What's happening today - 2018 edition


Your “helpers” are adorable and hilarious.


I see you are in Saskatchewan area
What type grapes are you covering?
Any grape that you have had success without covering?


Just tossed in 6 tomato plants(Sun Goldx2, Championx2, and Super Sweet 100x2) and prepped the holes for my Compact Stella and two muscadine vines. At first I thought I’d put the muscadines along the fence, but we sometimes get wasps that nest back there. I figured a vine would just increase their ability to hide and be harder to take care of, so I’ve changed my mind on that idea. I’m going to use the vines to produce shade for the root zones of my pakistan mulberry, plums, and supply some afternoon shade for the blackberries/herbs. I’ll have the vine at 3-4 feet instead of the normal 5-6.



Wow! They actually listed the chill hours! That is great. I saw a plum at Home Depot that just said PLUM. Nothing more. No variety - nothin’ !


Yea that is pretty humorous to us serious growers. Saw the same type of thing on some apple trees at a local store a couple of years ago… your choice “Red Apple” or “Yellow Apple” :face_with_raised_eyebrow:


I really need to do this. What oil do I get?


Last year,vegetable oil(Soybean),about 1 Tablespoon was mixed with the same amount of non detergent dish soap,in a gallon of water.
This time I added some Castille soap,a little Neem and baking soda.
The first mixture worked fine though.Those other things I have,because they are going to be used later,against Spider mites that go after some trees in a greenhouse,during the Summer. Brady


Most grapes will not grow well here without covering, but Valiant and King of the North will produce some fruit when grown outside and left on the trellis. But the winters cannot be too harsh for that to happen.

I have Suffolk seedless, Somerset, Vanessa, Trolhaugen and Frontenac Gris in the greenhouse. All have lived in there with minimal cover for 2 winters but I would like more fruit so I started this type of covering last fall. I added Candice, Himrod and Petite Jewel last spring but I can’t say yet how well they took the winter.

I have changed my view on greenhouse growing in the cold north. I am now putting my fruit trees and other fruits directly in the ground and grown in such a way that I can heavily mulch. The vegetables are grown in pots for early crops and outside for later. If I grow the fruit trees in pots, I still have to figure out a way to overwinter them and that usually results in digging them into the soil, so I might as well just plant them there in the first place.


One week ago, I toured all the local big box stores…Walmart, Lowe’s, Tractor Supply…(no local Home Depot)…Walmart had a sorry selection of trees, (I like to catch the six of 10 they get in every year at 9 to 13 dollars, for it’s just bait to hook you, but I will buy the bait and not let them hook me into coming back for more).
Lowe’s has very nice sized trees at $26. Probably on M111 though. An tractor supply only had in bare root wrapped sawdust and plastic for about $14. None at KMart yet. None at Southern States Co Op.
Light freeze last night.


Well, yesterday was the day for the apple grafting workshop over in Fleming county. On entering the building they gave us one each of M7 and G202 rootstock, with a choice of another one of these. I chose another M7.

The class started at 8:30, with an overview of apples and a bit on other tree fruits, with an emphasis on various apple rootstocks. Then we had a little tutorial on whip and tongue grafting. After that, the speaker opened up a big sack with all kinds of scions in it. At first, he offered up some local varieties, which I’d never heard of. Then he started to lay out other better known varieties, like Suncrisp, Enterprise, Mutsu, Gala, Fuji, Goldrush, Snapp Stayman, York, and so on.

He then let us loose to pick 3 scions to put on our rootstocks. Even though we already have them, I thought I’d get another Suncrisp and Goldrush stick, and a Snapp Stayman, which is a red sport of the Stayman Winesap, which I really like.
Since I hadn’t grafted before, I only had time to do one, the Goldrush. I packed the other rootstocks and scions in a wet paper towel, and bagged them to do later.

I think I did a decent job on my first graft, but it was a lot of cutting and whittling trying to get the cut pieces lined up properly. Then I had to do the second cut (tongue?), which means cutting towards you. I was very careful with this step, but got the cuts done. After wrapping it tightly with tape, and trimming off the scion I was done.

After that we had a quick tutorial in pest and disease controls, with a list of recommended sprays, wildlife control, and some more talk about apple varieties.

We then had a very nice Italian lunch with pasta and salad, and then some tasty homemade apple pie, delicious!

The next part involved driving out to a local orchard for some more info on wildlife and rodent control, such as various traps, and then a demonstration of a propane cannon, which is supposed to be good to keep birds off your crops. Quite loud, but not real efficient in my view.

Then the first speaker took us over to a grove of old apple trees and gave us a demonstration on pruning. It seemed to be quite a severe job, but after he was done, I admit it looked much better. After that I was able to pick his brain on some fruit related issues, and then I headed home about 4pm.

I was tired when I got home, but it was worth the hour drive over there and the $10 fee. Quite enjoyable and informative.


Couldn’t have had that much fun at the movies, eh, Bob?
And you got off cheaper, too!


Went ahead and gave all my 1st and 2nd year fruit trees 1-2 cups of cottonseed meal today. Pretty safe fert risk versus reward. Rain coming tomorrow so should be good.


Today was absolutely one of those days that I- and probably a lot of you- got into fruit growing for. It was the first really nice sunny day we’ve had here all spring. It was still a little crisp (50’s) but the sun and some activity made it the perfect temperature to work. Blue skies, birds singing, you could just FEEL spring in the air. I often wear musical headphones when working, but today was such a perfect day that I just wanted to enjoy being outside. I did lot of pruning, mowing, grapevine tying, and spraying. Tonight I’m just worn out, but I love that feeling from a hard day’s work. I hate to admit it, but I haven’t done anything physically demanding since last fall, so it really feels good to be a little sore and tired. Can anyone else relate to the satisfaction that comes from a days hard work? And of course it’s gratifying knowing I’ve given all my trees their best possible start for the year. I was a little late on a few things but I still sprayed most everything that wasn’t in full bloom-which was only 2-3 trees. Anyway, it got me all excited again for the coming season. I hope all of you have a good spring as well!


Yep, much better value of $10, got some knowledge, experience, good food, much better than a stupid movie. I haven’t stepped inside a theater in at least 7 years, don’t even know what it costs to go nowadays. The Oscars are tonight, could not care less about watching it.

Am actually watching Barnwood Builders on DIY Network, those guys do some cool stuff, I imagine it’s very tough physical work, so can’t say I envy them!


My Wickson plum is starting to bloom?


Did you like the old sauna they showed tonight? Boom down Bob!


Yeah, that was nice. Some of those new cabins looked good too, like they had been there for a long time. They do some tough work, but it’s mostly just the outer shell. The work that’s done afterwards on the inside is also impressive.

The last episode they were building a potting shed, which I had never heard of, but my wife did. Guess it’s a halfway house for plants between the greenhouse and the garden. My wife asked if we could put up a greenhouse, the idea intrigues me, with all the stuff I grow.


Got me a new plot turned and amended with some peat moss. It’s going to be sunflowers, lantana, Rosemary, lavender,rudbeckia. Going to do a small bit of onions, radishes and garlic too


Absolutely. I’m sore this morning as well. Spent all day outside yesterday.


Wow, Bob . . . Sounds like your workshop was the one to go to! Mine costs $50 and only 9-12.
No tour.
No Pasta.
Not even a piece of apple pie! LOL
We will go home with 2 grafted trees, however. So, that’s something. :slight_smile:
I have lots of questions for the Vintage Virginia Apple folks. Decided to quit bothering everyone here with all my raw beginner curiosity - and see if I’ll find out what I want to know on Saturday! Very much looking forward to learning how to graft.