Pruning Overgrown Apple Trees

Pruning Overgrown Apple Trees

This video is about pruning overgrown apple trees.  This is not the way that you prune an apple orchard yearly.  The tree shown here has been pruned once in the last eight years and is quite overgrown.


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Here’s What You need to Know

When pruning overgrown apple trees, you do not want to prune them too much in one year.  Maybe 20 to 25% of the tree at an absolute maximum.  Take out the worst wood first.  The tree didn’t get overgrown in one year, so you can’t fix it all in one year.

Timing is Everything

The only time to prune overgrown trees like this is when they are dormant.  Dormancy is during the winter and early spring when the trees do not have leaves on them.  By cutting when they are dormant you will shock the trees less.

Pruning Overgrown Apple Trees - Before Pruning

Pruning Overgrown Apple Trees – Before Pruning

The Tools

The first thing to do is to make sure the tools are clean.  You can use rubbing alcohol, hand sanitizer, or a bleach and water solution to clean the tools.  You want to clean the cutting edge after each tree that you trim so you don’t spread disease.

Out with the Dead Wood

Dead wood and diseased wood is the first wood to be removed.  Dead wood is doing no good and can harbor disease and rot, so remove it back to living wood.  Cut out any and all diseased wood back to good healthy wood.

Crossed and Damaged Branches

Next up is removing any branches that are crossed over one another and those that are rubbing on another branch.  If there are any branches that are damaged and broken or cracked, now is a good time to remove them.

Open to the Heavens

The last thing to do is to thin the tree out.  I usually start with any branches that are aimed back toward the center of the tree.  What I look for is branches aimed out away from the center of the tree, thereby opening the center of the tree up to daylight.

Pruning Overgrown Apple Trees - After Prune

Pruning Overgrown Apple Trees – After Prune

More Techniques

There are a lot of other more advanced pruning techniques, like leaving branches that are aiming downwards or tying branches downward to get hormones right for fruit production.  If you tree is that overgrown, these advanced techniques are best left for another year when you get the other issues mentioned above taken care of.


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Hardy Banana Spring Preparation

Hardy Banana Spring Preparation

This video is about Hardy Banana Spring Preparation and what needs to be done to prepare the hardy banana (Must basjoo) for spring.


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Here is What This Video is About

I did a post back in the fall titled Winterizing Hardy Bananas Musa basjoo.  This post shows how to prepare your hardy bananas for spring after that winterization.

What was done for Winterization

For winterization, we stacked bags of leaves all around the hardy bananas and then stacked them up two high.  From there we pushed loose leaves down into any open spaces and put a layer over the top.  Then, we took cuttings from the top of the hardy banana plants and draped them across the leaves, which stitched them into place and kept the wind from blowing them all around.

Hardy Banana Spring Preparation - Winterized

Hardy Banana Spring Preparation – Winterized

When Hardy Banana Spring Preparation Should Be Done

Timing really depends on your area.  A warmer climate will need to be done earlier.  My place is in Zone-7A and I generally do my place in March, depending on that year’s weather.  This year I did mine a little later because we had some late days of deep freeze.  You can prepare them and have freezes without any issue.  What you want to avoid is removing all of the protective winter mulch and then have temperatures dive into the teens.  This will kill the stalks down to the ground and they will have to start over later in the spring.

First Step of Spring Prep

The first thing you will want to do is to remove the old hardy banana tops that were draped across the top as well as any excess leaves draped across the top.  I just bag mine up and take them out to the farm for mulch.

Next

The next step is to remove the bags of leaves.  Again, I take my bags out to the farm and use them for mulch.

Then

The last cleanup step to get us to the ground is to do a final rake and bag around last year’s hardy banana stalks.  Leave any wood chips that you have as mulch around the banana plants.  Hardy bananas love water and the mulch will help keep them hydrated.

Hardy Banana Spring Preparation - Winter Mulch Removed

Hardy Banana Spring Preparation – Winter Mulch Removed

Here’s the Most Critical Step

One of the more important things you will need to do to prepare the hardy bananas for spring, is to cut the dead tops off.  If you wrap your hands around the tops of the plant and give a little squeeze it will feel either squishy or firm.  What we are looking for is firm.  As soon as you find that firmness, that is where we will make a cut.

