to Mar 18

Pruning and Rooting hardwoods

This is a great time to look at the bare shape of your favorite dormant fruiting shrubs and trees to help envision the next season's growth. Be sure to cut branches that rub and cross each other. Also imagine the amount of area leaves take up and be sure to cut for the space needed to help keep air flowing through the plant, avoiding fungus and other pest issues inherent in high moisture environments. Past that, think creatively! Do you want some more height in this space or a lower trained plant that is easy to harvest?

After pruning, many dormant hardwoods will root or can be used to graft onto other trees. I tend to keep a cheap experiment apple tree near to practice grafting, and multi-variety grafts are all the rage these days! I have found the cuttings of fig trees easily root themselves in water, and can make a pretty penny in the next year as an established tree, or perhaps the beginning of a fig fence :)  

For the rest of the branches, some may prove to save a penny on bamboo stakes over the coming spring vege season, and building a quick trellis or other growing structure for future vines may be worth the time, but beware these sticks usually last just up into the end of the season, nothing like bamboo poles, so don't use them on favorite perennial vines unless you are ready to rebuild each season. I made this mistake with a kiwi berry and maple cuttings, it looked great the first year and fell flat the next.

enjoy the end of winter and be sure to look into what seeds you have, which you need, and what can be started early. I already have scarlet runner beans sprouting as well as a sprouting fodder to feed the quail of outdated or unlabeled seeds that are over 5 years old. 

Happy New Year! 


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to Oct 29

Pumpkin Carving!

Perfect time to grab and carve some jack'o'lanterns, and remember, the quail love the scarps, as do the birds and deer in your area. My favorite use of pumpkins would have to be making a spiced mash and boiling it into a cider to ferment, then using the boiled mash as biscuits, which i found to have a texture similar to cornbread. What do you do with pumpkins?>

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to Aug 31

Replant late autumn veggies

start now to have veggies after the heat but before the frost. find a shaded corner and let kale, broccoli, peas, and other late season crops. the new sprouts will also bring vibrancy to the hot tired state most summer gardens are in. Also "bee" sure there are plants attracting and supporting pollinators during this dry time of year. most garden plants are done with flowering and forming fruit, but supporting bees now after the garden's traditional bounty is intact keeps the garden charted as a hot spot for good bugs, enriching next year's experience. 

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