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February 1st, 2022. Watcha planning?
the spanish inquisition
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Reinettes
Lewis Co., WA
373 Posts
(Offline)
1
February 1, 2022 - 9:18 pm

Yes.  ...It's just me again and I can only apologize for my lumbering, dumb, peanut-brained dinosaur presence.  Nevertheless, I'm truly interested in what you faithful  "Forum hanger-onners" are up to; what you're working on at present; and what your plans and intentions are for this brand new year with it's new world of opportunities.  If I can just shut the heck up and hear from you staunch Forum members, from whom I often learn so much!  By NO means am I a know-it-all and I always appreciate feedback if and when I'm wrong!  Sometimes I AM wrong.  ...Also, sometimes I'm a "bit" thick.  That's when someone needs to point it out to me without having to hit me in the head with a 2 by 4.  Then, again, that might be what it takes.

What are you good people doing at this time of year with weeding, grafting, pruning?  What're you gonna be grafting this late winter, if anything?  ...What novelties are you trialing in your garden for the first time... or trying again?  Pretend that I'm not here.  I'm not here. Please: go on....

Reinettes.

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davem
301 Posts
(Offline)
2
February 2, 2022 - 4:09 pm
  • Recently planted my arbutus menziesii (madrone) seedling.  I think it will be popular with native pollinators.  And yes I have planted it on a sunny slope.
  • Continuing to open and clean my mason bee cocoons.  But I won't have time to open all of them.  I estimate I have 40,000 this year, crazy.
  • Almost done pruning my grapes
  • Continuing to throw black oil sunflower seed in/under my edible plants.  This is how I "recruit" wild birds to eat pest caterpillars, and to fertilize my plants.  And occasionally bring me some new plant.  Plus they are entertaining.
  • Hoping to prune hardy kiwi, apples, pears, aronia, sea buckthorn in the next few weeks
  • Then graft some grapes & apples.  I have one mature grape that I hate so I'm trying to graft it into something else.  I have quite a few seedling apples in pots which I was planning to graft this spring but apparently a rabbit hopped up into the pots and chomped off all of them :-(.  I think they'll survive, but only got 2 scions from 8 baby trees.
  • Pruning and removing some larger non-edible trees.
  • Harvest some stinging nettle (my first "crop" of the year)
  • Continue harvesting everything until December
  • Fill and deploy 160 mason bee houses
  • Finish my keyhole hugelkultur raised veggie garden bed
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cmullin
Philomath, OR
58 Posts
(Offline)
3
February 3, 2022 - 3:44 pm

Wow 160 mason bee houses! I just finished installing 4 houses from crown bees. rn rn 

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John S
PDX OR
2549 Posts
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4
February 3, 2022 - 6:10 pm

I'm similar to Dave M, but on a smaller scale, especially with the mason bees. 

I've been checking on the pruning I've been finishing up, including the grapes.

Collecting the last of the scions.

Starting to harvest the first of the edible weeds that start cranking this time of year. Mostly shot weed and purple dead nettle at this point.

I will also harvest stinging nettle, but from wild patches. I don't have the acreage.

John S
PDX OR

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davem
301 Posts
(Offline)
5
February 3, 2022 - 7:56 pm

John S said
I will also harvest stinging nettle, but from wild patches. I don't have the acreage.  

Feel free to stop by if you're heading east on Hwy 14.  We're just east of the 192nd Ave exit.  My nettle patch is spreading more than I would like.

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John S
PDX OR
2549 Posts
(Offline)
6
February 5, 2022 - 10:52 am

Thanks Dave M,

I don't get out that way real often. It's a nice offer.
john S
PDX OR

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Dubyadee
Puyallup, Washington, USA
219 Posts
(Offline)
7
February 5, 2022 - 2:06 pm

I dug up three varieties of layered honeyberry starts and transplanted this week. Blue Sea and Blue Moon are late blooming, end of March. Blue Forest is earlier, middle of March. Last year I got better yields from the late blooming plants than the early bloomers. I don’t think there was enough active bumble bees when the early varieties bloomed. I also have Borealis, Honey Bee, Tundra, Berry Blue, and the Indigo series - all early blooming. 

The bushes put on a lot of growth last year too. The fruit is on last year’s wood and by the time the fruit was ripe in June it was hard to find the fruit through all the new growth. 

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DanielW
Clark County, WA
519 Posts
(Offline)
8
February 5, 2022 - 4:11 pm

Glad to see I am not the only one growing grapes.   I neglected mine last year but was able to make two batches of grape jam and two batches of cooked grape juice.  Also glad to see I'm not the only one growing apple seedlings.  I have seeds in the fridge - Redlove Era x Blushing Delight Urban Apple (Was supposed to be  Tasty Red but it isn't).   The RedLove Calypso x Golden Sentinel seedlings from last year appear to have flower buds but that can't be so soon, can it?

I have pruned and trained all but one apple tree and started that on that one.

Today I pruned half of the grape vines.  The rest need some trellis work, and that bamboo is already cut.   I especially like the dark purple varieties.

