Cody Gillespie

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since Oct 12, 2016
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Recent posts by Cody Gillespie

Well i can give my opinion and comments for you guys.   Ive noticed my trees have a growth spurt in the spring and another in the fall.  That is what you guys are noticing too im sure, they like the cooler weather and slow down a bit in the heat of summer.  I would not have had them in pots at all, the root systems on trees are massive, a pot will always crowd a trees roots.  Ive seen 2-3' of root growth on some of my first year trees, pots just cant facilitate this.   I just stick them out in the field right where they are going to stay ideally and have gotten about 3-4' of new top growth in the first year on a lot of them.  I would definatly get them in the ground before winter.  A good number of trees i had in pots died overwinter, trees in the ground do great.  Trees are ment to be in the ground, a pot is a very unnatural thing, nature figured all this out long before we came up with all our "great ideas".  I would suggest providing vole protection however, such as 1/4" hardware cloth around the base.  Also deer protection if you might have that issue until they get above browse height.  Plant them right after the summer heat is gone, just about now actually.  That will give them time to start getting established there before winter, water and amend soil as needed, yes i would throw a new batch of compost on top after planting.  The wood stub left from the scion you could cut off if its dead or in the way, up to you.  I might cut it off so it heals over smoothly there, but in the long run it might not make much difference either way. 
6 months ago
As far as im aware, a good part of rural US does not have codes.  But you usually have to be a good ways out of any big cities.  Im currently building super efficient house in rural missouri, Im not extremely far out of town but i have no building codes here, however we do have septic codes, but i can take the test and still do the work myself(although it would have been much cheaper and easier to not have to deal with it).  Most of the state doesnt have any codes, just near the cities.  I suspect much of the US is like this. 

If your just going to up and move anywhere, i would reevaluate the search to first prioritize the following: local resources, planting/grazing land, climate, rainfall, scenery, location to other things, local community, do you like the area, can you find work there, etc.

Then find some areas that have what your looking for and start searching on the internet.  The codes, or lack of, vary county by county within the state.  So you will search for that county on the net to see if they have building or septic codes, it might require calling some county department to find out but you will figure it out.  If they have codes, just look up the next county over and so on until you find what your looking for. 

Searching online is great, but it cant show you everything.  If you find something you think you like, take some personal time to physicaly go out in that area and check it out first.  Stay out there a while and ask yourself if this place is honestly right for you.  You can only find that out by actually being there.  You will probably find better land deals just talking to the locals anyways.  I almost moved out to arizona wanting to do the same thing.  After spending some time down there it became obvious that it was not for me, happy to be back in good old missouri and glad i didnt build down in az. 
9 months ago
I believe a good one for sorghum sudan grass would be a plant called sunn hemp.  Its gaining popularity as a warm season n fixer that is fast growing and tall.  Check it out.  I believe greencoverseed carries it, im sure you can find it at other places as well.

10 months ago
Wow you got year old scion to take, even at 10% that sounds like you did good for being that old.  Yes the diameters are very important if you want to get the best contact.  Even with the correct diameters however, it is difficult to make the cuts perfect ovals that match eachother perfectly exact.    But that is ok, just get them pretty close.  Also remember to start the tongue just above the center of the oval, I start mine just above the tree core.  If you put the tongue in the middle they wont slide together snug at the correct location. Lock your thumbs together when you cut the tongues  so you dont cut yourself because that cut goes with the grain of the wood and once it starts it just lets go really easy and down comes your blade right into your hand.  It has put many grafters in the hospital so lock those thumbs.  I think if you take your time, and use fresh scion, you will have a much better experience this year.  Dont let last years attempt scare you, that old wood was probably the main problem.  Apples really are pretty easy to graft.  Sounds like you mentally have it figured out what needs to be done, im sure you will do great this year. 

As far as the root stock goes, i would probably take them out of the bag they are in and stick the roots in some moist peat and put them in the shade somewhere cool, in the garage or something like this.  They will be fine.  No need to stress over it if your going to be working them soon.  Worst that can happen is that they start leafing out, and even then you can still graft on them just fine.  I was just field grafting today on some rootstock that are starting to leaf out.  I remember stressing over that same issue when i started, most of the grafting information sources dont explain a lot of the details like this and leave you believing that everything must remain perfectly dormant and sterile in some highly controlled lab environment. 

Here is some other guy grafting in the field just like i was doing today, notice the rootstock has broke dormancy.
10 months ago
hi Bill,
Im not sure what the minimum percent of contact should be.  I think i would shoot for at least 50% or more.  I find that if the grafts are on small diameter wood, say 1/4" diameter or less, than it is ok if the cut gets a bow across the length of it, as long as the surfaces are very flat from side to side than the bow is ok.  This is ok because the small diameter wood is very flexible.  Simply use the parafilm as your wrapping it to wrap it very tightly, causing the wood to flex and it will take out the bow and the flat surfaces will then be in contact under that pressure of the parafilm.  This trick doesnt work on the thicker grafts however because the wood is too stiff.  Again the surfaces have to be flat and to do that there are a few things that help.  An extremely sharp knife, I use a fresh razor blade.  Get good lighting so you can really see what you are doing and take your time to train your eye to what flat actually looks like, if you look really close you may notice humps or cuts off to one side.  Keep whittling until its flat, the more you do the easier it is to see it quickly.  From what your describing about the low contact of your grafts, i suspect you need to take more time working on getting the cuts flat.  The good grafters that do it every day can make their cuts with one cut.  Not me, i got to whittle to get it right, but i know what it looks like when its flat.  Hope that helps, good luck with the grafts.

