What is your Tip OF The Day?


Great advice. Thanks


Over the last few years I have been trying to get good cross pollination for all my pear varieties and I have mostly focused on overlap. My experience is that they bloom mostly but not exactly in a normal sequence. This year Harrow Sweet was my last to start blooming while my Ayers, Korean Giant, and Moonglow are in full bloom. These late combinations should work well together. Yesterday I noticed my Blakes pride had an open flower (long wait). If your looking for a bookend bloomer BP might be the one.


Do you have a precise mixture of copper/water mixture that use on the cuts or does the ratio need to be exact?


Hi! I just follow the directiins on the plastic bottle. Its a per gallon ratio. Will spray again after the rain passes, so will let you know then. :blush:




I have an awful time trying to cut down the length of a mature tree’s hard wood for Z grafting. I am scared I’ll cut myself, or either I can’t hold the wood steady if I get my lower hand out of the way. I have cut myself badly before, even with rocking the knife.

Today I figured out how to do it. I didn’t cut the branch back as far as planned. Then I held the top and cut as you would a chip bud, in that it starts out with a curve to get into the wood.

Then just cut off the curved part! The rest is straight :slight_smile: I do the angled part of the graft 2nd, and I do it towards the sky with no fingers in the direction the knife could slip.


I’ve been using a z graft for side grafting. Start with a curved cut as Christian describes above on the rootstock, and leave the whole top on. Make the appropriate reverse cuts on the scion, stuff them together and tape them up. I’ve also done an option where I make a similar curved reverse cut on a slightly longer scion and use it with a bottle graft as jocelyn from PEI describes. This is sorta fiddley, but if I have a high-value scion it can be worthwhile as I’ve been increasing my success percentages on peaches and apricots this way, especially with sketchy scion. This year I have been chopping the rootstock off at the top of this graft after 12 days or so, which seems to push the graft to grow more.


Thanks for an excellent tip. We work with sharp tools and the need for safe procedures is very important.


Great tip. I don’t bud or chip graft anymore but when I did, cutting off the rootstock almost always pushed the scion to grow.


not the most amazing tip, but a tip nonetheless: after extracting some potting mix from a potting mix bag, don’t forget to close the bag.

this will help keep the remaining mix moist, even after several months. i’ve noticed that dried out mix is harder to work with, requiring the addition of a lot more moisture than i initially intended, making for a soggy mix, which my seedlings probably don’t appreciate.


Simple but good tip. I have made this mistake before.


thanks, auburn.

another undesirable characteristic of dried out potting mix: dustiness. can’t imagine it’s healthy to inhale that particulate matter, which could lead to lung inflammation and interstitial lung disease.


Yeah I always use a mask when I work with perlite, vermiculite or peat moss. Any time you see fine dust filling the air its a good idea to wear a mask.


not good for my asthma?


Put my potted citrus outside, noting that they were entirely free of spider mites and scale. Last fall, before bringing them inside, I gave them a good spray of Neem, which clearly worked.


What signs do you look for to tell it is safe? I’m in a warmer zone and was thinking of waiting another 2 weeks, at least.
Mine are full of flowers, too. Are yours flowering?
I also found Neem helpful but had to reapply periodically all winter.


One is starting to flower. I mainly look at the forecast, but if things change I can just bring them back in overnite.

They seem to be healthier outside. Most years, I’ve had big problems with mites, and some scale. I credit the Neem, but they’re also kept pretty cool, with the heater set at 40.


Gotcha. It is a big hairy deal to move mine (4 of them) down a half-flight to the outside. I guess I could tarp them if we get a late arctic dip. You are right - they look half puny but def perk up outside.


I’m quite happy that they had very little leaf drop over the winter, but they’ll pick up now outside.


It is that time of the year to start moving vegetables from artificial lights to the intense sun outdoors. To prevent sun scald throw a row cover over the plants to diffuse the light, modulate temperatures, and prevent large raindrops from pummeling little plants. I seem to forget this every year…