Yesterday I received my Xmas present - a genetic dwarf apple tree for my mini- micro orchard.  Apple Babe.  I don't know what it will be like.  I had to move something else to open a garden spot - an Asian pear grafted onto a Chinese Haw that was growing too fast for that spot.  Then I planted the Apple Babe and, though it was hard for me to do, I cut it back to 18 inches tall for low scaffold branching.  The Asian Pear - Haw is in a good spot now, elsewhere.  The Haw branches seem to have flower buds.  If they are graft compatible, would they be pollen compatible?  Would someone try to cross pollinate them to create a hawpear?  A pearhaw?  Someone might try that.

I pruned the Triple Crown thornless blackberries, pulled out the rotting blackberry trellis, pulled put the remaining bad performers (Prime Ark Freedom and Arapahoe).  Then put in posts for the Triple Crown and re-mulched it all.

I pruned the thornless red no-name raspberries.  They are very good raspberries.

Mid to late month, I plan to plant snowpeas and snap peas in the new raised beds, as soil conditioners (recommended by Steve Solomon), tender greens and, if they bear before mid/late May, for the peas.  I already bought the inoculum, it's in the fridge.

Plant potatoes late month if the corona has let up and I can get to the store to buy seed potatoes.  Otherwise, I have an order in to Fedco for some for March.

I also pruned the Blake Red Kiwi, which is supposedly self fruitful.  It looks like it has flower spurs but what do I know? 

There is also starting lots of seeds indoors, which in Feb is peppers and some wildflowers to feed pollinating insects (Rudbeckia, Echinacea, Oregano and Thyme).

Plus puttering.

This is my favorite home orchard forum.

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Crankyankee
Connecticut
78 Posts
(Offline)
9
February 6, 2022 - 9:49 am

We are at peak cold in New England with blizzards coming and going still so planning is all I can do at the moment. I'm glad to see this thread because it pulls me out of the Netflix nexus and back to reality.

First on the list is pruning then grafting. I have scionwood of the Morello cherries Sumadinka, Vladimirskaya and Csengodi Csokros in the fridge which I'm excited about. I'm expecting scionwood of a few apricots, plums and apples shortly.

I'll be trying some chromosome doubling experiments this year as well. I'd like to cross cherries with European plums but they have different numbers of chromosomes.

Don

Zone 6a in the moraines of eastern Connecticut.

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Rooney
Vancouver SW Washington
647 Posts
(Offline)
10
February 6, 2022 - 12:30 pm

It probably won't set Crankyankee. The only cherry to plum cross that I have ever seen reported was one by Dr. Hansen as 'prunus besseyi x prunus avium'. I also remember a few PMs we exchanged months before on a similar note so the only update now (and correction) that I need to make now (is according to old files I found) that two clones from pictures that I sent you which I have grafted have not resulted from the duplicating of cherry chromosomes. They are triploids as a result of 'prunus kerrasis x prunus avium' (carmine jewel). Unfortunately every doubled prunus avium (sweet cherry) that I tried got sick and perished. Should you want to double those into fertility (ie. hexaploids) I have saved enough to send you. 

Today is one of my more "feel better" days because my last month era bathroom window sill that had prunus cuttings arranged in a while back, worked well to root both these 'Toka' on the left side. Toka was the only hybrid plum of three kinds to work and as a result I got two of two, 100%. Per here today updates. Which is kind of strange since PDF page-4 from California Toka isn't shown to be good at rooting percentages. 

Plans are to move out a neglected 'Black Ice' plum for the self rooted Toka plum then in future years use the California guide per page-4 to graft miniature peach to. My secondary other Black Ice plum will be kept onsite per planned hybrid and progeny projects. Last year I got low plum set on the tree using apricot pollen. The three seeds that crows had missed were inspected and were blanks. The only viable thing I have seen is Hunza apricot pollen on one hybrid plum seen growing in interior Alaska. That will be tried again this summer. 

@DanielW, about the pear graft, sometimes things graft and things only pollinate in one direction. Such is the case with never to try apricot with plum pollen. Historically it's always listed as plum being the female parent in such crosses for mysterious reasons? Check into the last link I made and you'll see the designations Prunus armeniaca listed last as the male parent. We know that much in the pattern of specific parents but not really why. My favorite inheritance article describes an unnatural even of two lakes combining two distinct populations of fishes during a flood. Each species knew there own type by eye-sight. But flood waters during breeding season allowed each species to mistakenly mate with the other. What's interesting is it actually worked! 

The next page after page-4 makes it seem beach plum (ie. p maritima) is a great candidate to breed with apricot pollen. So this is a possible thought for Crankyankee who says he has beach plum now. The fishy cases I think worked both ways and produced several viable sub-species over time.

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John S
PDX OR
2549 Posts
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11
February 6, 2022 - 12:41 pm

"This is my favorite home orchard forum."

This is mine, too, Daniel W.

I like that if you can grow it, I probably can too.  I also like that I've actually met many of you and I can reasonably meet you for some gardening reason or just to say hi.