Hardy Banana Spring Preparation - Trim Back

Hardy Banana Spring Preparation – Trim Back

How to Cut

We want to remove the dead tops all the way down to living tissue, which is where the hardy banana is firm.  Take a sharp knife and cut at a 30 to 45-degree angle at the point you have living tissue.  This cut will allow new growth to start unencumbered.  The new growth starts from the center of the stalk where the living tissue is found.  If an old dead stalk is curled over and tangled up, the new growth will not be able to find its way out of the center to start this year’s growth.

Hardy Banana Spring Preparation - Angled Cut

Hardy Banana Spring Preparation – Angled Cut

But why 30 to 45-Degree Angle

The angle is cut from one side down to the ground.  This angle will allow water to run off.  After a cut is made on the hardy bananas they will pump a lot of water up to the top of the plant.  That, plus rain water could sit there and rot the plant if you have a flat cut on top.  To avoid this, just make your cut at an angle so the water will run off.

You’re All Done

Now just sit back and enjoy these beautiful plants!

Hardy Banana Spring Preparation - Complete

Hardy Banana Spring Preparation – Complete


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Raspberry Pruning Basics | Spring Raspberry Pruning | Rubus idaeus

Raspberry Pruning Basics | Spring Raspberry Pruning | Rubus idaeus

Raspberry Pruning Basics - Start

Raspberry Pruning Basics – Start

This post is about Raspberry Pruning Basics | Spring Raspberry Pruning | Rubus idaeus.  We first go over the different type of canes, then we get into the actual pruning.


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Red raspberry with a botanical name of Rubus idaeus and sometimes called European raspberry is the common red-fruited species that you throughout Europe and Asia.  It is also the common type you find in North America even though the North American native variety is Rubus strigosus.

The Basics

In order to properly prune raspberry plants, you must understand the different canes so you know which ones to prune when.

Canes

Raspberries have perennial root systems and biennial canes. The first-year cane is a primocane.  The next year that cane is called a floricane and the year following that, the cane dies and can be completely removed.  An established raspberry bush will have all three types of canes.  This year’s new canes will be primocane, which will be next year’s floricane, but you will have new canes next year that will be that year’s primocane as well.

Primocane

The primocane are the first year’s growth. These canes do not have lateral branches and usually grow four to eight feet tall. Unless you have a variety referred to as “ever-beaing” these canes will not product fruit.  If you do have an everbearing variety, your raspberry bush will give you two fruitings – one on the floricane in the summer and one on the primocane in late summer into the fall.

Floricane

The floricane is what the cane is called in the second year.  It will not grow taller, but will grow lateral shoots.  The canes have will have short shoots called raceme that will have flowers on them in late spring to early summer and will produce fruit, usually in mid-summer, but some do produce in late summer.

Spent Floricane

The dead wood, also known as spent floricanes, are last year’s floricanes.  They will have a grayish, dead look to them and will have dead lateral shoots on them.

Raspberry Pruning Basics - Spent Floricane

Raspberry Pruning Basics – Spent Floricane

Pruning

You will be pruning in the mid-winter or very early spring.  Because of this, you will not have to worry about primocane.  Primocane have not come up yet.  All you have on your bush right now are floricane or dead canes.  This makes things easy.

Floricane Pruning

For the floricanes, you will get fruit from them this year, so you want to be selective.  You will want to prune out and leave only about three or four canes per linear foot and you want a row width to only be about two-foot wide.  You will want to leave the largest strongest looking canes, pruning out the smaller, more spindly canes.  If you have an ever-bearing variety, you will also need to prune back the tips that flowered last year.

What About Last Year’s Floricane

Last Year’s Floricane will be dead wood this year.  It should be obvious to pick them out.  There will not be any buds on it and by mid-winter it should look like obviously dead wood.  These get cut down to about 1-inch from the ground.