10 months ago
Doing that type of fence is much too expensive imho.  There are cheaper ways to accomplish the same thing.  Here is what works for me in missouri and we have tons of deer:


High tensile electric fence- 4 or 5 wire 4 or 5' tall will keep in all your livestock except the chickens/birds but that can be fixed with electric moveable poultry netting if your really worried about them.  I could fence 20 acres for about $1000 with this and it is MUCH easier to install than a woven wire fence.  Space the line posts way out, mine are 40-50' where it is flat enough.  You just need to keep the wire off the ground, you dont have to stretch it tight at all.  It is not a physical barrier fence, NOTHING even touches the fence once they know what it is.  Metal t posts with plastic insulators work just fine for all the line posts and are cheap provided you space them out good.  I would guess you would be in about $1000-$1500 for your 7 acres with a good fence charger( i recommend a parmak brand with the voltage display in the front).  Set up a physical barrier fence corral area with a couple hot strands inside to train your animals to the electric so they cant escape when they get hit the first couple times(make it a fairly large area because animals tend to freak out in small confined spaces).  Then your good to let them roam once they figure it out.  You do have to maintain a clear fence line though(which you should be doing with any type of fence anyways)


Livestock guardian dog-  The first year i planted my apples in the field, every single tree got eaten by the deer.  After i got my Pyrenees, no more deer even come into the field.  Deer can jump over the fence, but they wont if there is a dog in there.  Your 8' tall fence isnt going to keep out coons.  The dog will constantly work to keep all predators off the land.  And the high tensile fence works great for keeping the dog in( dog has to be trained to fence just like the livestock).  Just watch the gates as these are the places the dog will crawl under, not the fence.  I had to make a lot of my gates hot too to keep the dog in them.  I would expect to pay around $200 for the dog and should be able to feed him on $20/ month on the cheap dog food.  You may have to fence off your gardens to keep the dog out  but that is easy as he will respect a single strand of electric just like a cow. 

This solution is under $2000.  A fraction of the cost of what you are thinking about doing.  Dont let anyone tell you high tensile dosent work.  I got a buddy with a goat farm that uses this fence and that says a lot if you know goats.
11 months ago
I almost forgot, i did a video of last years grafting you may be interested in just to get an idea of what to expect as far as size and such.  Its kind of long but there is a fair amount of grafting shown in it and planting them.

1 year ago
Im not sure if those rootstocks are more troublesome than standard rootstock, which is what im use to grafting, but it seems to me your over thinking this.  From my experience apples are extremely easy to graft with very high success rates.  What i do is start grafting in mid march through mid april(in mid missouri)  and plant them right in the ground outside, either in its final position or in a nursery bed for a year.  No need to worry about a healing period they callus up just fine.  I have done hundreds of them that way and almost every graft has been successful.  You could just put the pots out in your back yard and be fine but i would do it when spring is just starting when things are starting to green up outside but its still cool.  Another option would be to bury the pots up to to top and plant in that.  The earth will keep the pot more stable with moisture and temperature and you would still have your pot for easier transplant next season, if thats what your doing. 

As for height of graft, that will depend on your scionwood size and rootstock size.  I graft anywhere from the bottom few inches of the rootstock all the way to the top of the rootstock maybe a foot or more up.  You never know what size scion your going to get and its very important to match diameters in the graft union, so you just graft at whatever height that match is at.  But that also varies with what type of graft your doing. For instance, i prefer whip and toung grafting and will do it anywhere along the rootstock that they match.  However if all i have is a really thin piece of scion, too thin to whip graft,  then i will switch over to a cleft graft and do it low on the rootstock and just accept the mismatched diameters. Those are usually less successful though but sometimes you got to work with what you have got.  Whatever you decide to do with them, i would say find a spot with plenty of room above them as they will all be a little different.  Getting the graft matched right and sealing everything up is probably more important than worrying about callusing as these guys are pretty bulletproof as long as you dont screw up the graft or let the roots dry out or start too late when its hot out.  I like parafilm for wrapping the graft and either hot wax or wood glue to seal the tip.   
1 year ago
Im all for keeping old seed lines going but im not understanding the major benefit of using sepps particular seed.  From what ive read so far, its not actually perennial since it dies after harvested and you have to wait 2 years to get a good crop?  Seems like one would be better off just planting a regular rye or wheat seed that is already available and harvest the same year its planted or do a winter planting and harvest the following year. 
1 year ago