into the hollowed out heart of an old utility pole that had been used for a fence end-post.  I almost blasted this post with wasp spray.  I had seen the bees and assumed they were yellow-jackets.  I took a few extra seconds to observe them before annihilating them (probably looking for the best places to blast) and they just did not quite look like yellow jackets.  They were too brown, too fuzzy and did not fly quite the same. 

I later put the bucket over the top of the hollow post to provide winter protection.  The "official" bee hive top was added later.  So far the bees have been totally ignoring the "official" part, preferring the funky old post.  I believe the post is rotted out to below ground level.  There are a few, heavily laden bees that enter to post at ground level.

Video is 28 seconds long. Turn up the sound and appreciate the excitement of living in the country.

I also tied up some rose bushes.

Rosa canina, Dog rose.  This rose is a weirdo because it has 35 chromosomes.  It is a quintiploid.
My preference in roses is toward climbers and species roses that can fend for them selves.  I also like roses that have edible hips.  These roses are also along the road.  I tied them up because they do not have other guild members (like willow or dogwood bushes) to scramble over.

Dortmund rose.  A climber that has good looking hips.  Ties are on the diagonal because positioning shoots upward promotes vigor.  Positioning shoots horizontally promotes branching and fruiting.  Positioning shoots diagonally promotes a balance of both.  This works for fruit trees as well.  Do you have a fruit tree (like a pear) that is shy about coming into bearing?  Bend the branches down closer to horizontal and see if it tips into bearing.


  1. We once had a pear tree that wouldn't bear, and my grandpa went out with a 16D nail and drove it into the trunk, about chest high. I asked him what he was doing. "I'm reminding this tree that it better pull it's weight, or it'll go in the fireplace with the other worthless trees." That summer it almost tore itself down bearing fruit.

  2. Hello Pawpaw:

    Thanks for writing!

    Do you remember if the nails were galvanized.

    I have been told that it is/used to be common practice to drive roofing nails into pecan trees to correct a zinc deficiency.

    A zinc deficiency shows up as "rattlesnake" twigs in pecans where the leaf scars are so close together they overlap.


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