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Raspberry Pruning Basics Pruned and Thinned

Raspberry Pruning Basics Pruned and Thinned

The Video

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Epi080 Great Escape Farms Podcast

Epi080 Great Escape Farms Podcast

This post covers Epi080 Great Escape Farms Podcast – Making Garden Huckleberry Pie, Nursery Operations Keeping Plants Dormant, Indoor Plantings Update, Hydroplanet Fluorescent Grow Light Product Review, Permaculture and Homesteading Q and A Series No1, and The Week in Review.


Great Escape Farms is now on Patreon! If you enjoy our work and want to help support us, please check out our Patreon page at: https://www.patreon.com/gef


Great Escape Farms Podcast

Great Escape Farms Podcast

Great Escape Podcast is an audio version of the blog posts from Great Escape Farms, Specializing in Unique Edible Plants, Permaculture Gardens, and Homesteading. The blog posts can be viewed at GreatEscapeFarms.com.

If you would like to subscribe to this podcast on iTunes, you can do so by clicking on Great Escape Podcast.

Click on the icon below for other RSS feed options.
Great Escape Farms Podcast

Please help us by going to iTunes or whatever podcast feed you use and rate our program. We are a new small company and the ratings will help us become more popular on the podcast feeds.

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Any time you are going to buy something from Amazon, please go through our site. All you have to do is click the Amazon button on the menu bar at the top of every page on our web site. That link will take you to Amazon and you then shop as you normally do. It does NOT cost you one penny more! Thank you very much for helping to support our small business!

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Permaculture and Homesteading Q and A Series No1

Permaculture and Homesteading Q and A Series No1

This post is Permaculture and Homesteading Q and A Series No1.  Topics covered include transplanting trees, cell phone relay, winter propagation, planting paw paw seeds, building a cheap greenhouse, and red wiggler compost bin.


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Permaculture and Homesteading Q and A Series No1

This is the first in a series of Q&A sessions that I will be holding over the next few months.  These questions come from our YouTube channel, email, blog post comments, Facebook and even a few face to face questions.  If you would like to submit a question you can do so in the comments section of any of the above medium or you can email your question to me directly.  My email address is [email protected].

YouTube video – titled  Transplanting Trees by Hand

Background: this video was about transplanting some rather established trees and moving them from the Pasadena homestead out to the farm.  I moved dwarf shapovia and Illinois Everbearing mulberry and mentioned that Illinois Everbearing was grafted.

[Q] This persons statement: I don’t think the mulberry needs grafted.

[A] Most mulberry don’t, but I have only ever seen Illinois Everbearing as grafted, so I assumed it was a requirement. I have done research online and found some vendors say they grafted this cultivar to make it more cold-hardy. I have also found other gardeners out there that stated Illinois Everbearing does not create viable seeds and is difficult to propagate via cuttings.  These gardeners grafted this variety just because it was the easiest way for them to propagate.

Permaculture and Homesteading Q and A Series No1 - Transplanting Trees by Hand

Permaculture and Homesteading Q and A Series No1 – Transplanting Trees by Hand

YouTube – SureCall Fusion4Home Cell Phone Signal Booster Product Review

Background – This video was a product review of a cell phone signal booster.  I showed a lot views of the installation and discussed how it is difficult to make it visually appealing.

[Q] This views comments are: For aesthetics purposes, you could build it into a design of a windmill or birdhouse (fake or real) so it does not stand out as bad.

[A] Thanks for the suggestion Tom! That would likely work and a windmill is one of the things on my long “to do” list! For right now it is worth having the Yagi antenna in plain view and getting the cell boot.

Permaculture and Homesteading Q and A Series No1 - SureCall Fusion4Home Cell Phone Signal Booster Product Review

Permaculture and Homesteading Q and A Series No1 – SureCall Fusion4Home Cell Phone Signal Booster Product Review

YouTube – Hardwood Cutting Propagation | Winter Plant Propagation

Background: this video is about taking cuttings from plants in the winter and using those cuttings to propagate and make new plants.

[Q] The YouTube viewer asks: I’m in wet western Oregon, and am thinking that it might make it easier for me to do the rootings inside where I can control the moisture content, otherwise things rot in the low oxygen-saturated soils we have here in winter. Would you recommend keeping the cuttings in cool temps, not house warm? Like my enclosed unheated porch?