John S
PDX OR

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Crankyankee
Connecticut
78 Posts
(Offline)
12
February 6, 2022 - 10:06 pm

>> triploids as a result of 'prunus kerrasis x prunus avium' (carmine jewel)... Should you want to double those into fertility (ie. hexaploids) I have saved enough to send you.

Yes I do want them, thanks Rooney. I will PM you about the details.

Zone 6a in the moraines of eastern Connecticut.

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Rooney
Vancouver SW Washington
647 Posts
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13
February 7, 2022 - 10:24 am

If your religious on your notes that you provided of Ken Coates practice of thick cherry scions then you won't like thin wood. You provided the guide on HOS almost a year ago. Don't be deterred when you get some thin wood because they stick graft fine. I have no goals to double these into fertility. I'm trying to grow mine into rootstocks so fertility isn't an issue. Both mother trees tout small form, especially Prunus Kerrasis, which is actually the pollen donor (avium x kerr).

Based on my all-in-one cherry tree these two hybrids balance the scale of 66% thin and spreading like the Kerr trees, and 33% of the smallest avium (sweet type) I could find on the streets. The other 3 cherry grafts on the all-in-one are derived from Regina and Attica and all three have great fruit size. So it looks like one or both the parents are faithful in transferring large fruit to the seedlings. I have to cut the sweets back to push dominance back to the triploid second generation Kerr types. 

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Crankyankee
Connecticut
78 Posts
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14
February 7, 2022 - 10:35 am

My notes on Ken Coates' lessons are not gospel 🙂

>> Don't be deterred when you get some thin wood because they stick graft fine. 

I proved this as well, a lot of the scionwood from last season were pretty thin. I think timing is a critical factor in grafting. Spring break is magical when it comes to grafting.

I still have to send you an email on these, hopefully later today. I'm in covid quarantine working from a laptop.

Zone 6a in the moraines of eastern Connecticut.

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Reinettes
Lewis Co., WA
373 Posts
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15
February 8, 2022 - 4:19 pm

Crankyankee,

Do you have access to colchicine solutions?  Just curious about your method for chromosome doubling....  Way, way back in high school, I had a Biology Teacher who was willing to make a colchicine solution for me so that I could try to double the chromosomes of some Achimenes (Gesneriaceae) so that, ultimately, I could then try some intergeneric crosses.  Sadly, the trials didn't work, but, then again, one needs to experiment with a diversity of dilutions to find what will work in a given type of plant.  

Good luck in your experimentation, Don.  I'd love to see any signs of success!  Experimentation is FUN!!!

Reinettes.

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DanielW
Clark County, WA
519 Posts
(Offline)
16
February 8, 2022 - 9:58 pm

I once went through a phase when I was reading about oryzalin or trifluralin to induce tetraploidy but never tried it.  Im enough of a mad scientist already.

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Rooney
Vancouver SW Washington
647 Posts
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17
February 9, 2022 - 9:39 am

Daniel, myself as well. That's what this stuff is that I still have and don't need anymore. It worked on doubling many but special aftercare was warranted on the seedlings that got changed as a result of this.

None the less still look forward to what Crankyankee has to say.

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Crankyankee
Connecticut
78 Posts
(Offline)
18
February 9, 2022 - 11:06 am

I have notes on doubling techniques but I'm still in quarantine and they are not with me. As for compounds I don't have bottles of reagents but I do have colchicum autumnalis bulbs and a tub of Preen and plan to extract these to make working solutions of colchicine and trifluralin, respectively. I do not have any Surflan which I wish I did because I am told that orizylin is most effective for the purpose.

As Reinettes points out, dosage variation is the key to success. My plan is to bracket concentration and exposure time and hope for the best. Since the concentrations of colchicine in colchicum corms are known, 0.3% to 0.5%, and the label of Preen says trifluralin = 1.47%, then approximating the appropriate dosages should be straightforward. There are some issues with trifluralin iirc as it is only barely water soluble but I need to check my notes on the details.

The people who knew how to do this well using crocus bulbs were the cannabis breeders 'back in the day'.

Zone 6a in the moraines of eastern Connecticut.

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Rooney
Vancouver SW Washington
647 Posts
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19
February 9, 2022 - 12:23 pm

The smallest quantity for Triluralin was the 2 gallons I bought 10 years ago and still have. DMSO may be required for Trifluralin to work and also has been taken off the shelves to regular users. DMSO was taken off due to public abuse and mine ended up getting lost. So with no DMSO I'm no longer interested in doubling but still interested as a science minded person.

Trifluralin

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Reinettes
Lewis Co., WA
373 Posts
(Offline)
20
February 9, 2022 - 5:18 pm

"...oryzalin or trifluralin...."

Holy Smokes! You guys are WAY past me!  I haven't even heard of them!  

In regards to things that you bought but don't really know how to use them:  I have a vial of N-Dimethylamino-Succinamic Acid that I must have purchased in high school that was supposed to be useful for dwarfing plants.  How to use it?!  No clue whatsoever.  I just now walked down the hall to the study to see if it was still where I put it.  (I couldn't have spelled it otherwise).  I guess that experimentation is only helpful if you have a gol'dang clue about how to use it!  ...Apparently, this stuff is basically B-9.  It might as well be a B-52 for all I know about its use.  

