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Backyard Garden

Discussion in 'Home Improvement' started by 2000StreetRod, January 27, 2015.

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    1. 2000StreetRod

      2000StreetRod Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      I'm late in pruning my grapevine which was supposed to be pruned in late winter instead of spring. However, it may be for the best because pruning stimulates growth and we had a late hard freeze which probably would have damaged new buds on the plant. Thompson seedless grapes are supposed to be cane pruned instead of spur pruned because the spurs a distance from the head are more productive than near the head. Unfortunately, my vine only had two canes near each head and very vigorous growth near the ends of those canes. So this year I decided to utilize a modified spur prune. The planned cuts are marked in red.
      ThompsonMar17.jpg
      I carefully bent 1 spur at the end of each cut cane downward to extend the length of cane.
      ThompsonMar17P.jpg
      Hopefully, that will stimulate more growth near the heads. If not, next winter I'll completely remove the two lower canes which are evolving into cordons.
       
      Last edited: March 25, 2017
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    3. toypaseo

      toypaseo Flunked daycare Elite Explorer

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      @2000StreetRod, so many unknown terms to me that I had to look them up...
       
    4. 2000StreetRod

      2000StreetRod Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      I've been working on what I hope will be my last retaining wall that will be midway between my two dwarf apricot bushes.
      MiddleTerrace1.jpg
      But I had to stop because a pair of tufted titmice took up residence in the nearby nesting box. So I installed permanent wires in the grapevine trellis.
      wires.jpg
      I'm trying something unique. Normally, the next year fruiting canes are selected in late winter and the remaining canes are removed. To me this seems like a waste of the plant's energy during the growing season. So I installed a second wire two inches above and below the current year fruiting canes. I plan to train two shoots near each head onto the second wire. I decided that some of the vertical shoots were too close together so I eliminated the ones that were undesirable.
      ThinApr17.jpg
      There were already 40 to 50 clusters on the vine which is more than this young vine can support.
      Clusters1.jpg
       
    5. Josh P

      Josh P Shaggin Wagon Elite Explorer

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      I'm jealous!!!! My back yard leaves a lot to be desired. Previous owner had the pool partially filled in with dirt cause the bottom cracked. I had to finish filling it in when I bought the house to get the loan. I hope this year to be able to finally dig it out, only been putting it off for 10 years.
       
    6. 2000StreetRod

      2000StreetRod Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      Filling in a pool results in an area that retains water moisture which is a good environment for specialty plants that occur naturally on the edge of ponds. I made a small concrete lined bog along the back property line but it didn't get enough natural run off to maintain the needed moisture for cardinal flowers. I now use it to propagate liriope.
       
    7. Josh P

      Josh P Shaggin Wagon Elite Explorer

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      I am in need of some shade in my back yard. I'd be afraid of a tree growing in the pool like a giant pot, at some point it would outgrow the pool and end up on the house.
       
    8. 2000StreetRod

      2000StreetRod Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      I vertically positioned the shoots to improve air flow and sunlight uniformity.
      VertShootPos1.jpg
      I used left over trellis wire for 2 shoots but it is too stiff and hard on the shoots which can break off very easily at the base. So I used nylon cord for the rest of the shoots but still broke off 2 in the process. I think there are now a total of 23 potential fruiting shoots. I'm not satisfied with the configuration of the lower head. The nodes are far apart and there are only two thin and weak renewal spurs. One is on the trunk and the other on the right fruiting cane.
      HeadL17.jpg
      Their shoots will have to cross each other and go to the opposite side canes. I'll see how they develop but may not use them. Instead I can use the nearest shoots on each cane. An interesting development is a shoot on the front of the trunk about two inches above the ground.
      TrunkLApr17.jpg
      I'm going to let it grow as a potential second trunk for the lower head. The last two years toward the end of winter there has been an unusual extended warm period long enough for plants to bud followed by a hard freeze. This has taken a toll on some of my plants - especially my dwarf fig tree which already had leafed out. A second trunk (one for each head) might allow survival of half of the grapevine. It will also give me a chance for gaining lower renewal spurs possibly with shorter internode spacing for the lower head.
       
    9. 2000StreetRod

      2000StreetRod Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      Many of the shoots have reached three feet in length and I've already had to prune a lower one to keep it from shading the upper shoots.
      Thompson2May17.jpg
      About one third of the flower clusters have bloomed and very tiny grapes have begun to form.
      ClusterBlooms.jpg
      I've started training the crossing shoots I've selected to be next year's fruiting canes for the lower head.
      CrossCanesL.jpg
      I need to pull some weeds! The replacement trunk for the lower head is rapidly growing.
      TrunkL2May17.jpg
      It has already reached the bottom of the lower head.
       
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    10. 2000StreetRod

      2000StreetRod Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      I've finally finished another terrace. Below is a photo of the upper terrace for the dwarf apple tree. Also shown is my 1 cubic yard trailer that I haul free bark mulch with from a tree service dump lot.
      Terrace1stLevel.jpg
      I placed a 10 inch wide area of top soil along the inside perimeter of the retaining wall and planted pink creeping phlox that will eventually hang over the wall. The rest of the fill is made up of bark mulch to keep from killing the large red maple tree I planted about 12 years ago. The cement block marks where another dwarf apple tree was planted that was killed this spring by a late frost. Below is a photo of the 2nd level terrace for a dwarf apricot bush.
      Terrace2ndLevel.jpg
      It has blue creeping phlox planted along the retaining wall. There's another dwarf apricot bush below the terrace. It also was killed by the late spring frost. Below is a photo of the 3rd level terrace. Most of the retaining wall is built from sections of trees that were cut down to open up the backyard to more sunlight.
      Terrace3rdLevel.jpg
      There's a dwarf pear tree near the retaining wall. Farther up is a dwarf cherry tree and above that is a dwarf fig tree. I planted pink creeping phlox along the retaining wall. The stones in the lower right corner of the photo are part of what I've collected to build a 4th level terrace for another variety of dwarf pear partly shown in the photo.
       

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