What's happening today - 2018 edition


We have a volunteer pecan tree the goats and sheep have been keeping mowed for the last couple of years. This past fall I decided to stop any further damage.

This morning my dad and I knocked down a tupelo tree, you can see it in the left of the photo. It’s about 40 feet from the volunteer pecan tree. The tupelo has dropped a branch on the fence, and I’m afraid more are to come. I also cut a bunch of nearby Eastern Junipers. The goats will finish them off in a week or two.

Here is a closeup, not much to look at.

I gathered all the necessary tools. Yes, that’s a fanny pack.

I cleaned the area up and mulched heavily. Out of curiosity, I snipped the top of the leader I was planning to graft. Most of the “tree” was heavily damaged except for this one leader. The bark peeled, but not as easily as I like for bark grafting.
Finally, the finished product. A little high, but I only had the one scion.

For tomorrow: this giant male persimmon. I topped it last year.



So I helped my father plant 25 Blackberry plants today and one peach (Challenger). As we were leaving his farm (not really a farm, 40 acres so we call it a farm) I found two peaches trees blooming close to the location where the old house used to be.


The second pic is of the old house. Not much left except the roof and the pile of rocks that used to be the chimney. I am a little surprised to find the peaches. From the trash dump near the house it appears that it was last occupied in the 70’s - metal soda/beer cans and plenty of wine bottles. I assume the peaches are not random as i have never found peach trees in the wild. It will be interesting to see if we can get the trees to produce.


Just put to inspect my trees and my oldest Italian prune has flowers waited a bit no bees and next couple of days rain and wind storm. Looks like I won’t have any prunes this year. Maybe I should get some mason bees. Also my blueberries are starting to open. Weather is not cooperating ugh and it looks like it was going to be a bumper crop for them too as this is third year.


I’m near Seattle and all the fruit trees are usually in bloom before the bees come out,including the Masons.Mine are still in the refrigerator,waiting for warmer weather.
I go to the flowers with a q-tip. Bees are mostly good for the berries here. Brady


40 acres is a farm… I have 52 and it takes every second of my time i am not at my regular job. Sounds like a farm to me…Enjoy!


Even if bees are not present there is a good chance flies, wasps, beetles, and other little insects will do the job for you. There is nothing quite as enjoyable as watching bees work their magic, but I will take flies any day of the week if I have no choice!


They came. They dug. They left. I was so thankful for the landscape dudes, and their magic machine, yesterday. Took about 2 hours.
All 20-some holes are augered, mixed, and refilled. Mulch sits ready and waiting. Now, if the 7B weather will just make up its mind - and the rest of my plants arrive - the real fun can begin. I love planting new trees. The surge of HOPE, alone - makes all the rest worth it. :two_hearts: I put one Santa Rosa in - after a long hard day outdoors. Who needs a gym? :blush:
The guys did the digging and mixing with the little bobcat/auger. I wanted to do my obsessive ‘putting the grassy stuff in the bottoms of the holes - and refilling them with the soil, before the rain came AGAIN’. The only drawback to the auger - the holes are potshaped, instead of slanted sides. I asked them to widen them, if they could . . . so they ‘wiggled’ the auger around a bit. It was a trade-off.
I took a shot of the field . . . but it’s hard to see all the work that was done. I’m tickled to be ready to plant!


Guy across the street has bobcat with auger, did those planting holes

It was neat to watch the process


I got two plum two nectarine, cucumber,Texas super sweet onion, and sunflowers planted before the rains!


I got some of mine from Cummins, too. They came exactly when I asked for them . . . and look great. I think your varieties sound wonderful! I was especially interested in the Spitzenburg E. But, I ended up with a Grimes Golden and a Pink Lady.


Today was another monsoon day. :cloud_with_rain::cloud_with_rain::cloud_with_rain: Total washout. And very very chilly.
It is not supposed to let up until early morning hours. We have a sunny week ahead, tho . . . and I hope to be able to get everything planted and staked.
Meanwhile . . . I’m still moving the plants around, in my head! Anybody else do that?


Pretty sure here is an example of PTSL disease. This is an arctic jay nectarine on citation that was perfectly healthy until it broke dormancy and then we had a cold spell where it got down to as low as 9 degrees. Shortly after it started to exhibit all the classic symptoms of PTSL. As you can see in one of my picks I cut away the bark on a section of the trunk and it was sticky and brown underneath where the cambium should have been a lush green. This is the second tree that this has happen to for me. I am unsure why only 2 have had this issue, but after reading about the citation rootstock I did notice that one of its notes is that it is very poor at fighting viral infections when grafted with a peach. I took this tree out 1 day ago. It also had a bit of crown gall, but the first tree this happen to did not have any present.


Looks like you did a great job of planting them. That’s the best way I would think. You were done in a couple hours without any sore backs, lol. It’s like poof you got an orchard! I see dense woods surrounding you. I hope nothing is going to walk out of there and eat your trees. Are you going to have to protect them? I look forward to seeing pictures of your orchard grow, and produce beautiful fruit. It looks like you will have the sunshine to get nice fruit.


I can’t say anything about your tree problem, but you have a nice orchard. Everything is nicely spaced and tighty.