I'd like to get some Aniline Blue dye for checking pollen viability percentage under a microscope, but -- unless you're a science teacher or are employed as a scientist at a recognized institution -- its sale seems to be verboten.  ???  ...I cannot figure out how it could be either toxic or of any potential use whatsoever in producing a weapon of destruction....

Anyway, I'd love to hear about results of any experimentation, whether a success or a failure.  That's how we learn. Smile

Reinettes.

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Crankyankee
Connecticut
78 Posts
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21
February 9, 2022 - 5:45 pm

Walmart sells DMSO online. If I'm not mistake you should be able to get it at your local pharmacy over the counter.

Staining is not necessary to check for pollen viability. If you spring for a cheap microscope or even a macro lens for your camera then you can use a bit of sugar with a tiny bit of boric acid in solution to germinate pollen grains and view them under the scope. It's actually pretty easy, this abstract has enough information to get you started.

https://experts.umn.edu/en/pub.....mperatures

The key numbers are l.5% sucrose, 40ppm boric acid. Borax is available from Walmart too but I'd check your local hardware store. If you have a local Tractor Supply they might be a source for DMSO, it's a horse lineament.

One thing to remember about pollen is that there is a lot of it. Even when viability is low you can sometimes get good crosses because a small percentage of a lot is still a lot.

Zone 6a in the moraines of eastern Connecticut.

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Reinettes
Lewis Co., WA
373 Posts
(Offline)
22
February 9, 2022 - 6:33 pm

Crankyankee,

Thanks for the very interesting article citation.  However, no longer being at an academic institution, I'd be hard-pressed to measure out 40 parts per million of Boric Acid.  Any such endeavor on my part would be clumsy and thoroughly inaccurate.  I do however have a "cheap" microscope.  I got it on, I think, my fifth birthday because my parents apparently recognized my fascination with the natural world.  Unlike something comparable that would be sold to kids nowadays and made with plastic of one infernal sort or another, this thing dates to the '60s and is made of metal.  It's small, but it's a high quality little thing.  I used to love putting a drop of pond water on a slide and watching the paramecia and amoebae go about their humble little lives.  Oh, heck:  even just dissolving some sucrose in water and seeing all the groovy colors!!!  WHOA dude!  Whole different universe that humans are oblivious to....  Sorry man, I don't mean to "trip out".  It's just that it was so eye-opening to a young kid to see into a whole different world that is otherwise invisible to humans.  

Am I rambling?  Of course.  Sorry, Don.

Tim.

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Reinettes
Lewis Co., WA
373 Posts
(Offline)
23
February 9, 2022 - 6:40 pm

P.S. -- I forgot to ask:  When do you get out of quarantine, and are you faring reasonably well?  There now seem to be few active Forum members and we always love the diversity of opinions and contributions made by folks who "happen to drop in".  Wishing you all the best.

Reinettes.

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Crankyankee
Connecticut
78 Posts
(Offline)
24
February 10, 2022 - 9:52 am

The borate is optional, sugar is enough to do the job.

>> When do you get out of quarantine, and are you faring reasonably well?

Thanks for asking. I'm triply vaccinated and as a result all I have had are mild cold symptoms as did all the others in our household - we live much of the time with one of our children and her family. I happened to be staying back at our own house when I felt a scratchy throat and went through a local testing center. The test was positive so I stayed put. I'll be heading back tomorrow with a thoroughly updated task list that starts with winter pruning.

Right now our ground is frozen solid. My orchard diary from last year begin with a slight thaw on March 8 when I was able to get a shovel under a young blackberry to transplant it. Cherry grafting started the next day. I'm interested to know when you folks in Washington and Oregon begin your orcharding season?

Zone 6a in the moraines of eastern Connecticut.

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Rooney
Vancouver SW Washington
647 Posts
(Offline)
25
February 10, 2022 - 12:21 pm

Crankyankee said
Walmart sells DMSO online. If I'm not mistake you should be able to get it at your local pharmacy over the counter.

  

Thankyou. I think availability varies State to State though.

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DanielW
Clark County, WA
519 Posts
(Offline)
26
February 11, 2022 - 7:25 am

Crankyankee said
I'm interested to know when you folks in Washington and Oregon begin your orcharding season?

  

This week I finished pruning all but one apple tree.  I procrastinated the last one because it's a mess, but even it is half done.  I also finished pruning the grape vines, pruned raspberries and blackberries and replanted some.  I'll probably do a little grafting in a few weeks.  I pruned my pears in the fall, and will wait on the stone fruits until they bloom, although they don't need much this year.

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DanielW
Clark County, WA
519 Posts
(Offline)
27
February 11, 2022 - 7:43 am

Reinettes said
P.S. -- I forgot to ask:  When do you get out of quarantine, and are you faring reasonably well?  There now seem to be few active Forum members and we always love the diversity of opinions and contributions made by folks who "happen to drop in".  Wishing you all the best.

Reinettes.

