Hi folks. I have had great success grafting "wild" bradford / Callery pear trees. Over the last 3 years I have grafted probably about 30 trees and I think there are about 25 or so that have taken off and done great. This is also the first year that I have done some gorilla grafting. I have been using a Bartlett and one other thick skinned unknown variety. I would like to branch out a bit and get some more varieties going. I am particularly interested in getting my hands on some perry (cider) scion wood. I have around 30 more trees on my property that need to be grafted and literally thousands that are growing in fence rows and other unmaintained areas. My first graft put on it's first pear this year so I want to put some more work into this.
I would like to ramp up my grafting for the spring of 2018. Do any of you have any interesting varieties that you would be interested in sending me?
I have never bought scion wood, can someone make some recommendations on where and how to do that?
I should have read this more clearly before I posted. I saw that you are (quite understandably) trying to reduce your time spent weeding. I have two thoughts for you.
The first option is basically free. I am a teacher and as such I kill small forests with all of the paper I go through in a single semester. I used to put all paper in the recycle container, but now I collect it and lay this down as a weed barrier. Usually I cover the paper with straw or leaves but woodchips are a great alternative. This combination kicks weed's buts. They don't even germinate for lack of sunlight and if they did, they would never get through the paper. I find that tests are great for the paper layer as they are 3-4 pages thick and make a substantial barrier. Also, your woodchips would go further as they don't need to be very deep. All they have to do is block a little sunlight and provide enough weight to keep the paper in place. At the end of the season (or beginning depending on your preference), I just collect all the paper and chips and compost them. That paper will break down pretty quickly. Personally, I love this option as I am getting a "re-use/re-purpose" option as opposed to a recycle option. You might very well be able to get free recycled paper from schools just for the asking
The second option is to use a scuffle hoe like the one in the picture. I used to hate weeding (which is why I concocted the tests-as-weed-barrier idea in the first place), but using one of these scuffle hoes is great. I don't want to sound like an advertisement but they make weeding a piece of cake. The hoe is absolutely razor sharp and glides just under the surface of the soil and severs the foliage from the root. Done early enough and repeated occasionally, the weeds just give up. Using this hoe gives me no back pain (and I have a bad back from previous injury) and is actually fun. When I get out in the spring, just as weeds are starting to grow (about 1 inch tall) I go out, slice through the roots and decapitate the little weeds. After a couple of repeats, the weeds just give up. This year, my beds are all nice and clean.
Best of all, you can certainly use both options. Paper & woodchip the bulk of your garden (you don't need a deep layer here, just enough woodchips to hold everything in place) and then slice through weeds along the edge and you are done! After I am done with the paper and woodchips I like to incorporate them into the soil and this is an extra bonus for me as my dense clay needs as much carbon as I can get into it. I have been laying down the paper & woodchips (or leaves, or anything organic) for years and it really helps to keep my garden soil from drying out in the summer. The little bit of hoeing is nothing like the weeding I once did. If you like this idea, I can give you the URL for the hoe, but I am not certain what the Permies.com policy is on publicizing products.
I wish you all the best and hope that I can offer you something of value.
Eric that is great that you can put all that paper to use. This year we have been buying rolls of the brown construction paper from lowes. It is not super cheap but I value my time and laying this is fast and if it keep the weeds at bay for a year or 2 it will be worth it. I have seen those hoes before. I need to see if I can find/make one of those. Thanks for the reminder.
Overall, my biggest wins have come from planting more of the seeds I want (like clover), re-purposing leaves & pine-needles, and to just kind of stop caring about weeds so much. I also use transplants from an indoor (garage) seed starting setup, which I personally believe reduces effort over the long term pretty dramatically. No cold-frame/cover/etc games with protecting young seedlings from frost, central watering during the plant's most tender time, and ease of using gratuitous amounts of mulch. I've also stopped labeling my seedlings (gasp) and I've found that's reduced a ton of effort/tedium on my part. I don't grow that many varieties of the same plant, so it's pretty obvious what's growing by the time it's a few inches high.
Not worrying about weeds is not an option here. Either you take care of it or you loose the garden. Now some of our most aggressive weeds are actually edibles. But they are generally only tasty when they are small in the early spring. We get lambs quarter, black heart and poke. All of them will get head high buy July if nothing is done. They spread and spread. There are at least 3 vines that also will completely shade out a climbing tomato, morning glory passion fruit and one other that I have not identified. The worst offenders are johnson grass and Bermuda grass.
