What is your Tip OF The Day?


Good pictures of Spotted Winged Drosophila. Male and female have a different appearance.


That was one starvin’ squirrel.


The fruit buds are swelling on some of my varieties and I think this a great time to observe when each type blooms and how much overlap there is. Cross pollination appears to be an important part of getting a good set of fruit. We don’t have much control over other items such as the weather but we can be proactive with pollen availability. As I did my daily walk through my small orchard I noticed that my Kieffer, Golden Boy, Orient, and Hood pears have large fruit buds that look like they will bloom about the same time. I feel pretty confident that this assortment will be adequate assuming other factors cooperate. Now I need to work on duplicating this with my other fruit.


It’s not as far along here as Auburn is. Perfect weather for collecting scion wood. Remember you can always throw away unused scion would in may but your sure can’t cut it after it wakes up. I cut extra


Great tip. I have a bag full of scions in my refrigerator but most likely I will only graft a few of them.


Always gather the earliest blooming species first. As soon as recent snow melts and I have time I will begin gathering J. plum wood here. Normally I could wait until mid-March, but it’s starting to smell like early spring (actually its the long-term forecast that has me concerned).


A small tip that has made my orchard decision-making a little easier – wooden clip clothes pins, painted several different colors. I also use tree tape, especially for a branch or limb I know I want to cut off later (particularly for those summer pruning cuts) but I’ve found painted clip clothes pins nice for marking various possibilities – pruning cut, graft, scion, don’t-cut, pull-down. A different color for each job. I can keep some in my pockets, easy and ready to hand to use whenever an idea occurs. Then as I wander around the orchard, working or not, I see the painted clothes pin and consider/reconsider that choice, and can easily move/remove it as many times as I want BEFORE the actual commitment. It works a lot better, and less stressful, than trying to keep those ideas/choices in my mind, especially as my orchard has grown. Sue


My pears tend to bloom by variety and some have very little overlap. With a few grafts most of this issue is corrected. But what I wanted to say was that my apples appear for the most part to bloom with good overlap. Looks like Arkansas Black, Liberty, and Honey Crisp will be near the last. Within the last three days I have seen a few Winter Banana, Pink Lady, Unknown June, Hackworth, and William Pride blooms.


My onion planting stick - for seedling transplants

Old wooden broom handle. Cut the bottom on an angle about 2 inches up. Poke into the ground to make a hole, drop in onion plant

Mine is about 2 ft long, with marks at 6 inches for spacing guide


Nice tip. Thanks


To guarantee the best possible soil conditions for planting trees, or even veggies in any weather is to tarp it ahead of time. Arrange the tarp to guide water runoff. If the ground tends to freeze, put the black side of the tarp up. I’ll sometimes do this in the fall to also discourage weed growth. Never have to worry about the weather when stuff arrives, the soil is always in a ‘go’ condition. For a tree, I’d fold the tarp to about a 4X4 or larger depending on how your soil wicks.
This tip also applies for tilling beds in the spring. Tarp in January. Tarps are reusable every year. No need to delay spring planting or any garden work.

Gardeners struggle

Thanks Anne. Good tip


I have not had the time to read all these tips of the day. So if my tip has been mentioned prior to me posting this I apologize for repeating what someone else may have mentioned.

TIP: Keep a diary from year to year as to what you plant and how well they do throughout the year. Also mention odd or unusual weather that may have affected the outcome of your trees, garden, etc.

I have been doing this with my new orchard and it helps me with how to manage the trees for this upcoming year. What sprays I used the year before and what may not have worked to change things around for the upcoming year. I also include measuring the height of the trees, when and if they bloom. Blooming sometimes does not = fruit with younger trees.
I kept a diary with my garden years ago. It helped me pick out different varieties of plants and seeds to buy through the years.


Good tip. We need to keep records.


I consult my log regularly


How bout a tip on where to buy wooden clothes pins these days.


I got mine at dollar store, can’t remember which one though.


Last time I bought them it was also at a dollar store- but years ago. Almost no one hangs clothes from a line these days- at least around here.



I have gotten them at Menards and at Target.