Thursday, April 19, 2018

Starting to feel like springtime

I picked up some sawdust at Love's Sawmill in Springport to stick some cuttings.

Here is a box of it.
Pretty coarse.  I need to add some peat moss for water holding ability.

Today marks the start of grafting season.  This is a Liberty/G.935 that is being flipped over to a different variety.  Mrs ERJ is happy to see me taking sticks out of the refrigerator rather than putting them in.

It is a very crooked tree when the deer cage is removed.  I cut the stem at belt high.  That puts the first flush of branches up above bunny height, even when we have deep snow.  The taller the trunk, the less the yield.
Here is the new variety...aka, Water Closet.
Folks who graft nut trees often put a paper lunch bag over their grafts as shown.  It increases the temperature and decreases the dehydration.  I use paper bags when I am chomping at the bit and cannot wait for the weather to warm up.
I knocked out three trees today: Water Closet, Spigold and NY-65707.  There is a high degree of variation in apple variety vigor.  Spigold, for instance, is extremely vigorous.  It was grafted over a GoldRush/G.935. 

Gloster 69 is a Red Delicious type apple that shines like a jewel when polished.
NY-65707 on the other hand is a feeble grower.  I have a Gloster 69/Bud-118 that I have been torturing by moving it every couple of years.  Bud-118 is a vigorous rootstock.  I should be able to manage NY-65707/G-69/Bud-118 and keep it in its allotted space while that would be almost impossible to do that if I had grafted the Spigold over the G-69/Bud-118.

I also combed out and trimmed some neglected grape vines.


  1. I'm not much of a gardener nor have I ever given thought to starting an orchard. However, I find reading about your exploits in the orchard to be very interesting and I am definitely going to take the time to learn more. Thanks for sharing your hobby with us.