[A] If you keep the cuttings in a warm environment, then they will not go dormant and you will have to do a mist irrigation system to keep the leaves moist. I have a different problem than yours, but with a similar solution. We had some cuttings that were dormant and we were going down into the single digits outside, which would have killed the cuttings because they were pots and not protected in the ground. I moved my cuttings into my garage which usually stays a good bit warmer than outside. They overwintered just fine. I moved them back out in late February when the danger of single digit temperatures was past.

[A] Another option with saturated soil is to mix in some sand in the area that you are going to use for propagation.  The sand will allow the water to flow through more easily and not rot the roots.

Permaculture and Homesteading Q and A Series No1 - Hardwood Cutting Propagation | Winter Plant Propagation

Permaculture and Homesteading Q and A Series No1 – Hardwood Cutting Propagation | Winter Plant Propagation

Planting Paw Paw Seeds

Background: This video is about how to stratify and then plant paw paw seeds.  Paw Paw is a tree native to the eastern United States and is the largest native fruit to the US.

[Q] Thanks for the video! I just bought some Paw Paw seeds last week. They haven’t arrived yet. I guess it might be too late this year to get them stratified & planted, but maybe not. I have a few questions, if you don’t mind. Do the seeds have to be kept moist from the time they are harvested from the fruit, or just once you start the stratification process? When you plant all the seeds in one container like that, won’t the roots get tangled as they grow? How many years, minimum, before you can transfer them to full sun?

Answer 1

[A] The seeds do need to be kept moist from the time they are taken from the fruit. I have seen reports that germination rates go below 10% if they dry out for just a short period of time. I’m guessing that all the roots in one container will not tangle too much. The tap root goes straight down and it doesn’t look like they have many lateral roots the first year. This is an experiment for me this year because of my lack of space this year.

Answer 2

[A] As for full sun, I have seen as young as the third year. If they are in full sun before then, they may get sun burn on the leaves. If it gets too bad, they could die. Sounds weird I know, but that is what they say and I have lost a few that were in full sun. Congratulations on your seeds. I love paw paws. You may want to check with the person/company that you bought them from. I believe most will have already stratified them for you.

Answer 3

[A] He responded: Thanks for the reply. Yes, I checked the listing (on Ebay) & the seeds have been stratified already, so as long as they don’t freeze in transit, they should be good when they get here.

Permaculture and Homesteading Q and A Series No1 - Planting Paw Paw Seeds

Permaculture and Homesteading Q and A Series No1 – Planting Paw Paw Seeds

YouTube – DIY Cheap Greenhouse

Background: This video is about building a cheap greenhouse with supplies you can find in your local hardware stores.

[Q] LRG Scully asks: What scale is it? Meters by Meters?

[A] It’s 7-foot wide by 8-foot long. That equates to 2.13M (213CM) wide by 2.44M (244CM).

Permaculture and Homesteading Q and A Series No1 - DIY Cheap Greenhouse

Permaculture and Homesteading Q and A Series No1 – DIY Cheap Greenhouse

YouTube – Red Wiggler Worm Compost Bin Update

Background: this video is an update on the progress of a Red Wiggler Worm farm I established last year.  This was my first go round on one of these and I received a lot of great advice.

[Q] All the worm juice is an indication that you’re too wet.

[A] That makes sense. I guess I need to cut back on the greens.

[A] Great Escape Farms I wouldn’t say cut back on the greens, but add more browns. My worms (same ones as yours) love cardboard. when I feed, I add cardboard to help with the water.

[A] I have a good bit of cardboard. I’ll spread some and add it later this week. Thanks!

Permaculture and Homesteading Q and A Series No1 - Red Wiggler Worm Compost Bin Update

Permaculture and Homesteading Q and A Series No1 – Red Wiggler Worm Compost Bin Update


Want to Help our Small Business Out

If you shop at Amazon, please go through our site.  All you have to do is click the Amazon button on the menu bar at the top of every page on our web site.  That link will take you to Amazon and you then shop as you normally do.  It does NOT cost you one penny more, but it does help us out!  Thank you very much for helping to support our small business!


