David Binner

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since Mar 09, 2020
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Recent posts by David Binner

Hi, Janet.

Okay, I'll be patient for a while longer.

No, I have never done Fall pruning. Only Spring pruning; I thought that is the best time to prune plum trees (before they come out of dormancy.)

I'll give it some tree food too.

Thanks for the feedback.
2 months ago

Janet Reed wrote:Do you know what kind of plum and be more specific on age and size?

Hi, Janet.

I have no idea what type of plum. The co-worker who gave it to us a few years ago is no longer with the company, so I can't ask her.
We've had it at least three years, and it is about ten feet tall. Attached is a photo.

There are also two other plum trees on the property. They were here when we moved here, so they are at least five years old. They were about six feet tall when we moved here.
Again, never seen these two flower either. Photo attached.
2 months ago
Two days ago, I finished reading "Discourses and Selected Writings" by Epictetus.
It's a philosophy book. Epictetus was a former Roman slave who was given his freedom, and went back to Greece to found a philosophy school. By Penguin Classics.
Pretty easy to understand. Easy and quick to read. Agreed with a lot of what he had to say.

I am now starting "The Gulag Archipelago" by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.
It's a non-fiction work by a former prisoner of the Soviet gulags, which won a Nobel Prize. He basically documented the change of a nation from mostly normal people to a nation with ten thousand paid torturers in their employ. It's fascinating how the culture of a country changes; changes happen slowly and, before you know it, you're living in an oppressive, corrupt, dictatorship, where everybody is afraid of everybody.

I love reading history books and books that look at human character and spirit.
2 months ago
The plum tree in the back yard is several years old and is growing well; it is actually quite big.
However, it has never flowered.

It was given to us by a co-worker and I am starting to think it will never flower. Perhaps it started out as a sucker from their tree. (In which case, without being grafted, it probably is only good for root stock.)

I am considering tearing this tree out and replacing it with a brand-new young plum tree from a nursery.

A question before I do this: can a new plum tree be planted where a plum tree grew previously? I read that some trees do not like to grow where a previous one used to be, but I don't know if this is the case for plums.

Any suggestions?

Should I wait another year for the existing tree to flower, or have I waited long enough?
2 months ago
One more question about Comfrey: do new plants started from root cuttings (e.g., Bocking 4) flower in the first year?
3 months ago
A follow-up to my previous post about growing Comfrey.

Earlier this Spring I got two small cutting from the same source.

When the weather warmed up, I put them in the ground outside: one on the south side of the creek; one on the north side of the creek.
The south side is drier and receives more hours of sunshine.
The north side is wetter and is shaded by trees for part of the the day.

The one on the south side is growing like gangbusters: big, healthy looking leaves. It is between an Asian Pear tree and a lilac bush so it receives partial shade.

The one on the north side has grown significantly since being put in the ground, but not as much. And lately, its leaves are turning brown and curling up. I am wondering if this is caused by too much water (the hill on this side of the creek is always wet, one of the reasons for putting the plant there was erosion control.)

Here are photos of the two plants (Comfrey_South and Comfrey_North):

Any ideas why the plant on the north side isn't doing so well? Not enough light? Crowding by other plants? Soil? Too wet?

5 months ago
I have been using Google's Calendar as a journal to document my gardening activities:

when tomatoes planted as seeds indoors,
type of tomatoes,
when started putting them out,
when walnuts germinated,
when I put strawberry runners in small pots,
when I cut the runners and transplanted the individual new plants,
notes about whether I should have done something earlier or later,
when the sunflowers were put in the ground outdoors,

Basically, I make a lot of notes to track what I have done wrong, and how I can do better.

I am wondering if there is an online journal specifically designed for gardeners, one that offers the capability to attach photos to posts, so the progress of plants can be documented.

Locally, we seem to have had an early spring, and looking back on photos of, say, when a fig tree budded out and how fast it grew in a week would be useful to know in future years. I am always scrolling back and forth through my calendar to remind myself when plants were fertilized, pruned, etc.

Any suggestions?
5 months ago

Tj Jefferson wrote:Probably froze. Mine look similar, temps don’t need to be freezing if skies are clear due to radiative cooling.

Hmmnn... that is not good.
Shortly after I transferred them, nightly temps went down to about plus 2 degrees Celcius according to local weather reports. Perhaps in my back yard, temps, indeed, dipped to freezing. But the plants hadn't poked above the soil surface yet. Wouldn't they have had some protection since they were still under ground?

In any case, are these trees now effectively dead?
5 months ago
I am trying my hand at something new: growing walnut trees from nuts.
Last Autumn, I put several freshly-harvested walnuts in a pot and covered it with dirt to go through the cold temperature stratification over the winter.
This Spring, the nuts were transferred into individual little pots.
Several of them have sprouted; they have shoots poking above the ground, but these shoots are black (see attached photo.)
They look like they have been burnt or something.

Any idea why this happened?
If it was something I did, I'd like to know, to avoid it for the future. I'd like to successfully grow happy walnut trees.
5 months ago
I am new to Comfrey; just received my first two small plants in the mail and am looking forward to putting them in the ground later this Spring.

A couple questions already come to mind:

1) What kind of fertilizer does Comfrey like? (N-P-K values) I am willing to give it some plant food. Or is plain old cow manure fine? I want happy Comfrey plants.

2) Thinking ahead to the upcoming Autumn and Winter, does Comfrey like some kind of ground covering like sawdust or cedar bark mulch? I know blueberries do NOT like cedar bark mulch, and do not want to put something on Comfrey that it doesn't like. Is there anything that should NOT be put on Comfrey?

Thanks for any advice and suggestions.
7 months ago