Warmer Weather: Game on!

Looks like the temp is going to be in the 50’s-60’s in the next few weeks. Last day to harvest scions. Lots of cross branches pruning to do. Cleaning grafting tools and pruners with alcohol. Checking scions in the refrig for molds and re treat with 1/2 vinegar and 1/2 water solution if needed, because some of the peaches and nectarines were harvest in December of 2014 from a warmer zone. Apply pre emergent herbicides for the lawn. Mixing up a bunch of copper solution and liquid fence for deer protection. A bunch of dormant hardy Kiwis to root. Tons of vegetable seeds & Paw paw cross seeds of ShenandoahXMango to plant. Relocate a bunch of fruit trees to a permanent spot. Re-pot the Black Velvet plumcot seedlings to larger pots. Got 15 bark grafted and potted Kaki persimmons from UC Irvine persimmon collection.to plant. Need to un-wrap winter protection from some of the less winter hardy Kakis and the list goes on…


Its about time, isn’t it? I am usually all done my regular pruning and on to the grapes and kiwis by now, but I usually hold off on peaches until the cold weather is past and that still hasn’t happened. Its going to be a busy next couple of weeks.


Oh, yes! I was waiting for these weekends. Pruning and spraying, preparing spots for the ordered trees, garden cleanup, sawing numerous seeds, making new flowerbeds… and I have a couple of landscaping projects and a couple of new trellises in mind. It is good to be busy again!

Still up in the air here how warm we get. MSP and La Crosse both seem to be liking the ECMWF (euro model), while the GFS wants to keep it colder (40Fs) in this area…MSP (Minneapolis) is showing 50Fs and 60Fs late next week (some 70Fs maybe in southwest MN)… WHo knows…new models come out in a few hours…

I’ll take some 50Fs and 60Fs… moving some potted trees outside today.

Be thankful for the cold. We’ve already had two damaging freezes. Fortunately only a few trees are full bloom. Unopened blossoms were not damaged by 22F this week and last.

Yes next week I can put peppers out in the cold frame. Time to spray the trees too for PLC. I have to prune too. 56F Tuesday! Planting tomato seeds in a day or two. I’m growing 18 plants this year. My onions are ready to go out as soon as it get’s a little warmer. I have 143 onion seedlings! I need to transplant 3 blueberry plants, and get them out of the garage. Warm enough now.

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How much snow does Omaha have? We have a few inch layer of snow ice crust. It has been a very dry winter. Normally I have to snow rake (roof of my home) several times a winter…this year not at all. I would imagine we’ll lose most of our snow by middle of next week.

Around 40F …w.ith blue skies today. There will be yahoos with shorts on…people get spring fever bad this time of year.

I’ve been taking seedlings in and out daily to the low tunnel for about 2 weeks. Even the cold days its mid 70Fs in there…usually about 10 am to about 4pm they are fine. I’ll be taking my forest of tree seedlings out once the overnights stay in the mid 20Fs. They are usually safe at that temp under plastic (i will usually cover with blankets for an extra layer)…might get some leaf burn.

I need to do some major spraying for peach tree borer this summer. I’m finding potted trees with larvae in them. I killed several already.

Why do you think this is the last day to harvest scions? I usually don’t finish doing so until early April and have been doing so since I started grafting years ago.

Last year was the first time is seemed to be a problem when some late harvested J. plum wood started to slightly push green in refrigeration. But the parafilm protected grafts took surprisingly well.

It should take a couple more weeks for the warmer weather to get the trees to start pushing bud. Here it usually doesn’t happen until April. Are you talking about the trees in your garage?


We had a total of about 12 inches of snow all Winter. Had a few days of rain. I am anxious to work on my multi-graft sweet cherry project: Sandra Rose, Van, Selah, Kristin, Rainier, Black gold, Vandalay, Big Star, Crimson Passion, and Black Tartarian. The under stock is a 3 years Bing. I will save one branch of the Bing.



I have been collecting scions since early Feburary. Today will be my last day of collecting some back up scions that is all. I love the sight of Robins chasing each others around.


