Thursday, May 14, 2020

Rain, rain, go away

There was a buzzard on top of our power pole the other morning.

Since the first report, I saw one more hummingbird. I suspect the first one was still heading north.
Mrs ERJ's Sweet Pepper plants
Several of my seedling flats became soup. I remedied the situation by poking a hole in the bottom with my pocket knife.

I made a trip to the local greenhouse. His selection was sparse. It wasn't that he didn't have seedlings, it was that they had not been moved to flats. You see, moving seedlings from the high-density germination cells to the flats is high labor and he wasn't allowed to be open.

That might change. Memorial Day is when most people around here put tomatoes into the ground.

"Big Shave's" Garden
Another view
I ran into a fellow gardener yesterday. He is still working AND he puts a lot of time into his garden. He posts pictures on Facebook so friends know when to come over and steal the watermelons.

Belladonna's room had a leak. Careful measurements from the inside. Line up the ladder in appropriate place on the wall and measure in from the soffit (plus two feet to account for the overhang). Dang! A nail sticking up. I looked around and could not find a single shingle. I wonder where I can by a single shingle.

Meanwhile, I fixed it the old fashioned way. I waited for the rain to stop.

I am looking for the "scissors" I use to compress the springs on my body-grip traps. I have three traps that need to be emptied. Does anybody need some burrito meat?

Grafting Chestnuts
I have a sister-in-law who is half Italian and she has a great affinity for chestnuts.

She asked if it was possible to grow chestnuts in the city.

I said "Let's find out."

This is one of the Chinese Chestnuts I used for a rootstock. One of the quirks about grafting chestnuts is that they have grooves where the cambium is not where you expect it. The outside of the twig is circular but there are grooves in the wood. You can see the location of the grooves most clearly at the 5:00, 7:00 O'clock positions.
If both rootstock and scion have the grooves, and you don't line them up...that graft is not going to grow together.

I have had spectacular luck grafting Szego chestnut. Looking more closely at the cross-section, what did I see?

Very shallow grooves! Maybe my spectacular success is not due to skill but due to the fact that the cambium is where I expected it to be. Even when mated up with a twig that has grooves, more than half of the cambium layers will match up.
It would be nice to find Chinese Chestnut seed sources where the young, juvenile twigs were as smooth and as ungrooved as the Szego twigs.


  1. How has your gardening been affected by the Governor's limits on activities?

  2. I've had to deal with a lot of nail pops on shingle roofs. Rather than replace the shingle, I patch. Pull the nail. Use a good roofing cement in a tube (I prefer PL-Premium) to fill the actual hole, then to adhere the punctured shingle to the one below. Cover the top of the hole generously. I've never had one re-offend.


Readers who are willing to comment make this a better blog. Civil dialog is a valuable thing.