  

Thanks Reinettes, and you too.  My household will hunker down for a few more weeks.  Thank goodness for grocery delivery, e-commerce, and the few remaining squashes, apples, and the canned fruits for variety.  I'm due for the next booster in late March.   After that I think I can get out more.  Also thank goodness for having an orchard and garden to obsess over and focus the mind,

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Reinettes
Lewis Co., WA
373 Posts
(Offline)
28
February 11, 2022 - 5:53 pm

DanielW said:

...My household will hunker down for a few more weeks.  Thank goodness for grocery delivery, e-commerce, and the few remaining squashes, apples, and the canned fruits for variety.  I'm due for the next booster in late March.   After that I think I can get out more....

Daniel:  Thanks.  I spend such a profoundly small amount of time online that I just can't comment on everybody's interesting posts, and yet I have so many questions that I want to ask from each one....  [...Then again... you regulars know how hard it can be for me to shut the heck up....]  🙂

In terms of your most recent post today, I'm curious about which remaining squashes and apples you have, and how/where you store them.  I'm always interested in those fruits and vegetables that were traditionally stored for winter use "back in the good ol' days" that preceded my own.  So many of the classic old apples were harvested in late fall or early winter, only to gradually ripen to "perfection of taste" during the wintertime.  Also, only just this morning, I was digging-out some F1 seeds of Winter squash hybrid crosses (Cucurbita maxima) that I'd made which now need to be grown-out and selected-from toward my goals.  ...If only the deer mice, voles, moles, rabbits and local deer cooperate this year, I hope to have a productive garden which will reduce the amount of produce that my wife and I need to purchase.  Besides, organically homegrown is always superior in taste and nutritional level.

Today, my wife and I got our Covid-19 booster shots.  We've been lucky so far.  Her co-workers have been dropping like flies around her, but -- while still lethal -- the Omicron variant is apparently much more merciful than the Delta.  Glad I was able to get a booster, given that I have jury duty for the month of March.  

Tim (Reinettes).

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DanielW
Clark County, WA
519 Posts
(Offline)
29
February 12, 2022 - 8:01 am

Reinettes said
...In terms of your most recent post today, I'm curious about which remaining squashes and apples you have, and how/where you store them.  I'm always interested in those fruits and vegetables that were traditionally stored for winter use "back in the good ol' days" that preceded my own.  So many of the classic old apples were harvested in late fall or early winter, only to gradually ripen to "perfection of taste" during the wintertime.  Also, only just this morning, I was digging-out some F1 seeds of Winter squash hybrid crosses (Cucurbita maxima) that I'd made which now need to be grown-out and selected-from toward my goals.

...

Tim (Reinettes).

  

Tim, 

I still have the following in my unheated, attached garage.  They still look fresh.

Pink Banana Squash (family heirloom, a maxima type).

Illinois Squash (moschata so cross pollination isn't an issue I guess).  The neck is like a huge Butternut type, but yellow flesh instead of orange.   Abe Lincoln's parents grew these.

Red Kuri Squash (maxima, a kobucha type but also a French type).

Costata Romanescu. (technically a zucchini. Fully ripe, they are about 12 pounds, flesh milder flavor than the others but still cook nice in stir fry or roasted.  A pepo type so shouldn't cross pollinate with Illinois or the maximas but needs isolation from other zukes and some summer squash and pepo pumpkins).

The reason I don't have additional Galeux d'Eyssine pumpkin is we liked them too much and ate them already.  Favorite type.

I like to cook them the same as carrots.  I cube them and stir fry, takes a little longer but very good, or include in sheet pan dinners.

This year I will add two open pollinated (maxima) varieties of Buttercup Squash (Burgess and "Uncle David's Dakota") and grow less of the biggest types.  The big ones are excellent, but once cut open, it's hard to use up a whole 10 or 15 pound squash before it goes bad.  Cube them and freeze works, or cook them down, puree, freeze.  I hope the buttercups should keep as long without special storage or processing)

I cover selected female and male flowers using organza bag, then hand pollinate and cover again, to keep them pure.  It takes some being alert to know when they are ready to pollinate.  I also hand pollinate the others, to ensure fruit set but bees do a good job too.

Squash can be good in a fairly open orchard, but contrary to reports, deer sample the vines and hungry deer can really eat them up.  I've grown some of  them successfully unprotected in my deer super-highway yard, but nonstickery types tend to get eaten.  Costata romanescu is pretty stickery so does better but hungry deer sample even that one.  The 1-inch open mesh deer/bird netting works pretty well just lay it over the plants.  Also, it's a "bush" type but still quite large, bigger than other zucchinis (and meatier and better flavor).  Some of mine were partly shaded and still reached 15#.

What are your crosses?

 

As for apples, they all got mixed up.  We are near the end of them.  The smaller, harder red ones are still pretty good - I think Jonared and King David.  I have plans for other reputed keepers this year, if they bear - Black Oxford, Goldrush, and I forget some.  Cosmic Crisp is specifically bred for long keeping and handling, my tree is dwarf and young but might bear a few this year,

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Reinettes
Lewis Co., WA
373 Posts
(Offline)
30
February 14, 2022 - 7:37 pm

Daniel,

I think that right up front I need to apologize to other readers who are only interested in fruit growing in the PNW, but (shame on me!) I have also introduced some vegetables that might be growing adjacent to the orchard trees.  It's all food that, once upon a time people grew instead of purchasing....

