Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Apple Grafting Update. 6.17.17

Jonathan on Jonared.  6.17.17
 Here is a grafting update.  Most of the grafts are doing well.  I accidentally broke off the Honeycrisp graft that I added to Winecrisp.  Firecracker red flesh crab did not take, but Grenadine red flesh apple did.  Apple grafts doing well:  Opalescent, Jonathan, Airlie Red Flesh, Fameuse, Dolgo Crab, King David, Sweet 16, Grenadine.  Last year's Airlie Red Flesh has 5 apples, Newtown Pippin has one, and Baldwin about 6. Milo Gibson and Sweet 16 that were very slow, have taken off and growing like gangbusters.  
Dolgo Crab on Jonared.  6.17.17

Grafts on Winecrisp.  6.17.17

Grenadine on multigraft.  6.17.17

Persimmons are Blooming. 6.19.17

Saijo Flowers.  6.19.17

Saijo Flowers.  6.19.17
Saijo persimmon flowers have opened.  So have the grafts of Chocolate persimmon.

The leaves on Saijo are much greener this year.  I'm attributing that to correcting a soil, magnesium deficiency, via dose of Epsom salts.  That was 1/4 cup in 2-gallon watering can, late winter.  I did add 1/8 cup Epsom salts in 2 gallon water, last weekend as well.

 Nikita's Gift Persimmon flowers are swelling but not open yet.  Yates American Persimmon flowers are even smaller, possibly because they are smaller anyway, as an American persimmon.  Speculation on my part.  I am watching them with interest.  Since American Persimmons are smaller, compared to Asian Persimmons, maybe they don't need as long to develop in the warm summer weather.

The last one is Prairie Star (Or Prairie Sun?) American Persimmon, which I planted 3 years ago.  First year, it was eaten off by rabbits.  This year, most of the leaves were destroyed by hail.   It has a little regrowth now.   It's only about 18 inches tall.  Maybe growth on the remaining stems will be good this year and give it a better boost for the future.  Of course, no flower buds at this small size.

Edit:  Earlier version of this post stated "coffee cake persimmon".  I should have stated "chocolate".   

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Snake. 6.17.17


I'm guessing this is a garter snake, and feeds off moles and voles, bugs, slugs, and snails.   We saw 4 snakes today while planting beans.  They are not particularly afraid of us. 

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Indian Runner Ducks. 6.13.17They

Indian Runner Ducks.  Now they have their full adult plumage.  Shy, but healthy looking.  6.13.17

Grafted Ginkgo Tree. 6.13.17

Here is the growth of my dad's ginkgo tree, grafted onto a rootstock from locally obtained ginkgo seeds.  I grafted last year.  Then, the scion grew only a small tuft of leaves.  This year, it is growing by leaps and bounds.

I think ginkgo is more difficult to graft compared to apples and plums.  Of the three that I grafted, one did not take at all, and one fell off this spring, after one year.  But this one is clearly thriving.  This was a whip-and-tongue graft.

More Kitchen Garden. 6.13.17


Garlic, potatoes, some small blackberry plants, and collard greens.  6.13.17

The first planting of onions and potatoes.  6.13.17

One of the hot pepper beds.  6.13.17

One of the tomato beds.  6.13.17

Germinating Sweet Corn.  6.13.17

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Kitchen Garden. 6.11.17

Tomato Plants.  6.10.17
Today I planted the 4th batch, probably final batch, of sweet corn seeds.  The variety was Bodaceous, which I bought last fall at Fred Meyer on close out.  I don't think I will try to keep sweet corn seeds any more, they are less able to remain viable with time.  Still, one year old should be OK.

Bodaceous is a yellow sweet corn, SE type (sugary enhanced) - not the supersweet type, but remains sweet longer on the plant - matures in about 75 days, has improved disease resistance, and is well adapted to the Northwest.  Since I'm not planning to save the seeds another year, I planted the entire packet in 4 rows, and will thin to a foot apart if germination turns out to be good.

I noted that a blackberry plant - Arapaho - had purple leaves.  Researching that, it appears to be caused by phosphorus deficiency.  I will need to find a supplement for that.  In some cases, I read that plants with deficient magnesium in the soil, are not able to take up phosphorus.  Since I know from soil test that my soil is magnesium, and probably not phosphorus, deficient, I will apply some Epsom Salts, 2 tablespoons per 2 gallons of water, for more of my kitchen garden plants.  When I did that for Saijo Persimmon, the result was dark green leaves, instead of the usual pale green / yellow leaves.  So I think it helped.  I applied that amount of Epsom salts solution for the tomatoes, peppers, sweet corn, and chestnut tree saplings, then ran out.  That kind of gets away from the concept of phosphorus deficiency, but phosphate was normal to high in my soil.  Other side of yard, but that I what I have to go on for the time being.

I don't know if I blogged on this - I added another horticultural blackberry, Triple Crown.  My readings pointed me to this variety, tetraploid - as is Prime Ark Freedom but I don't know about Ebony King.  Triple Crown is described as disease resistant, highly productive, and a delicious fruit that works well in Pacific NW.  I bought the plant at a local nursery, already green and growing; bare-rooted it carefully, removed planting compost, and planted in the native soil of my garden.  I protected from deer and rabbits, with chicken wire.