YouTube – Propagating Nanking Cherries

Background: this video is about taking cuttings from nanking cherry bushes and using the cuttings to propagate and create new plants.

[Q] Graham asks: Do you only use sand for cuttings?

[A] I do use sand for my summer or softwood cuttings. This is because I use a mist irrigation system that sprays water once every five minutes. I want to keep the leaves wet, but don’t want to saturate the soil and rot the roots. The sand lets the water drain and helps a lot. I have found that concrete sand works great. For hardwood cuttings taken in the winter, you can use straight garden soil because you are not using the mist irrigation system.

Permaculture and Homesteading Q and A Series No1 - Propagating Nanking Cherry

Permaculture and Homesteading Q and A Series No1 – Propagating Nanking Cherry

YouTube – Propagating Sweet Scarlet Goumi

Background: this video is about taking cuttings from Sweet Scarlet Goumi bushes and using the cuttings to propagate and create new plants.

[Q] MCDS asks: Great video again! Any chance of getting a few starts?

[A] I have to see how many actually take next spring. Whatever does take will be for sale at Great Escape Nursery: http://greatescapenursery.com/ We actually have about a dozen sweet scarlet goumi left, but they will likely sell out before the season is over, so get your orders in quick.

Permaculture and Homesteading Q and A Series No1 - Propagating Sweet Scarlet Goumi

Permaculture and Homesteading Q and A Series No1 – Propagating Sweet Scarlet Goumi

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Hydroplanet Fluorescent Grow Light Product Review

Hydroplanet Fluorescent Grow Light Product Review

This is a Hydroplanet Fluorescent Grow Light Product Review.  We will go over the product datasheet and discuss my experiences with this product.  This review covers the Hydroplanet™ T5 4ft 8lamp Fluorescent HO Bulbs Included for Indoor Horticulture Gardening T5 Grow Lights Fixtures (8 Lamp, 4ft)


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I bought my system from Amazon.com on April 12, 2016 and installed it and used it for the 2016 growing season and I’m now using it for the 2017 growing season, with no issues.  I bought my system for $155 from Amazon, but this exact model is not currently offered any more on Amazon, as of this writing.  It can be purchased from Hydroplanet directly for $150 and I’ll include a link below to get you to that product.  I’ll also include an Amazon link below to a similar product in case you are an Amazon junkie like I am and prefer to buy from them.

Amazon’s rating system rates it at 4.3 stars out of 5 with 279 ratings.  Most of the low rating issues were dead on arrival units, refurbished issues, or shipping issues.

Hydroplanet Fluorescent Grow Light Product Review

Hydroplanet Fluorescent Grow Light Product Review

The Datasheet

The data sheet on the product boasts that it is made with European highly reflective aluminum interior, a power coated housing, and can be hung and operated vertically or horizontally.  It has a daisy chain outlet for connecting multiple systems together and operates on a 110V/120V, 15′ power cord.  The dimensions are 50 x 27 x 5 inches and it weighs 33lbs. The system is an 8 lamp, 4ft bulb T5 light fixture that includes 6500K grow bulbs.

Hydroplanet Fluorescent Grow Light Product Review - Reflective

Hydroplanet Fluorescent Grow Light Product Review – Reflective

What is 6500K?

Color temperature is measured by a unit called the Kelvin (K). The 6500K is where it falls on the Kelvin Color Temperature Index.  A lower number is redder, a number like 2700K is more yellow, and a number from 5000K to 7000K is bluer, often referred as like daylight. Plants use blue light for vegetative growth and red light for flowering, ­­­­so when starting seedlings, you want something in the blue range.  In doing a quick glance online, 6500K seems to be the color of choice.


