Well Hello There Ol’ Chap!

img_3287Following the close call with the chainsaw (read about it here), I needed a new set of chainsaw chaps.  As I began looking for a replacement I knew that I wanted to add a helmet and face shield to my safety gear.  I spent some time looking on line and in stores.  What I finally decide to go with was a kit from Forester.  I found it on amazon for what I thought was a very good price.  Actually the price was quite a bit cheaper than what I was able to find the same kit for locally.  At this point I have only spent 2 days cutting firewood using this gear but I am initially impressed.  I like the integrated hearing protection and the face shield.   Time will tell how well it will hold up but at this point I do not have any concerns that it will not fully meet my needs.


Chainsaw Safety!


So it’s the time of year that I most enjoy getting the bulk of my firewood cutting done.  Others might disagree but I think it is the best time to do this kind of work.  So I took a trip out to the woods to drop some trees.   My goal was to get several on the ground and get them limbed before I called it a day.  That is not exactly how it worked out.


Things started out pretty good.  The first tree dropped just like I wanted it.  But the second one was not going to cooperate.  I misjudged the lean of the tree and despite cutting the wedge in the direction I wanted the tree to fall; it turned some and got hung up.  With a little help from a cable winch and a rope I was able to get it to move but it hung up again.  This time it settled in a forked limb and all it took to get it safely down to the ground was to remove one of the limbs.

Well that episode may have fatigued me a little more than I expected.  I guess I got a little sloppy when handling my chainsaw and I got the chain into my left thigh.  Luckily I was wearing my chaps and they stopped the saw instantly.  I was shocked at how fast it took place.  I actually did not realize what happened until I looked down and saw the white threads wrapped around the bar and sprocket.  The hole in my chaps was small but the chain grabbed enough threads to make it come to a screeching halt.


Well after all of that commotion it was time to take a coffee break. I was never a fan of instant coffee until I discovered these little Starbucks packets.  They are a little on the pricey side but when you need some coffee it is the best thing next to fresh brewed.


I sure am glad that I was wearing those chaps.  Since I have to replace them I am going to go with a kit that has a hard hat with integrated face shield and hearing protection along with chaps.  I used to never wear chaps but I am glad I was that day. If you find yourself out there cutting firewood please be safe.


Propagating Blackberries

The time has come this summer to prune my blackberries.  The few berries left are not nearly as good as the earlier berries, and the new canes are so long and lanky. They get in my way of mowing.  Instead of throwing the clippings on the burn pile, I am going to turn this material into new plants.  Propagating blackberries is relatively easy, and I am going to show you how I do it.

Start with a shallow plastic tote. Drill several holes in the bottom for drainage and fill with peat moss.
Take 4-6 inch cuttings from this years growth and remove all but 1 or 2 leaves.
Utilizing rooting hormone is not totally necessary but I feel it will help my odds of having success.


Dip the end of the cutting into the rooting hormone powder and the tap it on the side of the container to remove the excess. The powder only needs to be lightly applied.


Place the cutting in the peat moss with the treated end down.


All of the cuttings have been placed into the peat moss. The piece of tape is so that I can tell that the cuttings came from different varieties.


Water the cuttings in well the first time. after that you want to keep the peat moss damp but not wet.  I have heard that it should feel like a damp sponge.  After that place them in a shady place.


In just a few weeks this is what you will have. The cutting will begin to create new roots and you will have a new plant that has the same characteristics of the plant that it came from.

It is really as simple as that.  By the time fall rolls around, I will be planting these in the ground.  The cooler weather will allow them to become established before winter hits and they should be ready to take off growing in the spring.