Tony, oh, you mean this just HAPPENS to be the last day. You tricked me by the way you set up your paragraph.

That is quite a cherry. I don’t see Lapins on there? That is probably my favorite out of Black Gold, Kristin…although they all are good when ripe.

What is your secret to brown rot? Lots of spray? Mine are so close to the house (almost touching) that i just pray for no rain.


I went with Fruitnut top selections of the 30 Brix varieties: Sandra Rose, Selah, and Van. The rest is just for trials. We have a few humid days but most of the times it is just hot in mid 80s and some in the 90s. I live on the Highlands part of the goft course that had very good breezes and my trees are 7 feet apart. I cover the base of the cherry with tarps near harvest to prevent cracking. I only spray copper on them to prevent bacterial canker that is all.


One year we had very dry June and they were perfect. The only problem was robins getting in the netting. The following year lots of rain and everything had rot. I cut one tree down (and grafted it over) and might cut another down and just have 1 with 3 types on it. Last year i had 1 (ONE) sweet cherry. Winter took a toll.

I think up by Minneapolis they have little to no snow.

44F and sunshine now…

Tony: JFYI spelling on name of my favorite cherry right at the moment is Selah. Love it’s size, firmness, color, and shape. It looks like that new cherry plum everyone is gaga about, Nadia.


I corrected it. Nearly 50s, just have to remind myself to wear the reader. I am hoping to replicate your top fruit trees here in the big O. I just prune off the 8 years old Snow Queen nectarine to eight 1 1/2" branches. The final product will be: Snow Queen, Honey Blaze, Honey Royale, Articl Star, Yum Yum, Honey Punch pluot, and Flavor Treat pluot.



Holy cats. That is quite the variety. Do you plan any sort of winter protection on that tree? Is that on Lovell? As i mentioned in other posts, my issue is finding a long lived, very hardy rootstock that is compatible with apricots, plums, peaches… I may have to use interstem. I have been tempted to get some Siberian C for rootstock…peaches seem the most friendly when it comes to multigrafted trees.


I am not sure what rootstock it is on. I bought the tree on clearance at Lowes eight years ago and the tag showed Duarte Nursery. The tag rated the tree for Zone 7 I think. I planted on a downward slop with no protection what so ever. It handled the cold to -17F several times in the last eight years. So now you know the zone rating is not real accurate at times. I hope this tree will hang around for a long while so I can enjoy all the different excellent varieties.


Don’t know if I’m allowed to mention my weather out here :wink: , but after our storm last week with a few days having highs in the 40’s (we were absolutely freezing our patooties off, here), and hail, today we had a high of 85 degrees. Thing are popping like crazy out here. The best thing? Both my Minnie Royal and Royal Lee are in full bloom, and I am very, VERY hopeful of my first real, full crop. I am going to hang bird tape once things get close to ripening - end of April or so - since they are just too big for netting, and my cage idea from last season frankly was a PIA. So, tape will be my choice. For once, I’m glad for all the Coopers’ Hawks and some Sharp Shinned Hawks I have out here, as well as Great Horned Owls and Barn Owls (not really a bird-eating owl, but the shape can still scare away the birds). I also have full bloom on Flavorella this year finally, as well as looking like I might have decent blooms on my Bella Gold Peacotum, as well as Flavor Grenade and Blenheim, so maybe just maybe, I’ll get fruit set on the peacotum this year. Going out today to get fertilizer and mulch. I will make sure I do some separate hand watering this year to supplement the water for my trees. Just way, way too dry last year, plus essentially no chill hours = little to no fruit.

I ordered a peacotum …have you tried it before?

Forecast still holding for mostly 50Fs next week…right through next Sat. No movement expected on trees, but it will be nice to get rid of the snow and get some of the frost out of the ground.

I have a few seedling Nectarines in the yard. They all I believe are California grown. They seem to be handle just fine. One has several grafts on it. I hope to get some fruit off it this year.

Snow shot of the upper midwest/plains this afternoon…this should look a lot different in another week: