Monday, May 25, 2020

Bella got her flowers planted today

Bella went for the "mound" look on this island. Taller flowers in the center and shorter one around the edges. The creamy-yellow snapdragons in the center are a good foil for the scarlet petunias in the next ring.

Bella opted for the "wedge" look on this island. It is farther away from the center of things. She planted taller flowers on the left and them ramped them down to shorter ones on the right.

Bella used a flower I never heard of before: Gazanias. She had some tried-and-true heavy-lifters. She had petunias, marigolds and nicotiana. She also had Gazanias.

It is good to try new things.

I saw something odd while grafting
Apologies for the crappy photo.

This is the stem of a Black Walnut. Is this sapsucker damage? I wonder if it impacts the grain of the wood.

I am down to grafting the last of my Heartnut scion (Thanks Lucky!!!) and my last Shellbark Hickory scion.

Pulling off the bags
It is about time to start pulling the bags off of trees grafted two or three weeks ago. This is an apple I grafted to a seedling I want to take a closer look at. The apple resembles a large, later version of Gala.

Gala is an apple with outstanding flavor but it loses that appeal in storage. It is still a competent apple after two months of storage but it no longer carries the aromatics that give it identity.

I think there is a market for a Gala-type apple that retains those flavors later into the season.

I don't know if this seedling is "the one", but I made a couple of copies of it to reduce the risk losing this genetic combination in the event of the original ortet dying.

Now I need to start making cages of poultry netting or welded wire, otherwise the deer will strip the tender new growth of the trees I grafted.


  1. By "welded wire" do you mean the re-mesh used for concrete? That is what I use. It is miserable to work with and I cut it with an oxy-acetylene torch so there are relatively blunt points. I have a lot of tree cages and tomato cages already, but if I make any more I might build a brush fire on the roll of mesh before I use it to see if annealing it makes it easier to work with. But for all the hassle it works very well for both applications. I make the tree cages larger than I need and adjust the diameter to fit the particular tree and use zip ties to hold the size. ---ken

    1. I have been using light duty 2" by 4" welded wire mesh. I cut the pieces 30 inches long (fifteen squares) which makes a cage with a diameter a tiny bit less than 10".

      We don't have any Bullwinkles or black bears down here. Yet.

    2. I make my tree cages big enough to go around the perimeter of the tree so the deer don't stand up and chew off the ends of the branches. I use three 1/2 inch re-bar posts cut in 7 foot lengths and zip tie it about 8" up off the ground so I can get the weed-eater under it. It's tough enough to hold up when the deer lean on it.

  2. The tree picture does not look like sapsucker damage. How do you attach the ends of your wire to make the cage? Hog rings?


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