Sunday, March 29, 2009

Catching Some Rays and The New Guys

Here they are! These are the new guys! Why are they so much better? Well for one thing, I can stack them with room to spare between them. So cuttings could be stacked and keep each other in the shade. But the best thing about them can be seen in the next photo.

Here they are full of potting soil. And if you look closely at the farthest end of these trays, you will see two cones lying on top. I pulled those two out so you can see that every one of the 200 cones that go into each tray, can be easily pulled out.
That is why they are so much better! Now I can condense trays as rooted cuttings sell, instead of having to wait for an entire tray to empty before I can use it again :)
As you can see, the kids are all doing fine and some even got a chance to catch some rays this weekend! The ones still covered are the youngest and must be kept covered for a few more weeks.

This tray has Diane's fuchsia cuttings in it. She is going to be getting 26 varieties of fuchsia's and they are all in this tray of 200 new cuttings. Since she ordered such a variety, I figured I ought to fill the tray with at least 5 each of everyone she asked for, and 10 of most of them.
She will be keeping an eye on their progress via this blog! When they are all rooted and growing, they will be shipped out to her garden :)
Okay, give them a few hours or maybe even an entire day to perk up, okay? They just got cut and planted in this photo! Wait till you see them next week.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

A Bedtime Story

Here are all the little babies. The oldest are now four weeks old! Those are the ones in the far distance. Now comes the tricky part, the transition from keeping them covered, to living in the open. And since only the oldest can do that yet, I will be very concerned about them!
Even my blueberry cuttings are doing fine :)

This is the bedtime story below, ha, ha! This is all the little cuttings wrapped up in their special blankets to keep them moist and happy. It was SO windy this weekend, I was very glad I was home to keep the blanket moist. The wind dried it out much faster than usual. I've got to get an automatic timed watering system to spray them down while I am gone!

So where are the new trays I was talking about? It was necessary to do some repairs this week and the purchase of the new trays had to be put off for a week. The cool thing about them is that the cones can be moved in the trays. The trays will each hold 200 cones, just like a tray holding shaved ice-cones.
What makes them so much better, is that as they sell, I can condense the trays to make room for more. Saving allot of space in a little nursery like mine.
Below is a tree I grew from the pit of a Satsuma Plum! Satsuma's are a large gold plum that are so sweet and wonderful, not at all tart like other plums. Of course, this tree does not produce true Satsuma plums, instead they are only about 1.5 inches across. But they are like golden drops of nectar when they are ripe. And the tree is just beautiful when it is covered with them.
Of course I also love it when it is in bloom. It's too bad I didn't have the camera on video instead of stills, because just after I took this photo, the wind blew a cloud of petals at me! Like a special kind of snow!
Happy Spring!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Third Week and Moving Forward

Okay, I know it doesn't look that exciting, but there are thirty trays down there and when the last four in the distance are filled, that will be 2,010 cuttings in the process of rooting!
I had a bit of a "heart attack" this week when the company which is the only source I have been able to locate that sells these trays wrote me to let me know they had just sold all the rest of these and had no plans to purchase more until next year!
I panicked! I asked about the next size up and the next size down, no, they were all gone.....
But I did NOT give up! Without these trays, or something like them, I have no hope of moving forward. What I wound up finding is actually much better than these trays and I am looking forward to placing my first order for them this week.

This is a closer picture of the first cuttings I did. I am still amazed that I have not yet lost a single solitary cutting! My biggest fear is that they will dry out while I am gone to work. And although I do keep them covered, there is then the danger that if they are too wet, they could rot instead. At the nursery, we had a special house with an automatic misting system which would spray about every ten minutes. Even so, we would wind up dumping hundreds of little pots of dead cuttings that didn't make it.
I know we all love warm sunny weather, but I truley have been blessed with perfect weather at the perfect time this year. Last year, my stock plants were not yet large enough to make this many cuttings. And I couldn't afford these trays, let alone the quality planting mix need to fill them.
I am so filled with hope!

Why are the new kind of trays so much better? Well, check in next week to see!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Two Weeks Later

Here we are, two weeks after my first set of 10 trays.

And what is this? No, it isn't a photo of more trays. But I do think I am getting better at using my digital camera! This is my Elfin King as it continues to open more blossoms. Remember the photo down below that a friend took? His is better, but now there are so many more open blossoms, I couldn't resist taking some on my own.

Now for the trays...

Okay, I didn't get them all filled this time. They didn't get here until Friday! And then my bad friends pulled me away from my work to party at their house. I took some videos of them. I'll have to post one here.

At least in this photo, you can see that everybody is doing just fine! The oldest cuttings are now two weeks old and everyone is alive! I have been blessed with rainy and cool weather to keep my babies happy while I am away working. Those trays without cuttings won't be that way for long and I'll be ordering my 3rd set tomorrow. Each one of these trays is filled with a different variety of fuchsia.

Here are several of the party goers! Ha, ha, they know who they are! They were grilling pizza. I didn't eat any of the pizza's, just the toppings. Which were wonderful. The location of this pizza frenzy was also where the nursery is, so I DID manage to get some work in there ;D

Sunday, March 1, 2009

One Week Later

Here they are one week later!
That right there is 670 cuttings.
The second set of 10 trays are on their way!

This is my little Mandarin Orange tree. Yes, he needs to be fed so he'll get his color back, but I am thrilled he didn't sustain as much damage during the freezes as I feared he would. And you can see he is covered with little green oranges. Just waiting for warm sunny weather to ripen them.

What I really love though, are cherries. These are my nectorine and cherries just starting to bloom. Now, they not only love to freeze in the winter, they need to freeze in order to produce a good crop. So I am sure they are happy campers!

The little guy out front is a true dwarf peach. He is over 30 years old and has never needed to be pruned. He may have gotten a little bit bigger had he lived in the ground. But when I move, he goes with me! I just love the show he puts on every spring with his dark pink double blossoms. The peaches are just a plus :)

Stayed tuned for further adventures in gardening......