I also add leaves to my garden when I can get them. They tend to blow away if not topped with mulch though.
I know that we have had discussion like this before but I Would like to get some fresh ideas out there.
As we all know an annual garden plot is a never ending battle to keep the unwanted pioneers out and keep our mostly annual plants with the space that they need. The main categories I have kind of lumped everything into include:
My goal is to spend about 2 hours of maintenance per week in the garden. This does not include harvest/preservation time. For the past 5 years or so I have relied almost entirely on bringing in wood chips. I have a deal with a guy on craigslist he has a tree trimming business. When he is close to my work he will let me know and he will chip into my truck on my lunch break. this works pretty well but it is not usually enough to keep the weeds at pay in the garden. Fortunately the city has an organic recycle center that sells rough mulch for $7 a yard. They often have a deal where it will be 2 yards for $7. I have hauled about 10 yards to the garden this spring. I may need a couple more. I think I have about $50 in that so far. When the "weeds" are really bad I will use brown construction paper before I put down the mulch. I will have about $40 in that. I don't usually have to do this much every year but things were getting behind. Oh and this garden is somewhere around 1500 sqft. What are you guys doing to save time and money?
Suzy Krone wrote:These trees came about as a result of the USDA trying to create a fire blight resistant pear tree.
Interesting, my property is infested with them. They grow real aggressive here. 10 per square foot. They are impossible to get rid of. They grow a 5" cork screw tap root before it makes a sprout so when you try to pull it out you just top it and it comes back. It sprouts from stumps and root systems too.
If I could do grafting, that would atlas give me an option. They are hard to deal with, pruning can be painful and dangerous, and if you don't deal with the limbs right away, you basically have sharp thorny limbs you could step on (and I have) lying on the ground.
Oh god do I hate them.
It's amazing how readily they sprout. They sprout in my yard and garden and my fields of course. Atleast privet can be pulled up relatively easily. I'm guessing bradford will be seen as more of an issue pretty soon, since it can displace entire acres and become 99% bradfords with a few native plants struggling inside to out grow them.
My own observations on my land is that Sweetgum, pine, and persimmon seem to grow fast enough to out pace them, so if you can keep them down or in check and let the native trees grow, they should hopefully establish a forrest where the bradford can't take over. Like in the older forests on my land, no bradford or invasive plants. It's only in disturbed cleared areas does this invasive plant stuff become an issue.
I'm so nerdy.
I am not sure where you are at but we have the same issue with them in the ozarks. I grafted a few more this spring and I hope to have the rest done next spring. Now that I have my own source of scion wood I think I will take up some gorilla grafting.
I kept 5 in here and would move it once every 24 hours. I could do 10 moving it 2 times a day. I also think I could scale this up maybe 50% and still keep it easy enough to move with one person. Beyond that it would take some kind tractor to move.
Rebecca Norman wrote:If you've got a place where you don't want anything to grow for a while, you can pile up the walnut sawdust to compost for a year or two. SPrinkle it down to get wet initially, and then regularly pee on it (or bring out containers of pee from the house so your neighbors don't see) to make it compost. It can take a long time for sawdust to break down, though. And the juglone from it being walnut sawdust may persist for a long time, I'm not sure, so you'll probably want to use the resulting compost only on juglone-resistant plants like walnut family and mulberries.
I may try that. I may try some sort of layer technique with high nitrogen fertilizer and some dried molasses.
I did not know that figs and mulberry were immune to that. That is probably where it will end up. What are some things that can mitigate the nitrogen.
As far as using logs instead, I do, do that with my initial plantings. I will have this saw dust so something needs to be done with it. What are ways to mitigate the negative aspects of using saw dust?
The family plans to cut out the comb after the trap out. I am just not comfortable with the liability issues associated with cutting up someone's house. The owners are not comfortable doing it with the bees I am there so that is where I come in.
I am not sure I can get a queen, but I can probably borrow some brood comb from one of my other hives, provided they survive the winter. Is brood or a queen required for a successful trap out?
I was contacted by someone who said they had bees living in a wall of the house. The owner said she wanted them out of there because they were getting in the house and stinging her. I went over there and found bees on one side but on the other side there were yellow jackets. Turns out they are what was getting in the house. So I convinced the owner to allow the bees to remain there until spring. I want to use this time to thoroughly prepare to get the bees out. I was told that the bees have been there for years. Since these are healthy local bees I want to make sure that I do this right.
