Sunday, May 22, 2011

Warm Days, Big Rain, and a Change

Male catkins of Bur Oak - some things are just fun to take pictures of...
Grafting tomatoes - Red Peach root stock and a variety of scions
Finding single edge razor blades is a trick.
I cut both plants together to make sure the angle is the same to graft them together. To remember which is the scion I cut the seed leaves off and not on the rootstock.
I have two sizes of these sleeves and I learned that you keep them on until the plant grows out of them.
Now the tray of grafts goes into a humid, warm, dark environment for a week.
Apple flowers on Friday will be blooming today and waiting for bees.

The garden had almost dried out when we had a cloud burst today and water ran through the garden and will put off tilling for some time. As I dug around yesterday I noticed that closer to the house the soil was still too wet to till so I decided to paint the garden shed instead. I got two sides done before the weather man warned of thunderstorms and hail - a greenhouse nightmare. So I put my paints away and covered the greenhouse with a tarp and as luck would have it scared the hail away. I will leave the tarp up all night as the storms seem to still be in the forecasts and I can pull the tarp off in the morning.
I spent most of Friday transplanting tomatoes. I put them into four packs and thus had some plants left over, so I tried grafting again. Last post showed the grafted tomatoes that I shipped in and today's post has some pictures of the plants I grafted. I had plenty of Red Peach rootstock so I took scions from whatever I had extra and got eight grafted plants. I once again almost lost them because my heat mat got TOO warm overnight but all seems to be going well now. I will keep them in the dark until Tuesday and then slowly bring them into the light.
I also started melons and cucumbers along with the special seeds I purchased to try grafting these plants too. I may have some problems as I have a return trip to AZ scheduled in a little less than three weeks and this might not be enough time to get the grafts done - Oh well it's all experimentation fun.
I had to make other arrangements for my baby chickens as I have a new family commitment that will be taking me back and forth to AZ and we all decided that the chickens would be too difficult to manage this year. Getting the shed painted and a coop built were some additional problems. Happily I found homes for them all. Joe took two on Friday and Beth and Todd took Kevin and her sisters today. I am so happy for everyone as I am sure that these birds have great new homes and will be welcome additions to both these Urban Chicken families. Good luck guys and all we ask is for a couple of eggs sometime in the fall.
I included pictures of my favorite oak flowers this week as I find these so very interesting and take pictures of them every spring. Plus the apples are blooming and here's hoping we have some bees out there doing their work.
Happy Gardening


  1. Why did you choose Red Peach root stock?

  2. Hi Richard,
    I have grown this tomato for a long time and what I notice is that when you try to pull them out in the fall it has an amazing root system. Plus if I were in a warmer zone I am sure I would have fruit on these plants till Thanksgiving. This is a very vigorous plant and that is just what you need for root stock. Plus if you look at the commercial rootstock other grafter use its is very expensive for 20 seeds. Also its is just a good eating little tomato. I would gladly send you some - you could message me on my Facebook page!/thevegetablegardenblog
    Happy Gardening