I read that primocanes should have the growing tip removed, with both primocane-bearing and  floricane-bearing, varieties of blackberry, at around 3 feet tall.  My brambles are young, and only two have primocanes that tall, so I tipped them.  Tipping means the growing tip is snapped off by bending.  That promotes growth of branches, resulting in much higher yield and stronger plants. 

Monday, June 05, 2017

Daylily Seedling in Bloom. Kitchen Garden. 6.5.17

Daylily flower, seedling started in early 2015.  6.5.17
The daylily that I pictured previously, has it's second flower, and many buds.  Now the tepals open too, making for a more conventional daylily flower.  The petals have nice substance, fairly wide and a little ruffled.  The pale pink is very nice, I think.  There was nothing in any of my daylilies that would make me expect such a pale pink.  Very happy with the result.  Thinking further about this result, I think it came from a wide petaled yellow, maybe Happy Returns? and a narrower petaled pink, maybe Luxury Lace.  But I'm not certain, the labels didn't make it over time.

Currently, this daylily is in a container with other daylilies and lilies.  I may keep it there for a while, seems like a good spot.

In the kitchen garden:
-Tomatoes are growing nicely.
-Two days ago I planted the 3rd set of sweet corn.  I transplanted the few plants that germinated from the 2st set, to a grouping of 6.  The second set had better germination, and I think I will have 4 rows of 5 plants each, when they are bigger.   The first batch was Trinity, the second was Bodaceous, and the third was something from Territorial Seeds, but I forget the variety. 
-Peppers are growing nicely.
-I planted the Chinese wide beans that I pre-started in wet paper towel / ziplock, last week.  Some had the first root, or the beginning of the first root.  These beans were seeds that I saved from last year, which I grew for very old seeds, I think more than 10 years - seeds that were in the closet.  They are a traditional wide bean, used as green beans, originating from Northeast China. Germination of those old seeds was less than 10%, but I'm expecting something close to full germination from this batch now.
I expect to plant one more batch of Chinese wide beans, and one  more batch of sweet corn, in a couple of weeks.

Thursday, June 01, 2017


Thinned "Jonared" apples.  5.30.17
This year looks like a good year for the young apple trees.  This Jonared Apple is 3 years old, and had good bloom and fruit set for the first time this Spring.  I thinned the developing apples to at least 6 inches apart, for better fruit development and to avoid alternate year bearing.  Jonathan is a nostalgia variety for me, but the red Jonared sport was as close as I could come when ordering on line.  I have since found some true Jonathan scion, and grafted them to this tree, this year, to see if I can see any difference.

This is the time to thin fruits, if it's not already done.  The developed the most cells per fruit at the early stage, so thinning them results in better development.  Many of my grafts from the past 3 years will have their first taste this year, including Porter (one), Newtown Pippin (one), Baldwin (5), Arlie Red Flesh (6), Goldrush (6), Priscilla (4).  For best graft development, better to remove the first fruits, but I'm not getting younger so I am leaving them as if they are understock branches, so I get to taste them.  Since I thinned aggressively, they still have a chance for more fruit next year.

Flowers in Bloom. 5.30.17

Purple Globe Allium.  5.30.17

Tamara Rose.  5.30.17

Unknown Hybrid Tea Rose, cutting grown.  5.30.17

Unknown White English Rose.  5.30.17  I believe this is "Fair Bianca™"

Flavescens Iris.  5.30.17

First Flower on Daylily Seedling. 5.30.17

First Flower on Daylily Seedling.  5.30.17
For the past 2 years,  I play mad scientist and transfer pollen from stamens of daylily flowers of one color, to pistols of daylily flowers of another color.  I try to stick to diploid with diploid, and tetraploid with tetraploid, which is basically the stouter more hefty looking daylilies tend to be tetraploid, and the more delicate ones tend to be diploid, although that is not a hard and fast rule.  Regardless, if seeds develop, and they usually do, I save them, stratify them using the damp paper towel in ziplock in refrigerator method, then germinate them using the damp paper towel in ziplock on windowsill method, then grow them as seedlings.  Usually, slugs, rabbits, and deer eat most of the plants, which I don't like.

This one was protected by growing with other daylilies in a barrel planter, and today it was the first of all of my daylilies to bloom.  It's not an idea spot - shady - but there it is.  Nice pinkish color.  The tepals are pointed.  That might change in future flowers, or not.  I didn't bother to label, but I think this is an offspring of a yellow that was incorrectly labeled, or more likely a correctly labeled tetraploid that reverted to diploid.  I actually like the unusual appearance and the subtle pink color, with green throat, and shape that makes me think of trilliums.   Another is making buds, so this is my year to see some results from daylily hybridizing.

Meanwhile, the first batch of daylily seedlings that I planted out from last year's hybridizing, were all eaten by slugs, except for one that somehow survived.  I left the second batch in containers that dried out, noticed this week that they started to re-grow, and planted among peppers and tomatoes in the vegetable garden.  If they grow, we'll see what happens.