Questions not deserving of a whole thread


Thank you! Definitely looks like that’s it!.. also looks like it’s a good cherry root stock so I should at least be able to take a shot at grafting to it next spring. Thanks again!


Does anyone have experience growing miracle berries from seed? Over the last couple of years, I’ve germinated a fair number of seeds, but they tend to damp off at some point. Some of them have hung around for about a year, but eventually their leaves all tend to get brown and then the plant dies. Any ideas?


A question about thinning Wickson apples: how much? I have a healthy fourth-leaf (I think) tree on MM111 that bore a few apples last season, but set a huge number this year. I thinned all the clusters down to one apple, but still have a big crop left. Because even mature fruit are very small, I’m not that concerned about the weight, but I’d hate to have the tree overbear and go biennial on me. (Does Wickson even do that?) How hard do you folks thin your Wickson trees?


Most resources will tell you to wait until year 3 before growing any grapes. However, last year I was tending second year grapes and I went with 1 cluster per 2 vigorous shoots. I also tip pruned the bunches that I kept. The fruit I harvested was high quality. I do not think harvesting the fruit last year will impact the fruit this year- the new shoots look very strong. I am looking forward to a full crop this year!


I never thinned my Wickson, crabs you usually don’t need to thin. It fruited reliably every year for me.


The growth on one variety that has all the clusters is very vigorous this year. So I dont think it will hinder the growth of the vine. I will thin off a few of the bunches.


This article written by Mike White, Viticulture Specialist at Iowa State University Extension might be helpful. I searched for information on cluster thinning this year too, but didn’t find anything definitive, other than this article. It is in reference to wine grapes, but I still used it as my guide. Others may have different opinions, but what I read when I started growing grapes was to allow no fruit year 1, and only a few clusters year 2 (not on the same shoot) and then only if the vine was very healthy and vigorous. By year 4 or 5 vines should be reaching maturity and can bear a full crop, although they still may need thinning if they bear heavily.


Thanks, Scott! I feel less guilty now.


Has anyone tried growing pomegranates in sub-irrigated planters? My figs seem to like SIP’s, and I’m liking how easy the irrigation is to set up.


No, but so far my poms seem to grow just like figs. A little more drought tolerant. It should work well. I hand water myself. Mine are only 2nd leaf, so not much experience here. I can say the two I have as 2nd leaf have flowers! I was surprised!
See what happens…


On an apple tree, is it ok to bend the central leader down to make it a scaffold, and have a new central leader emerge later on?


Yes, and yes



New upright shoots will start to shoot skyward from the scaffold and you can select one of those for the new leader.

We who espalier then prune those down to basal leaves plus a couple to encourage fruit spurs.



What could cause strawberries to not be sweet? I planted Mara Des Bois and Evie 2 and while some fruit when fully ripe (as in, very deep red and about to start to rot) is sweet, more often than not its kind of bland and sour. To make things worse my wife brought home some strawberries from the store and they tasted way better than my home grown ones!

I’ve been trying to reduce my watering frequency but I really don’t think that’s the cause. Could it be a lack of some micro-nutrient or pH? I planted them in about 50% compost and fertilized with Osmocote Plus (15-9-12).


How much sun do they get?


At least 6 - 8 hours of full sun. They are grown in a strawberry tower type setup but even the ones at the very top of the tower which get the most sun are still bland. Another thing to note is that flower production has seemingly declined from their original spring flush.


Feed the plants well. They will be better in the future. They love acidic soil but can grow in anything. My expience is well fed big plants produce sweet berries. It can be the sun and soil also. Young plants are often weak, need time to establish. A cold fall or no winter protection can cause them to weaken and produce less sugar. What sucks is they only produce a few years and need to be replaced. By the time they produce sweet berries it’s time to remove them. Or so it seems.


Is anyone in SoCal experiencing massive amounts of blind wood or still dormant stone fruit? I’ve got Pluots and Nectarines that are still alive but haven’t leafed out much, while others have already fruited heavily.


Yes. Snow queen nectarine and Fuji apple were much later. Satsuma plum had more blind wood than normal. Our winter was bad for chill hours…too warm a December and January. This is most definitely the cause.


Just some of my apples. HC hasn’t leafed out at all, although it is producing a lot of root suckers. Pixie Crunch and Gala have leafed out and bloomed, but some of their branches are still dormant. The Gala also continues to produce a lot of root suckers. Both Gala and HC are on M111 rootstock.