Sunday, September 11, 2022

Made-in-China and task list for orchard and hedge

It is going to be a late night for this boy.

I got a late start on canning tomatoes. The second batch of seven quarts is in the hot-water bath but not-yet-boiling.

Mrs ERJ is biting her tongue. The Made in China canning lids are not performing up to expectation. Or, more accurately, they are performing exactly as Mrs ERJ expected. Mrs ERJ's mother hails from Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana and she raised her daughters right. Saying "I told you so" is beneath them. But I can tell she is tempted. Very, very tempted

The lids are buckling under the outward pressure. Maybe I am tightening the rings too much and the jars cannot burp out the expanding air? Then, subsequent sealing is...questionable.

Another issue is that the paint on the inside of the lid is scraped on about 1/3 of them, almost as if they were packaging them before the paint had fully cured. Tomatoes being an acid fruit will pick up metallic tastes if exposed to metal.

Sigh! "Yes dear, you were right. Again."

Work list

Pawpaw advised me to record things on the blog that I wanted to reference later. Like most of his advise, it is worth heeding.

  • Remove north row of grapevines in orchard. Too crowded.
  • Graft 2 Novaspy over to Liberty. Late to T-bud but it costs nothing to try.
  • Prune quince below fireblight strikes and immediately burn prunings
  • Cull Swenson Red grapes out of south row and layer Steuben, Monastery Muscat and Mystery Seedless to fill spaces.
  • Move a Prunus americana sucker to fill spot where Belle de Boskoop tree died.
  • Collect Lehman's Delight and H-120 persimmon seeds to plant along west edge of property where lower limbs of apple trees are dying.
  • Stick cuttings of Salix purpurea in south end of fedge after leaves fall off. 2' centers?
  • Collect Dortmund rose hips and seed into north end of fedge. Rosa palustris hips for the south end of the fedge.
  • Collect viburnum seeds from ornamental planting on M-99 in Ingham County.
  • Collect Crataegus fruit from specimen on west side of Broadbent to seed into fedge.
  • I even found a fruiting pawpaw on the property. Gotta figure out where to sprinkle the seeds for most effect.

One of the things both Mrs ERJ and I noticed is that many of the little, fiddly things I do are actually work.

For instance, I am always stopping to snip a vine that has aspirations of climbing into a fruit tree and taking it over or bending over to pull a weed here-or-there. We are not talking marathon sessions, but every snip-in-time saves nine.

The best fertilizer really is the sound of the owner's footsteps.


  1. And the Chinese are laughing their asses off at us.... giving them all our money and buying the garbage they send over.

  2. You might have the sealing rings too tight....The lids will seal even if the rings are just finger tight.

  3. I read the comments on Amazon when I was looking for canning lids. Many of them reported the same problems you noted. I refuse to buy lids from China based on the poor performance.
    In good news, local Walmarts have had Ball lids and Golden Harvest (same owner Newell Foods) for the last year. I’ve been buying some every time I got out.
    Southern NH

  4. Please do let us know how the paw paw germination goes. I’ve not had any luck in my property. I’ve been told the soil might not be wet enough.

  5. How do you keep weeds down in you orchard and what are your thoughts about using round up near young fruit trees?

  6. eastern ohio what crataegus would you recommend for here?
    hoping for thornless
    pawpaws require soil additive to grow cannot remember name but it is an acid can buy from nursery

    1. Paw paws do not need any special soil additive, they are not an acid loving plant. They do best in a rich soil, not a dry sandy soil.

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  8. Little bits of 'work' make for less work overall, and not having to force things when a big project comes up.


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