Thanks, John! Those dense woods are actually swamplands. They back up to the Intracoastal Waterway about ½ mile in. And yes . . . we get some ‘visitors’. Less these days, since there was a tongue disease of some kind that effectively thinned out our deer population. To be honest, though, we have lived on this property for 30 years - and I’ve never had a problem with anything rubbing or eating my trees or gardens - other than birds and squirrels. Maybe there is so much else for them to eat in the wetlands? A farmer puts in soybeans in our back field each summer. And there is always lots of clover and lespedeza. Bamboo. And the few deer who venture onto the property seem quite content to graze out there.

I’ve spotted several nutria, though - who will ‘have to go’ if I see them again. No rabbits. Because we have owls, hawks and an occasional bald eagle. Fox too. And rumors of coyotes and bear. But, I’ve never seen any.

I ordered some wraps for the trunks, just in case rodents want to nest and nibble. They are vinyl with little vents. I am prepared to triple-stake and wrap with some kind of wire enclosure, if necessary. Any other suggestions?

On East, North, and NorthWest we are surrounded by swampy stuff. There is a 2-3 acre man-made pond, which was dug to build a road, and then used as irrigation for the melon field that used to be here - (now filled with bass and other fish that the birds provided over the years!). And that is on our Western border. The front of the property - south - is off a heavily traveled road - and farmettes across the street. Sub-divisions with 3 acre lots close by. Semi-rural.

A coveted area to live - until you spend some time ‘out here in the peaceful country’ . . . because there is a US Navy airfield just down the street - and the noise is DEAFENING. They seem to fly and practice their touch-downs (and I am not kidding) as soon as I walk out my door to spend some time in my garden. These are my ears’ best friend. I wish I had some for my dogs!

My ‘gardening/orchard gear’.


Sounds like you do not have that much pressure. You might find that when they discover your trees that your orchard might just become their menu. It can get costly protecting an orchard. The plastic deer fence is what I use. I want to add electric to it also. Trees are most vulnerable when they are short and young. It’s easy to lose the whole tree in just a night. I was in the USAF and ANG. I also lived right next to Hill AFB. I know what you mean about the noise. I have always said it’s the sound of freedom.


I like that! I was an Air Force brat. I remember the days when they broke the sound barrier all the time. I still live near a base and my cottage is on the border to Canada, the jets fly the border on a regular basis, often a few hundred feet above the water. They used to use the stretch of river by my cottage as a training area. A Tuskegee airman never made it out. The plane is still down there at the bottom someplace


We have bumper stickers - ‘I :heart: Jet Noise’
But . . . . not when I start looking at hearing aids! It’s a love/hate relationship.
Used to be just the planes with the radar disks on top - (not good at the names).
Awacks? Then they moved to louder ones. Then F-14s and F-16s. They fly right over my house - and LOW, cause they are coming in for a touchdown. :upside_down_face:


I worked with F-4, and F-16’s in the AF. I worked with A-7’s in the Mich ANG. The 16 was the loudest and most dangerous because the intake is so low to the ground. The 16 is known for sucking crew chiefs into the intake. They stressed that a lot in fighter chief school. When I was at Hill AFB I got to work some with the civilians in flight test. Hill is a depot maintenance base where they take the planes apart and put them back together to change time compliance parts. Once they are put back together they go to flight test. In flight test they run them up on the ground and trim the throttles and fix anything that gets a red X. At night we had to use hush houses for noise abatement. They are small hangers where you back the plan up to a big tube that does a 90. We tie the plans to the floor and close the door to the hanger. The walls of the small hanger look like lines of fireplaces for air induction. We put safety grates over the intakes then fire up the jet. You want to talk about loud! We wore headsets though. There is an office on one wall with glass windows that’s suppressed from the noise, but one guy has to be out walking around the jet checking things that can’t be checked from the cockpit or office. You can only be in there with the jet at idle speeds or slightly higher or it will pull the air right out of your lungs. I remember having to work my lungs to breath, plus you will be pulled to the intake. I have walked up to it and felt the vacuum with my hand from behind. It’s like a big vacuum hose. I got to ride the back seat a couple times on engine runs. The guy in the front reads off what he is doing and you just have to confirm the back reads the same. You don’t get to touch anything. Once everything is trimmed and looks right they put a pilot in it and do a functional test flight, FCF. Those are fun to watch because they hug the whole runway and take off with maximum speed straight up like a rocket to just about stall then roll over inverted so the pilot does not pass out. Then he rolls back once the g force is gone. It gives them the maximum time with the altitude in case something goes wrong to make corrections and think of what to do. I think its three takeoffs and landings with no red X’s sells the plane back to the country or state’s base that it belongs to. My brother works a civilian there. He is an engineer with desk job now in the big flight test hanger. When I was there he was one of the top mechanics turning wrenches and troubleshooting planes as a civilian.


Not sure if it’s PTSL or not, but I can say that I had 2 Mericrest nectarines at different times and both up and died when exposed to a frost after coming out of dormancy. Peaches handle it fine, but my experience was the nects are much more sensitive about frost once they wake up.