I can't respond to all the items that you mention, but, as for the apples, I'm particularly curious about how 'Black Oxford' and 'Goldrush' do for you in your locality.  I just checked, and I have 'Goldrush' on order as scion wood (due any day).  I've been curious, though, about how 'Black Oxford', a late maturing northern New England apple, would perform here in the PNW.  I'm always cautious about what apple varieties do well in other parts of the U.S., but won't necessarily do well for me.  ...No point in growing up a tree that won't ripen its fruit in my local microclimate. Wink

[Other readers, please ignore the following:]

As for the squash crosses that I've made that need to be grown-out and self-pollinated and selected*, here are a couple, although there is NO assurance that they will result in anything to my satisfaction, and I've always bred plants for myself and with no commercial interest:

A summer squash (Cucurbita pepo), that is 25% cousa/marrow-type, 25% 'Costata Romanesca', and that is pollinated by 50% 'the traditional 'Yellow Crookneck'.  In this "seed batch" there will be an incredible genetic diversity of progeny to select from and pollinate.  I have a specific goal but, all I can do is reach my imagined "goal".  My personal tastes always rank as a priority in my vegetable breeding.

Winter squash (C. maxima):  a cross of 'Burgess Buttercup' x 'Sweet Meat'.  These are two of my favorites, and I always recommend to others who want to do hybridizing that they cross a favorite with another favorite.  (Only makes sense, doesn't it?).  ...But then, one has to conscientiously pursue the selection and controlled crosses through subsequent generations to ultimately approach the envisioned outcome, which could easily take at least 5-8 growing seasons, in order to have a true-breeding variety from seed.  

Winter squash (C. maxima):  an F1 cross of 'Kindred' x 'Sugar Hubbard', both of which are rare cultivars.  For this one I don't actually have a specific visual on what I'm going for.  Suffice to say, I want something that does well here for me, is of manageable  and useful size, matures fully in my microclimate, doesn't look like a homeless bum, and to me tastes exquisite.  Not a lot to ask. Laugh  

(You'd think that I planned on living forever.)  

Tim (Reinettes).

*[Nice to "hear" that there's someone who cares about purity of varietal seed lines and engages in controlled pollination.  Also, 'Red Kuri' is one of my wife's favorites, so obviously I need to grow it again.] 

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DanielW
Clark County, WA
519 Posts
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February 15, 2022 - 9:22 am

 I have also introduced some vegetables that might be growing adjacent to the orchard trees.  It's all food that, once upon a time people grew instead of purchasing....

I can't respond to all the items that you mention, but, as for the apples, I'm particularly curious about how 'Black Oxford' and 'Goldrush' do for you in your locality.  I just checked, and I have 'Goldrush' on order as scion wood (due any day).  I've been curious, though, about how 'Black Oxford', a late maturing northern New England apple, would perform here in the PNW.  I'm always cautious about what apple varieties do well in other parts of the U.S., but won't necessarily do well for me.  ...No point in growing up a tree that won't ripen its fruit in my local microclimate

  

Tim, I think it's OK to mention other crops.  Squash is a fruit, although it's an annual fruit and we don't usually think of it being in an orchard.  if it's inappropriate, I don't mind not talking about it.  Just let me know.  I have tree fruits, brambles, and annuals mixed together and separate both.

I thought about crossing squashes.  So far, by far my favorite for flavor is Galeux d'eysines.  Its a little big, I would like smaller size and larger number.  Maybe I'll cross with Buttercup.  I have room to grow out a large number but that is too much effort for me.

The reason I source scion and some kitchen garden seeds in Maine (Fedco and Johnny's) is I imagine the Maine latitude (seasonal day lengths) and growing degree days are similar to here.  Winter is colder of course.    For example, growing degree days last year in Clinton Maine from May to Oct were 2290, and here in Battleground, WA were 2699. Reference.  For comparison, here are GGD for selected areas in WA State.  If anything, I think Black Oxford "should" be slightly earlier here.  Plus, there is rootstock consideration.

I have mixed results with Goldrush.  Everyone else loves it.  Part of my problem is insects so I will try bags on it this year.

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cmullin
Philomath, OR
58 Posts
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February 15, 2022 - 11:52 am

My wife and I are spending several days planting trees we got from the Benton County Soil Conservation District. Cottonwoods, Quaking aspen, ash,  beaked hazel, and Oregon myrtle(this one has culinary uses, California bay leaf). The trees were only $1.50 a pop, so pretty cheep. We are likely to get additional ones over the next few years. This is not everything they have, but we can only plant so much each year.

Then I need to prune the fruit trees we already have. Apple, pear, Asian pear, plum and cherry, none have be pruned in a decade or more. I don't know what varieties we have , wish I did.(ID is a hope in the long run, but challenging) I have a plan to get the fruit trees in shape to graft some scions next winter(its likely to take more than one season to do all the pruning though). Both the list from the Temperate Orchard society and the Agrarian Sharing network are tempting. Also in another post, hope to due some eating citrus, but that is next summer if the greenhouse is fixed.

