A Homer Simpson Moment

Sunday, February 5, 2012

FUMBLE!!! Courtesy, Houston Chronicle
It's Super Bowl Sunday. Rather than spend the day watching football and eating fatty snacks, this Super Bowl Sunday will be like any other Sunday for this 49er fan.

Bitter? Why do you ask? ME? BITTER? Just because that blind ref can't call a fumble when the rest of us can?

No, I'm not bitter. Not at all. Not in the slightest. 

Outside the CRFG Scion Exchange
As it turns out -- I do have something better to do. Gardeners always have something to do. It's just a matter of getting around to DOING said task. But this is a task that suddenly jumped very high up on my mental list of "gardening things to do."

It seems I made a slight error.

Me? Make a MISTAKE? Didn't think that could happen, did you? Well, it does happen. As a matter of fact, it happens far too often. You've heard the term that gardening is often Trial and Error?

Meet Mr. Error.

In my rush to create a cornucopia of fruit trees through the grafting process that I detailed here, it seems that I forgot to follow a very simple rule: watch where you're grafting.

Red Top Peach Graft to June Pride Peach Tree
I give you Exhibit A. Can you see the mistake that I made in this photograph? As blurry as the photo is -- a trained expert has already spotted the error in question and is having himself/herself a good chuckle. I've done some mighty dumb gardening things in the past, but this one probably takes the cake.

You'll be happy to know that this isn't the only mistake. Oh no! When Bill Bird screws up? He tends to go for the adjective of "royally." 

For those of you who have not been initiated into the world of grafting fruit trees -- here's a good rule to follow. Make darn sure that the buds on the twig that you're attempting to graft onto an existing tree are pointing in the OUTWARD direction.

Pluot Graft Pointing in Wrong Direction
If you point them INWARD, and the graft union is successful, you'll have new branches growing awkwardly inward towards the trunk of the fruit tree. Nothing screams *SCREWUP* like the sight of branches that fail to grow out and up. That's what nature intended.

Worse yet -- I didn't notice this error until I was on the second day of "grafting duty." After the first four or five graft attempts, you tend to improve with time and experience. The unions fit a little tighter. The taping job is a bit smoother and more professional looking. What emerges is a fairly nice graft.

Time to Put Ye Olde Grafting Tool Back to Work!
It is -- at this point -- where one begins the mental image of patting himself on the back. At this point you begin to step back and admire the work. "Hey," you think. "That looks pretty darn good!" And the next step is to gaze at the work that took place the day before. It is at this point, where you suddenly realize that something is terribly wrong and the next thought is "OH CRAP!"

So -- umm -- yeah -- the Super Bowl can wait. I have more mistakes to make!