Thursday, January 29, 2015

Mid-winter update

Two eggs per day now...usually. It's easy to tell who's egg is who's since they are such different colors. The light colored one is Cleo's and the darker one is Blondie's. Blondie's eggshells are very thick and kind of hard to break. Cleo's crack very easily and it's mostly yolk. I think she is a Jersey Giant. Hopefully they will all be laying very soon.

Fall Elderberry cuttings 

Elderberry cutting in 10"pot
The elderberry cuttings I took in the summer have done well. They are indoors and continue to put on new growth. It's basically a bullet proof plant to propagate.

Most of the goji berry cuttings have done well also. I have at least a dozen of them growing in pots indoors now. I believe that I paid around $15 for the one that I bought and it was about the same size as the ones I have potted.

Propagated goji
The goji's are just ridiculously easy to propagate. I don't remember having a single one not strike.

I cut up a long branch that fell off into little pieces and nearly all of them are now growing. Only the green section of the limb didn't take, all of the woody pieces are living in a couple of coffee cups filled with rain water.

Probably 10 or 12 4" long cuttings.

A few of the fig cuttings are now growing in pots. But I didn't have one hundred percent success with them.

I have a few of the raspberry root cuttings that are still going but they haven't been very vigorous. I think they are dormant.

Most of the comfrey root cuttings survived but the cats were eating the leaves and they got set back some, they are starting to rebound now. I put several goji, elderberry and comfrey plants from cuttings into the yard in the fall. The elderberry I put into a raised bed is going good but the cold hurt the goji a bit. The others in the yard got hammered by the chickens so it remains to be seen if they will come back up in the spring. I think there is a good chance they will.
Persimmon seedling

There are a few seedlings coming along quite well at the moment as well. Back in the summer I put about thirty wild persimmon seeds in a flat and of those two germinated. I put them in pots in the fall and they are indoors now. Persimmons grow very slowly. The tap root goes way down before the above ground growth shows itself. Both of them still have the seeds attached.

Lately, I've started a few citrus seeds from some fruit from the market. I've got four grapefruits growing from seeds I started with the damp paper towel method.

I also saved ten quince seeds and put them in a damp paper towel inside a zip bag and one of them germinated. It's now in a pot.

Quince seedling
Five tangerines germinated using the same method as well. I transplanted those over the weekend.  They are yet to break the soil.

I saved a lot of Bosc pear seeds and they are in the refrigerator until spring because they need to be stratified before they will germinate.

Although the fruit trees in the yard are said to be dormant over the winter, that isn't exactly the case. Buds have been forming on a lot of the trees and also some of the shrubs have them too. So they aren't totally "asleep". The apricot has by far the most but the peaches also have a lot too. The last frost date for us is the last week of March, so it's just around the corner.

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