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Reinettes
Lewis Co., WA
373 Posts
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February 15, 2022 - 5:30 pm

cmullin,

"...trees we got from the Benton County Soil Conservation District. Cottonwoods, Quaking aspen, ash, beaked hazel, and Oregon myrtle (this one has culinary uses, California bay leaf)....

When I was in my early 20's and lived in southern California, I decided that I needed to get to know the local flora better.  I started with hikes up in the San Gabriel Mountains, up in San Antonio Canyon.  At the higher elevations, that's when I was introduced to "Oregon bayleaf", (Umbellularia californica).  When I'd go hiking up the canyon, I'd collect a leaf, fold it in half, and chew on it, and savour it as I hiked.  So refreshing!  It has always been (ever since) one of my favorite evergreen trees.  At our county seat (Chehalis), I was aware of one individual tree.  Walking past it, I picked and chewed a leaf.  Sadly, it was removed a few years ago.  

I fantasize about having a few of them on our property, but our microclimate is "a tad" colder than the county seat, and our heavy, disturbed, clay soil means having to bring in amended glacial alluvium from elsewhere in Washington in order to grow one or more.  I have NOT given up.  It makes a beautiful, densely-shading tree which, as you say, has culinary uses.  Far more people should grow it.  I think that it's the only avocado relative native to the Pacific U.S.  ...One time, on a hike up in the San Gabriel Mountains, I was in the right place at the right time and ate the ripe flesh off of a perfectly ripe Umbellularia fruit.  ...I swear upon all of my ancestors that it was as buttery and tasty as the best avocado that I had ever eaten!  ...I never exaggerate except when I do so in jest:  I jest not here.

If you have the soil and climate for it, I suggest at least a half dozen.  They will be a "legacy tree" on your parcel.

Tim (Reinettes).

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Reinettes
Lewis Co., WA
373 Posts
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February 16, 2022 - 3:44 pm

Daniel,

Yesterday I posted another, longer, response, but after "doing the math" and trying to add my response, it disappeared and I found that I had been "automatically" logged-out.  Thus, this one is quite abbreviated....

...I think it's OK to mention other crops.  Squash is a fruit, although it's an annual fruit and we don't usually think of it being in an orchard.  if it's inappropriate, I don't mind not talking about it.  Just let me know.  I have tree fruits, brambles, and annuals mixed together and separate both.

Americans who have been divorced from the natural world, and the traditions of the farming families that many of them came from 3-4 generations ago (before urbanization), will till you that a watermelon or a cantaloupe is a "fruit", but a tomato or pumpkin is a "vegetable".  It's fascinating to look at the statistics of rural vs. urban Americans over the last 150 years.

I thought about crossing squashes.  So far, by far my favorite for flavor is Galeux d'eysines.  Its a little big, I would like smaller size and larger number.  Maybe I'll cross with Buttercup.  I have room to grow out a large number but that is too much effort for me.

I've been aware of 'Galeuse d'Eysines (or 'Galeux' depending on the regional French dialect), but I always thought of it as more of an "ornamental" winter squash.  It has become so widely grown in such a short span of years that it's not uncommon to find it outside the Chehalis "Safeway" market in the autumn, or used as a "decorative gourd" elsewhere locally.  I guess that I was unaware that it actually tasted good.  ...I may have to trial it in the future.  If it tastes as good as you suggest, but it's too big and needs to be a smaller winter squash, then an F1 cross to 'Buttercup' would be a great way to start.

Tim (Reinettes).

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cmullin
Philomath, OR
58 Posts
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35
February 16, 2022 - 4:02 pm

I had a similar experience in the San Gabriel's for bay when I was a teen in Scouts. We were at a campsite and this guy is walking around looking at(not that unusual) and sniffing(unusual) the leaves on different trees. He saw us (it was a whole troop, we must have been 20 guys) staring at him and he came over. He explained what the California bay was and that his wife used it in cooking. I have wanted one ever since.

I was surprised they are native to where I live now in Oregon.  We have planted some, and hopefully they take. They are great trees and the leaves are wonderful. If they work really well I will get more and perhaps distill some essential oil. My wife makes soap so it would be useful. 

Sorry if I am drifting off topic, but man we had the same experience in the San Gabriel's in Socal.

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Reinettes
Lewis Co., WA
373 Posts
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36
February 16, 2022 - 6:04 pm

cmullin,

If you're off topic, then I'm afraid that I'm the culprit.  I just don't know how to sufficiently apologize to the others on the Forum about the fact that I've breached the boundaries of the normal subject matter.  I think that maybe I need to be "put down", as one does to a beloved pet.... which is not to suggest that I am.... Smile

Your post suggests that you've been in SoCal for most of your life (all?).  As far as I know from the botanical literature, it (Umbellularia californica) gets only as far north as south-western Oregon near the coast.  It's the northern-western edge of what botanists call the "Californian Floristic Province".  After moving from SoCal to Lewis County, Washington, I came into the "Vancouverian Floristic Province".  I've now spent 2 decades trying to learn just what exactly can be grown here successfully.  You, at least, have more heat units than I do.  

