Thursday, February 12, 2015

Just when you think you have a handle on things... Your head explodes!

Well it has been quite an enlightening week so far.  In the process of ordering trees you stumble upon STUFF... You know what I mean... The kind of stuff that makes you go "HOLD ON THERE, I DIDN'T KNOW THAT!"  Then you start reading and watching YouTube videos... Then it happens... Your head EXPLODES!  ROFL  Yes, it has been one of those weeks... A few weeks back I had started digging into Apple tree pruning... There is a big controversy if you should prune these trees or not.  And once you start pruning the trees apparently you need to keep pruning them or the trees get very unhappy and can die...  Well if you live in a remote/rural location and you have space then you might just be inclined to not prune the trees and let nature do it's thing.  And I see lots of apple trees that are out in fields, in yards etc that get no care at all and they are still producing apples.  Now how healthy the tree is or how infested the apples are with bugs I have no idea.  My mother gets apples from the neighbors who do nothing to their trees and the apples are good... At least some years they are anyway.  So the whole set it and forget it has merit if you have the space to just let your trees go wild and you have enough diversity that there are other things there besides apples so that it isn't a monoculture crop. 

However I am presently stuck in suburbia, and my retirement property where I plan to live and garden is a long ways away in Missouri and I live in Colorado.  So I can't do a lot from here, but when I do start planting trees there in MO I may consider trying to let some trees go wild and do their thing.  However I live in a small place, on a small city lot.  I don't have a lot of room here so managing the size and behavior of the trees becomes fare more important when your trying to maximize your space and production.  So pruning will be essential here.  So I started watching lots of videos on how to prune apple trees.... Goodness sakes... You have to have a PHD in Prunology to figure all of this out!  That is when my head exploded.  Well I have had some time to chew on the apple pruning thing, and I now have the tools to get the job done.  So that will begin this weekend as I start butchering my poor little trees!

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water:
Well I started to think OK, maybe I have a decent idea sorta kinda how to prune that apple tree... But what about the poor grapes I have been trying to keep alive through renters who have lived at my house and have ignored what landscaping I had in place.  The grapes have somehow managed to survive and I don't know how... Or I should say 2 of the 3 grape plants have survived.  But now they are really not pruned or cared for.  So I started looking at grape pruning and propagation last night... I am sure you had to have heard another explosion... Yes, my head exploded again... Holy moly... Then I started looking at raspberries and blackberries... WOW, this pruning thing is really overwhelming.  But I am going to give it a shot.

The grapes will have to be cut back dramatically and I need to establish a cordon on the fencing I have it growing next to.  I will get into more of what it is and how it is supposed to work as I start hacking up my grape plants.  I will try to show you what I am doing and share some of the videos I have been watching.  I don't know about you, but anyone who is a master gardener and understands how all of this works really has their head FULL of information.  That is just the topic of pruning...  I have half a dozen of these projects waiting on me to get moving.  I will wait until my rooting hormone shows up to prune the grapes.  I am going to try and grow some from the cuttings.  I don't know if it is the right time of year to try this.  Everyone says to cut these in the fall just after they go dormant.  Here we are toward the tail end of winter.  So I don't know if this will work.  But I will give it a try.   I am not out anything if it doesn't work.  I did order another grape plant with my tree order to replace the one I lost.  Hopefully I can cut these back and establish a cordon and a managable trellis system for my grapes.  This year will be a restructure year for the grapes. 

So that is what I have been up to today.  Didn't get to break away and work in the yard.  But have my plate full with lots of new learning!  Here is just one of the videos on pruning grapes for you own amusement... DISCLAIMER:  I am not responsible for YOUR HEAD EXPLODING!  LOL

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