What's happening today 2020

Happy New Year y’all. Hard to believe we are starting a new decade already. I hope that 2020 will be a bountiful, healthy and blessed year for everyone.

Anyway, since this is Jan 1st, it’s time to start a new daily thread. Feel free to post on here what you did today regarding your fruit growing endeavors. Whether it’s getting and planting some new fruit plants or trees, doing some grafting, harvesting fruit, getting new equipment, etc, let’s hear about it!


Hi Bob!

Well, I am trying to ground layer a muscadine vine today. Just got finished in bending over a cane into the ground and covering with dirt. Hope that I will have a transplant in early April or shortly thereafter.


Hey Sam. I worked out in our shed today, my wife has been insisting on cleaning it out, I’ve really let it get cluttered over the years. We also put up the Christmas decorations up in the rafters.

Had to do a lot of sweeping out of a lot of dead lady bugs, the floor was thick them. They flock into buildings in the fall, seemed to be a lot of them this year.

Since the weather’s been nice, I’ve cleared out a fence row of some big old native thorny blackberry canes, some old barbed wire fencing and weeds.

I also had strap up some of my thornless blackberries, it’s been so wet and windy, some of the canes are leaning over. When it dries out more I’ll put up some t-posts and run some wire between them for support.

Still need to weed some of my trees and get some protection put around the bottom of the trunks to keep the rodents from munching on them.

Regarding trying tip layering, will canes take root this time of year? I’d like to try that with some of my Triple Crown blackberries, I have lots of canes to try it with. I really like TC berries, and I’d like to propagate some.

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I feel like we have a chance of our canes rooting!

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The triple crowns are best tip layered in the fall.
The tips turn “rat tailed” ( fatter at the tip) late summer - fall
If you let the tips touch the ground then, or a pot of soil , they will root. So fall is best.

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Starting to go through the tree catalogs and looking online for what apple trees to think about purchasing. Also did the supplement bags for my horses.

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I had several Triple Crown canes tip root during the year because I wasn’t monitoring them. I pulled these up out of the ground as I needed to get them strung up on my trellis. Some of them had a good root ball when I pulled them.

If I had left them, they would have eventually sprouted new canes, right?

I didn’t cut the root ball off the end of all those canes, so could I just cut the cane above the root ball and replant that? Or will the root ball not be viable (dried out) since it’s been above ground for a few months?

I have some tame black raspberries (Mac Black and Bristol) that tip rooted, but I haven’t pulled those up.

If I wanted to plant these somewhere else, could I just cut the cane about 3-5 inches from the ground, dig down and around where it rooted maybe 6 inch diameter across and maybe 6in deep. Then I could plant that anywhere and it should send up a new cane in the spring?

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I went ahead and placed orders with Baker Creek and Johnny Seeds. This warmer than usual weather we’ve been getting has me thinking about spring. I ordered a bunch of herb, vegetable, and melon seeds for the upcoming season. Just 3 months before I can start planting them :rofl:


When they tip root in the ground , there is a bud at ground level that will sprout to form the new plant, often they are dug and a few inches of cane is left attached as a " handle"
This handle can be cut off.
The ones you pulled in the fall may have dried out, or may be not ? Worth a shot, ? All you have to lose is a stick in the mud


How are your apple trees doing?

Mine that lived last summer produced great except for the Honeycrisp. Problem was that 2 of them died. I believe that they got Southwest injured and then canker set in and they died. Guess I am going to replace them in the early Spring.

Do you paint the bottom trunk of your apple trees white to prevent Southwest injury?

Are youse talkin too mee?

If so, we had 4 varieties produce for the first time, Suncrisp, Grimes Golden, Liberty and Zestar. Just a handful of fruit, but a promising start. Zestar and Suncrisp were better than expected.

Others like Goldrush, Pristine and Roxbury Russet set a few fruit, but none made it to maturity. Either drops or squirrels.

Regarding damage, when I weeded 7 of my apples in the back plot in the summer, I noticed either sunscald or rodent damage on the south side of them, plus some had some what looks like borer damage. And no, I didn’t white wash them down low. Plus it looks like them being in a high water table area has contributed to a bit of rootstock rot. The trees were never in standing water, unless it was very heavy rain, but the water table was prob too high.

Since the weeds were pretty high around them all year, I’m guessing the damage was because of borers and rodents of some type. One of my G16 Grimes Golden was just about completely girdled, so it may not make it too much longer. Maybe that’s why it fruited because it’s about to croak.

I have them caged in with 1x2 inch welded wire fencing, so it must have been moles or voles. So I’m going to have to put some better protection around the base of the trees, either some corrugated tubing or fine mesh wire screening.

I had my Suncrisp and Macoun in the lower orchard uncaged, and rabbits damaged them last Feb, the Suncrisp was almost completely girdled. The tree survived and produced some fruit, but I will prob need to try some bridge grafting to keep it alive in the future.

My big 15ft Winesap tree hardly leafed out at all, it looks like it has some kind of root disease, maybe because it’s been in some rather damp soil over the last 3 years. We had a very dry summer, so maybe that might help, but I’m not too optimistic. We’ll see how it does.