The house is a basement house and the basement walls stick up about 3 feet above grade. The second level sets on top of the basement wall, but it is about 2 feet wider than the basement, so the floor of the upper level sticks out over the basement about like the soffit of a roof. The bees are coming and going between the basement wall and the soffit/floor.
I think my best option right now is to do a trap out. I have been watching videos of the procedure on youtube and it seems like there is about an 80% failure rate. There are lots of ideas but many of them are terrible, like they guy who tried to make the hive walk through a six foot vacuum hose to get out of the hive… yeah that ended awesome. So what is the best way to do this? It seems like having the screen cone in a hive box would be pretty ideal but I have only seen one of those work correctly. If anyone has any tips or examples I would love to see them. A lot of what I have seen were people trying to get bees out of trees and they had issues with the bees getting around the cone. I think I can seal this area off pretty easily since I am mostly dealing with flat surfaces. I am going to try to use a warre hive that I built last year.
I am interested in doing this. I am wanting to do it inside over the winter and move the starts outside in the spring, hopefully with a healthy see of roots. I think I understand the reasoning behind wild trees but I don't know that a grafted tree is not worth a try. It may do fine. I have access to both so I am going to try.
Alright. I will get everything trimmed up this week. I expected quite vigorous growth but these trees have surpassed my expectations. It is pretty exciting. I am hunting options for scion wood for next spring now. Can some one chime in when would be the best time to Remove the grafting tape and should I leave the wax?
I am looking into planting some muscadine this year because grapes just have to many issues around here. I am looking for varieties that will do well in zone 6 or preferably zone 5. So far all I have found is Sugargate Black and Darlene Grape bopth hardy to zone 6 at EdibleLandscaping.com. Does any one else have any other leads?
Great thanks. I actually would prefer they do not come back true. I have planted to varieties for the past few years, the names now escape me. So I would like to have something a little more acclimatized to my climate. I will plant these and see what happens. Also thinks for telling me what they are actually called. Google is much more helpful now.
I am growing it. I tried 1 plant last year, I started it late and found that it was a heavy feeder. I have added some organic Fertilizer this year and they are super happy. Last year my one decent plant got hit by an intense early frost. I hope to have better luck this year. I don't smoke much, maybe a few times a year but I thought it would be fun to have some that I grew. I also made a pipe from a lightning struck tree on my neighbors property. So this will be a very local experience for me.
I didn't get some of my scapes trimmed off this year and the flowers have produced little garlic cloves in the flower. It is my understanding that this is not seed but, can I plant it? Will it come back true?
Nope, I just pushed it up a bit with the machine while I was making the pond. I got out there and worked the lip by hand so there is some catchment now. We had a pretty decent rain this weekend. It was not enough to get any run off into the pond though. So No I am looking at plan B. The pond sets below the house so I am going to setup a rain catchment device that sets about the pond and run about 250ft of hose to the pond to help it will. I would like to get it at least half filled before our dry season sets in. That could be any day now. I think I will be able to put just over a hundred gallons into the pond with every .25" rain we get.
Anyways as it is now the pond seems to be holding and for every inch we get it seems to rise about 1.5-2".
Patrick Mann wrote:cool - what about settling when the buried wood decays? On the hugelkultur forum, the advice is always not to plant your trees on to a hugelkultur, as it will settle over time.
I think it would be interesting to see how detrimental (if it all) that settling would be to the trees on hugelkultur. In my case there is not enough wood to really make a difference. Most of the wood is to the sides. I leave a clear area straight below for any tap roots. So far 3 and a half years in there has been no noticeable settling.
Kevin Morland wrote:So what's the next step? What are you referencing (books? websites?) so that you know what you are doing?
Hey Kevin, I took my pdc a few years ago and I have have studied for much longer than that. We have been planting trees like crazy and a still have some hand work on the swale and the pond. Later in the summer I am going to put in one more pond on the opposite Hill.
elle sagenev wrote:Can I ask why you decided to raise it so far above ground level? I don't know how much moisture you get there but a pond raised above land height isn't going to get much more water than what lands directly in it. Seems odd to me, but we don't get much rain.
The pond is not above ground level, it is very high in the landscape. I am trying to store the water as high as I can. It can do more work for me that way. It has about twice the ponds surface area of catchment above it. The first few rains we had the pond hat a lip all the way around so it did not catch anything other than its surface area. We got a .1 inch rain since I cleaned it up bat all that just soaked in. We are supposed to get more this weekend. We get about 43 inches a year.