The San Gabriel Mountains are beautiful, aren't they?  ...You hike high enough, and you can look down upon the valleys enveloped in a "soup" of brownish smog.  It was my native Californian wife who insisted upon moving "North".  We're better off, but I terribly miss the incredibly diverse, endemic flora of SoCal.  It's globally unique.  

Tim (Reinettes).

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Larry_G
140 Posts
(Offline)
37
February 17, 2022 - 11:46 am

The California Bay Laurel does well in our region, some trees here in SE Portland get 30'H x 40'W,

mine planted about 25 years ago is 25'H x 20'W. Philomath trees will not have to put up with

Columbia River Gorge influences.

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Dubyadee
Puyallup, Washington, USA
219 Posts
(Offline)
38
February 17, 2022 - 1:02 pm

When I farmed in North Dakota 30 years ago I used tons of Treflan granules (10% trifluralin) as preemergence herbicide to control grasses and pigweed in wheat and sunflowers. I do not understand how you use it to change ploidy of seeds.  Do you spray on a plant or blossom and harvest the seeds?  Do you treat the seeds?

I think it is amazing that fish hatcheries can make sterile triploid trout by putting fish eggs in a pressure vessel before incubation.

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Reinettes
Lewis Co., WA
373 Posts
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39
February 17, 2022 - 5:34 pm

Dubyadee said:

When I farmed in North Dakota 30 years ago I used tons of Treflan granules (10% trifluralin) as preemergence herbicide to control grasses and pigweed in wheat and sunflowers. I do not understand how you use it to change ploidy of seeds....

If your pre-emergent herbicide (10% trifluralin), was used to prevent germination of viable plant seeds in the soil, and Trifluralin is used in doubling plant chromosomes, it would most certainly seem to be a chemical mutagenic acting upon biological organisms at various dilutions.  As for the appropriate level of dilution for use as a chromosome doubler, I'll have to leave that to those have who have actually successfully used it as such.

I've lived long enough now to know that far too many chemicals that "industry" said were "safe" for consumer use have, in fact, not been.  Some were later found to be carcinogenic, mutagenic, or teratogenic.  "What the public doesn't know won't hurt them".  

Tim (Reinettes).

We're all guinea pigs my friend. Laugh

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Rooney
Vancouver SW Washington
647 Posts
(Offline)
40
February 17, 2022 - 8:05 pm

I agree with everything that Reinettes answered in his following towards your query Dubyadee. BTW, I have several years farming under my belt as well. 

All this is harder all the time to get now and not just the DMSO that is part of the documentary and set of procedures of it. Safety is a concern, therefore without permission by others that govern over the full text of the article it might be impossible to get.

If it still helps use this next line of characters and put (or type) that into the google search box:
site:proquest.com Trifluralin Zlesak

It may be much safer than colchcine.

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Dubyadee
Puyallup, Washington, USA
219 Posts
(Offline)
41
February 17, 2022 - 9:43 pm

Thanks for the link to the study abstracts. It appears that the growing tissue (or tissue culture) is treated with the solution to modify the ploidy. 
There are efforts to cross arguta hardy kiwi with deliciosa or chinensis to produce larger smooth-skinned kiwi. Problem as I understand is that these are different ploidies and produce sterile seeds?  Several articles about kiwi on the site also. 

On the farm the Treflan was broadcast at rate of 5-10 lbs per acre (0.5 to 1.0 lb active ingredient) and worked into the soil 3-4 inches deep. Concentration would then be about 0.3 to 0.5 ppm. 

C83AC077-56F7-42CA-AE61-37C73E665DFF.jpeg

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Reinettes
Lewis Co., WA
373 Posts
(Offline)
42
February 18, 2022 - 4:36 pm

Dubyadee,

Though I shouldn't be, I'm always amazed at just how many people "out there" loved the unique perspective that cartoonist Gary Larson brought us for so many years.  Two or 3 decades ago now, I remember seeing cut-out Larson cartoons taped to numerous office and laboratory doors....  Everybody had favorites, regardless of their field of interest.  As a matter of fact, there is one still stuck to our fridge door that has been gradually yellowing over the years. Laugh

I've developed a bit of a tremor in my hands that I sometimes wonder whether it was due to my use of Malathion back in the late '70s-early '80s.  It was one of those freely available, widely sold items for various uses back then.  I stopped using it in the early '80s after reading about some people who used a dilution of it to bathe and "cure" their cat of fleas.  The cat died.  Subsequently, I continued to see the occasional article suggesting its neurotoxic effects. Cry

I've gone to all-natural fertilizers and inputs.  The plants sure seem to appreciate it.  Something like kelp meal certainly does miracles to replace depleted micronutrients in soils that have only been "fertilized" with N-P-K fertilizers and have become depleted of the countless other elemental nutrients that living organisms require.

Tim (Reinettes)

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