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Tracy Diller

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since Dec 31, 2019
Lake Whatcom and the Acme Valley Washington State
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Recent posts by Tracy Diller

Well in nature nothing is static and the closer you get within species the closer you will get cross breeds.
Most cross breeds fail to produce a viable offspring and the grand experiment stops there, as far as reproduction.
But the fruits are the phenotypes, unique to themselves based on there cross breeding.  
In this case a plant may not pollinate at all with another of its species or may barely pollinate and produce great tasting fruit that cannot survive in the area, or it may just change the fruit ever so slightly that the bee activity increase...
That was the reason for my question.  I am rather sure that the bees pollinating my honeysuckles will climb into my hapsaks and the chance of germination will be there.
I was curious if anyone has had favorable or unfavorable berry production planting close to honeysuckle vines.
2 months ago
Actually I meant any honeysuckle bearing fruit variety that people are growing.
The hapsak was developed in Saskatchewan at the university using boreal varieties of Lonicera caerulea and the honey berry I suspect was developed for lower latitude success.
The common honeysuckle vine we see growing, Lonicera periclymenum, should cross pollinate and that might change the flavor of the hapsak / honeyberry fruits from better to worse or not at all.
It also may make the honeysuckle climbing vines little red fruit more palatable for Humans and wildlife.
2 months ago
We have a couple of honeysuckles here on our property and they are a great attractor for bees as they bloom so early and stay so late.
The Honeysuckle vine is generally considered to be a non fruit producing vine but upon research there are some varieties  that the fruit is edible and pallatible.  Our honeysuckles all produce a red berry and I assume the birds eat them as they do not persist thru the winter.
So the Hapsak berry plant and the honeysuckle are very close and in the same family.  This year I am increasing my Hapsak plants by introducing a couple of different varieties.  I plant to put them all around the honey suncles and see what happens.
I am positive the hapsaks will cross pollinate but I would be interested to know if the honeysuckles will too.  It should show up in the berries.

Has anyone had any experience in this?
We see it all the time in melons, cantaloupe and pumpkins...
2 months ago
I have spent the last year reviewing various types of propagation and I believe I have stumbled upon how to save older trees by the propagation of the new limbs lower onto the trunks utilizing plugs.
Let me explain:
a hole is drilled into the tree 2 to 3 inches.  The sized drill bit used would be about the size of the plug ( the branch you will be placing into the hole ).
If one were to use a 3/8 drill bit and then ever so lightly counter sink it so that the cambium is not breached than a 3/8 branch would be placed into the hole with the bark removed and only the cambium exposed.
Then select your branch with three good nodes.  Clean off the bark and cut a flat end on one side and a slightly tapered end on the other.
Make sure to remove only enough bark as the hole is deep.  Then tap it in with the nodes pointing up.
Cover it with a good sealer of your choice.

I ran into only one video about this technique and it appeared that it did indeed work for the latin american guy who did it for citrus.
I came across this while trying to figure out how to save some very old homestead trees on our property.  Very interesting how one can repair cavities in 100 year old trees and a simple extrapolation of the technique for my needs.

I plan to do a series of photos of the technique in the next couple of weeks during our freeze and then again when our cloudy spring comes in another three months

Sua Sponte
2 months ago
Here in whatcom county we use clovers everywhere there adde fields and paths.
In the fields we use the red clovers and re seed every year as the red clover reseed itself marginally.
The white clover we use for walking paths.
They have a much higher impact from walking and cart use.  The white clover reseeds itself vigorously and will spread.
So I think your pretty safe using red clover in your area.
2 months ago
We started using contractor paper a couple years ago as a seasonal means to control unwanted growth in areas we chose like between rows, walking paths in the gardens and areas we just did not want to plant at that time.
It immediately became apparent that we had far underestimated the reptile population here as within just a couple days we started seeing several coils, large and small, of the local garter snake in the mornings.
Oddly enough, the slug population seems to be everywhere but our gardens.
The snake coils and resting lizards lying so close to the edge of the path is really nice to gaze on.
And then before the fall heavy rains set in, I rototill the gardens contractors paper and all.
Since its the daytime I want to hope that any hidden slugs are tilled under .
3 months ago
We have a small pond on a hillside that has crawdads in it.  Blue claws.
The big lake below has large ones as do all the local creeks.
While diving in the lake I have seen some very large one close to 1 ft, not many but definately they can get big here in the cold.
A few decades ago commercial licenses were still offered for the harvesting of wild crawdads in this lake.
I believe this animal to be a good bottom feeder for a heathy environment... and tasty too!
3 months ago
We grow berries in many areas populated with foxglove, black and red currants as well as gooseberries.
The soils are always amended initially with a hole and sandy muchly soil and thereafter just a laryer of contractor paper, to define the perimeter beyond the core, and lots of mulch on top of the paper, lots of mulch.
We get so much now we are making Creme de caisse every year!
3 months ago
This is exactly what I will be attempting this month in nw washington.
I will be grafting multiple scions into the trunks of established alders on our property.
At the same time I will be topping these trees to slow them from their eventual toppling.
I hope to see a mature rootstock from the alder and production of nuts from the filbert.
I have been eyeing this for about 1 year now and then I came across your post.
Have you attempted this yet?
3 months ago
Hi, this is my first day here.
I see you are employing a method that we use to control weeds in our sprawling gardens.  
After fall has set in and just before the heavy rains start I find that I can till the paper right into the soil and replant our winter crops.
3 months ago