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The Products

4-Foot 8-Lamp System

Here is the product I bought.  The cheapest purchase option that I found is directly from Hydroplanet.

http://www.hydroplanets.com/hydroplanet-t5-gorwing-fixture-4ft-8lamp-fluorescent-bulbs-included-for-indoor-horticulture-gardening-p-59.html

Here are some Amazon options:

2-Foot 4-Lamp System

4-Foot 4-Lamp System

The Video

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Indoor Plantings Update – Plants Started in the Basement

Indoor Plantings Update – Plants Started in the Basement

This post is an Indoor Plantings Update from the backyard nursery at Great Escape Farms.  All of the plants I’m talking about today were planted in the basement under grow lights in February.  I’m also planting several trays of seeds today, March 14th.


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What’s Doing Well

The cilantro, Korean Hyssop, fish pepper, bloody dock, miner’s lettuce, and purslane all popped up and are doing wonderful.  Cilantro is the biggest surprise, because these are seeds I harvested from the garden four years ago.

Indoor Plantings Update - Seedlings

Indoor Plantings Update – Seedlings

Sprouted but Not Thriving

Lovage and Quadrato pepper seeds had a few plants sprout, but germination was a little low.  A few more of these type seeds may still germinate over the next few weeks.  I have found that some seeds sprout a little slower than others of the same variety.

More Time Needed

We have planted stevia, valerian, ashwaganda and Maryland Senna that have not come up yet.  I will give these plants a few more weeks to pop up.  Sometimes certain plants take several months to germinate.

None of the paw paw seeds have sprouted yet.  I’ve seen from quite a few sources online that they can take eight to ten weeks to sprout.  They work very hard on getting a good root base before they sprout their heads up through the soil.

Indoor Plantings Update - Paw Paw

Indoor Plantings Update – Paw Paw

Stratified Seeds

Some of the stratified seeds were pulled out of the refrigerator for planting.  Stratification is a process where the seeds are put in a wet medium and keep them cool for a period of time.  This process is trying to simulate what they would go through in nature and is trying to get the seeds to break dormancy.

We pulled about a half dozen bags of stratified seeds out of the refrigerator.  Only one of the bags of seeds have already started sprouting.  Many seeds do not sprout until they get some warmth, so this is nothing to worry about.

Indoor Plantings Update - Stratify

Indoor Plantings Update – Stratify

Plant Thinning

There are several ways to thin young plantings to include pricking out and cutting.  Pricking out is the process of grabbing the top of the plant and just pulling them out.  You can replant them if you get enough of the roots with the plant.  I have enough plants, so I’ll just be cutting the tops off of my plants.

The idea is to get down to about two plants per cell so they do not get over crowded.  Then in a month or so I’ll take it down to one plant per cell.  Leaving two plants lets me see which one will do better and hedge my bets against one of the plants not making it.


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More Plantings

We ended up planting two additional trays of seeds.  We then watered them from the bottom and put the top on.  The top is a clear plastic lid that holds the humidity in.  I will only leave the lid on for a week to get the plants started, then it will be removed and set aside for next year.

Indoor Plantings Update - Seeds

Indoor Plantings Update – Seeds

Wait and Watch

Now it’s time to wait and watch until the next set of seeds sprout.  I’ll pop down to the basement daily and keep an eye on things.  The plants don’t need daily watching, but it is kind of therapy for me, getting me ready for spring.

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Nursery Operations Keeping Plants Dormant

Nursery Operations Keeping Plants Dormant

This post is titled Nursery Operations Keeping Plants Dormant.  It covers what a nursery needs to do if they ship bare root plants to extend their shipping season.


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Today I’m taking about half the plants out of the propagation bed and putting them into pots to be moved into the refrigerator.  This will keep them dormant and allow me to send plants into April when they otherwise would have broken dormancy and sprouted out.

Nursery Operations Keeping Plants Dormant

Nursery Operations Keeping Plants Dormant

I will leave about half the plants in the propagation bed for the remainder of March.  Some will be used to ship out in the month March and the remainder will be transplanted into individual pots.  These individual pots will be sold at trade shows and other events that we appear at over the next couple of months.

The main plants I have to worry about getting into the refrigerator are the Sweet Scarlet Goumi, Nanking Bush Cherry, Korean Bush Cherry, and Viking Aronia.  These plants all break dormancy relatively early and do not ship well once the dormancy is broken.

