What's happening today - 2018 edition


I was checking out my Romance Series cherries, and while the Romeo and Juliet plants are budding out, the little Crimson Passion bush looks like it didn’t make it thru the winter. I did a scratch test on its bark and it’s brown, not green. So, guess that’s my first casualty. It was about 8in tall when I got it last year, and grew a little bit, but just never took off like the other two plants.

Now I wish I would’ve picked up a Carmine Jewel that Gurney’s had on sale a couple months ago.

My four blueberry bushes that I planted last year haven’t budded out either, but I’m wondering if they’re still dormant. Most of the apples still haven’t shown any sprouts either.


I picked some young ramps. I grabbed a salt shaker ate about a dozen raw. But I could’ve eaten the entire bag. These things are in my blood.


Will smell you comin


My wife is already complaining and it’s only Been a few hours. Lol


Weather is finally getting better here. I grafted clarks little yellow pear, Potomac, and fondante de moulins lille pear. I also grafted a bud nine on a seedling apple rootstock


I have been bench grafting the last few nights. I am about 2/3 done (lol I do about 4 or 5 a night). I thought I could cut a straight cut before. That was until I started bench grafting and really could look at the scion/rootstock union with the back light on my workbench. Now it is clear I need a lot more practice.

I have had good luck in the past… Maybe 95% takes on apples. But now I am feeling like it will be a miracle if I get 50%.

I have a big mismatch between scions and rootstock this year. My scions are all smaller than my rootstock. It isn’t helping things.


Well, it took me a couple of hours, but I got all the new (10) raspberries planted this evening. I waited until the wind died down a bit, but didn’t get started until 7:30. There was enough ambient light for another hour or so, and we have a pole light down there by the old house so that helped. But by 9 it was dark, so I had to get out my floodlight to finish pruning and watering them.

My niece was down working in the house and came out about 8:30 and saw me out there working, and said, “how can you see when it’s this dark??”. I told her I was about done, but I do have pretty good night vision. Maybe I’m part cat…

It’s good to get that finally done. All I have left is to plant the 4 new blackberries, and I’ll be done with this year’s fruit plantings. I need to get going on my veggie starts, plus the plots need turned. If it don’t rain Sat, I might get the tractor out and do that.

Here’s the plot from left to right:

Prelude – Eden – Killarney – Anne – Fall Gold – Double Gold – Nova – Joan J – Caroline – Royalty – Bristol – MacBlack

I was kinda bothered that the FG plant had some small white sprouts on its roots, along with some other plant. I hope I didn’t plant them too late. The others looked clean still.

Eden and Anne were planted last year. When I know that the new ones have sprouted and made it, I’ll put up the trellis.


So, which varieties and rootstocks are you trying?

Why do you think you won’t get more than 50%? Is it because of the mismatch between RS and scions?

And, just curious, but have you made the move to your new home yet?


Never eaten a ramp but they look good!


It’s all coming alive! I’m excited…going to have to do some protecting this weekend.


Grafting complete!

So I did 19 grafts total from the scions I had. I grafted seckle, shin sui and Korean giant Asian pears, Satsuma and Superior plums, and Hudson Golden Gem, Liberty, Freedom, Arkansas Black, and Macoun apples.

Notes: I got better as I went along. I had been practicing but there is nothing like actually doing it. I did both cleft and whip and tongue grafts and preferred the whip and tongue. I felt like the cleft was spreading the initial cut too much and left too much surface area not touching. The w and t grafts seems more secure with more cambium contact.
I wrapped the graft with budding tape, then paraffin over the the graft and scion. Found it hard to tie of the paraffin at the end.
The larger scions were easier to work with. The smaller ones would bend and crack. I’m not sure about the Korean Giant because the scion was so small it kept moving in the cleft graft. When I tried to reposition it, it broke several times and I had to start over.
While I was out doing this, several neighbors stopped and asked about what I was doing. They showed genuine interest, was is reassuring for me.
I didn’t cut myself one time! I just took my time, tried to make most cuts away from my hands and tried to stay aware in the moment. I found myself doing too much whittling. The first cut on the scion, which seems like it should be at 45 degrees, would often start off at the right angle but flatten out as the knife got into the center of the wood.
Anyway, it was a great experience and I look forward to doing more in the future. I will try and get some pictures up. What do I look for next, the scion budding out, right? How do I know when to remove the tape?


Congrats, Jim. Were these grafts on existing trees? I hear ya about the whittling. I did a lot of that on my bench grafts, it’d be better if I could do it with one swift slash, but no. I did them with a box cutter, and there was a bit of play in it, so that didn’t help. I need to get me a good knife to do grafts with.

I thought I’d post some pics of my apple bench grafts from last month. I got them under lights for now, it’s been real windy, and I don’t want them to dry out. But they’ll need to go outside soon. Seems like they’re doing well. I used black electrical tape on the graft, when the sprouts get maybe 6in long, I’ll prob cut the tape.


Snapp Stayman



So you are near Oceania? I used to live up the road in VaBch off of Great Neck Rd. The house we rented had a pool and when the weather conditions were right (wrong), the A-6 landing pattern would come over the house. I could hear them when I was under the water!
Now I’m in San Diego and sometimes we have the F/A18s come over the house. Fun to watch them!


Yes, they were on existing trees. I would love to start some of my own trees like you did but I am out of room. I did have a good grafting knife and still had the troubles making one slice grafts. Practice makes perfect I suppose.


@Subdood - here is my list. These are all tree I either have or scions that I have grafted onto bigger trees.


I think my biggest problem is not the mismatch between the scions but the fact that the smaller the scion gets, the harder it is for me to get a straight cut on it because the wood bends during the cut.
Many of these are varieties I grafted last year, and only have 1 scion of them to work with. So my scions keep getting shorter and shorter until I just have to take what I’ve got and graft it.

We are moving out May 7 to live with my in-laws. They are framing our house today, so it won’t be til August that we can move in. Thankfully the move to the in-laws is down the street from the new home. (Cue Everybody Loves Raymond).


Those look good, are these the ones you tried to grow? Do you go to any of the ramp festivals? It’s about time for them to start up.

I was talking to my wife about them, and thought I’d look up some info on them, and came across this on Wikipedia. Apparently, the word Chicago is derived from a Native American word for ramps, that were quite prolific in that part of the country before it was settled.


I was told that Chicago means stinky onion in native tribal language


Apples do not need to be vase shaped as is often encouraged for stonefruit.

Apples can succeed in many shapes and sizes.


No Bob these ramps came from a different location. However, the ramp transplants that I put in last year are growing well this year. I will not harvest any until they start propagating themselves from. Their own seed which could take another year or two. I do plan to add more transplants this year to increase their numbers.

In my area, ramps are almost at peak growth. Most local ramp festivals will be next weekend or the end of April.


where do you get ramp starts and how do you grow them? do you grow them in the woods? I’ve never seen them around here but would like to try to grow some.