So, some bad situations that could have been avoided in some cases by better planning and protection. Some of it couldn’t have been prevented, tho. You learn the hard way sometimes.

I have 6 potted apples that I bench grafted and they have done well, so I have them as backups if my other trees don’t make it. Just don’t have a lot of good places left to plant them.

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Yeah, Bob talking to you!

How do you like your Goldrush tree? Its one of the varieties that I am considering on planting if I can find it at a local nursery or at one of the big box stores.

I too have a Winesap tree. It produced for the first time last Summer. Only problem with it was that some apples had the water core stuff (if my diagnostic is correct). Going to bury some egg shells underneath my tree as I have read that lack of calcium is the cause of that. Made applesauce out of most of my Winesaps. Always have wanted to make cider out of them though.

Yeah, got to keep the weeds from growing beneath the apple trees. I have trouble with that too. Alan in a earlier post said that weeds put a chemical into the soil that harms the young apple trees. Considering on putting wood mulch around mine.

It’s on that row in the back orchard on the very end, it’s done okay, but I think it being in a high water area, and the poor soil there has kept it from doing better. It has some decent scaffolds (branches) at good angles, maybe about 7ft tall.

It’s on G210 or G890 rootstock I think, which is supposed to be maybe a 50-70% full size tree. I got it from Cummins back in '16.

Based on GR apples we’ve had from other orchards in the past, I highly recommend it. It can be really acidic and sweet off the tree, with a crispy texture too. But, the acid tapers off in storage, and it can last maybe 6 months in storage before it gets mealy. It may be me and my wife’s favorite apple. That’s why I bench grafted another one last year.

I have never seen Goldrush trees at any big box stores or farming supply stores, where you usually see fruit trees. I don’t understand why, because it’s an outstanding apple. I see lots of red and yellow delicious, honeycrisp, gala, granny smith, liberty, mcintosh, cortland, etc at various places, but not GR, strange. And, you don’t see the fruit in stores produce sections, either. I’d be curious as to why that is. Maybe others more knowledgeable could explain why that is.

Winesap is maybe in our top 5, not as crispy or tangy as GR, but very well balanced, plus it’s usually a bigger fruit. I’d hate to lose our tree before it even produces. It’s by far our biggest one, but if it’s got bad roots, not much you can do about it.


Impulse bought some (about 20) fig cuttings, so I need to figure where I’m going to store them and find pots for them.

The weather is just so weirdly warm for winter in Maryland! Should I start peas and buy my seed potatoes? Long term forecast says temps will be above average through March…

Wait till Groundhogs day and base your decision on whether or not he sees his shadow!

But wait, I’m just trying to joke. I have no direct knowledge of Maryland but here in Tennessee I’ve heard that potatoes are planted in January.

I asked my computer and I found this:

“Plant seeds of cool-weather vegetables such as peas, spinach, lettuce, potatoes, turnips and radishes directly in the ground around St. Patrick’s Day in central Maryland.”

Don’t forget to check on the moon.

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I put in my seed orders, too. One of the cucumbers I wanted from Johnny’s was already sold out! (or maybe not yet available) This kinda vexes me, because it was a replacement for the discontinued variety I really wanted.

@ltilton, which cuke are you wanting?

What? I know it’s not as cold where you’re at as it is here, but wouldn’t those tater greens that sprout up in say, Feb or March, get fried by a late winter freeze?

We planted a bunch of them 4 years ago on March 31st and they sprouted a few weeks later. We then got a freeze in mid-May and the plants got hit hard. We didn’t get nary a tater that year.

Do you plant below ground veggies in the waning part of the moon? What about above ground veggies?

Well, this thread has certainly inspired me to plant some seed potatoes this year! I have some ground that I had tomatoes on last year that blighted bad that I will try. We really do have mild winters here. Years ago I had a neighbor that planted potatoes in January. If it worked for her it should work for me. We seldom have hard freezes here and almost never late winter freezes. It will probably be my luck that will happen to me though. If that happens I will just replant. At any rate I will let you know how it goes.

One year I set out tomatoes on March 25 and they did okay. That does vary from year to year.

In my post I was being a bit facetious.:grinning: But anyway my neighbor would not plant potatoes during a full moon. Probably something to that although I know that it has never been scientifically proven as fact. Really don’t know about the other veggies.


Well, I will prob wait until maybe April before trying taters here. We usually have to wait until then because it’s usually too wet to turn (plow) the soil in March and sometimes April. And there’s the late spring freezes.

Because we’ve had freezes in May, we usually plant out tomatoes and peppers around Memorial Day. Stuff like corn, beans, cukes go in the ground early May.

I follow the moon (and to a lesser degree the Zodiac signs) when it comes to sowing veggies. All above ground plant seeds are sowed in the first two weeks (waxing moon), and all root crops (or seeds) during the last two weeks (waning moon).

My grandmother was a big believer in this practice and claimed it resulted in the best veggies. I’ve read some studies that have confirmed this, but some may question the veracity of the testing. So, it may be bogus, but I think there’s some benefit to it.

I don’t recall many folks on here talking about this practice, so maybe I ought to start another thread about the subject.