I have other plants like elderberry that are extremely hardy and can be shipped at any point in time even after they break dormancy.

The process of refrigerating the plants involves digging them up and moving them to a pot.  The pot must be labeled so I know what the plants are.  I will put many plants in one pot very close together.  Then I will water them very well and let them drain.  Next, we put them in a tray to pick up any residual water, and then move them to the refrigerator.

Nursery Operations Keeping Plants Dormant

Nursery Operations Keeping Plants Dormant

We will pull them out every week to ten days and water them again.  I need to make sure the roots stay moist and do not dry out.  Then, I can pull individual plants out as I need to ship them and as long as they are dormant, it is not a big deal to disturb the roots.


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Making Garden Huckleberry Pie | Making Wonder Berry Pie

Making Garden Huckleberry Pie | Making Wonder Berry Pie

Today we are Making Garden Huckleberry Pie or as some would call it Wonder Berry Pie.  In this post, we give you an overview of where my berries came from and then we demonstrate how to make the pie.


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Overview

Garden Huckleberry aka Solanum nigrum aka Wonder Berry is a fruiting annual plant in the night shade family.  The unripe fruit and leaves are toxic, so make sure you only pick totally ripe fruit.

Making Garden Huckleberry Pie | Making Wonder Berry Pie

Making Garden Huckleberry Pie | Making Wonder Berry Pie

Last year I planted garden huckleberry seeds in my basement under grow lights in February.  They grew very well, as they always do, and I moved them outside in mid-May.

Out at the farm we had two plants planted very close together. All of the berries were left on the vine until after we had a few frosts and then they were harvested all at once.  We ended up harvesting one-and-a-half-gallon Ziploc bags.  The fruit is about the size of a small cherry or grape.

We removed all of the stems, washed and dried them and froze them.  Now, six months later we are finally making something with them.  That is the beauty of harvesting and freezing the excess bounty.

Making Garden Huckleberry Pie | Making Wonder Berry Pie

Making Garden Huckleberry Pie | Making Wonder Berry Pie

 


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Garden Huckleberry Pie Recipe

Ingredients

4c garden huckleberry          1 ½ c sugar

¼ tsp nutmeg                          ¼ tsp salt

1 tbsp butter                           1 lemon (juice only)

2 tbsp cornstarch                    2 pie crusts

Directions

Preheat oven to 375°F.  Stem, wash and drain huckleberries. Place berries in a heavy pot, cover with cold water and bring to a slow boil and cook until soft. Drain and then mash the berries with a potato masher to break their skins.

Add sugar, nutmeg, salt, butter, lemon juice and cornstarch. Cook for about five minutes, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens.

Place pastry for bottom crust in pie pan. Pour in the berry mixture and dot with butter.

Cover with top crust, crimping crust edges to seal and piercing top crust all over with a fork to allow steam to escape.

Bake for 45 minutes or until the crust is a light brown. Cool and eat.

Results

I made this recipe this past weekend and it made two pies.  The family and I enjoyed them very much.  Garden Huckleberry has a unique flavor that is difficult to describe.  The closest fruit I can say that it taste like is blue berry, but it really is quite different than blue berry as well.  I would highly recommend that you try this Garden Huckleberry if you are a berry lover.

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Epi079 Great Escape Farms Podcast

Epi079 Great Escape Farms Podcast

This post covers Epi079 Great Escape Farms Podcast – The Week in Review, Transplanting Trees by Hand, Seed Starting Indoors to Save Money, Fruit Trees Flowering Early, and Michael Judds Round Straw Bale House.


Great Escape Farms is now on Patreon! If you enjoy our work and want to help support us, please check out our Patreon page at: https://www.patreon.com/gef


Great Escape Farms Podcast

Great Escape Farms Podcast

Great Escape Podcast is an audio version of the blog posts from Great Escape Farms, Specializing in Unique Edible Plants, Permaculture Gardens, and Homesteading. The blog posts can be viewed at GreatEscapeFarms.com.

If you would like to subscribe to this podcast on iTunes, you can do so by clicking on Great Escape Podcast.

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Great Escape Farms Podcast

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