Our wet spring continues here on the farmstead but the fruit trees seem to be holding their own. Apple blossoms have dropped now and it looks as if we have fruit set. The youngest tree on the south side of the house has bloomed this year for the first time giving me my third apple tree now in production. It is my only dwarf only dwarf tree coming from Stark Brothers Nursery here in Missouri.
Of the two plum trees, the front tree does have some fruit and seems to have suffered little damage either from last years drought or this years late snow storms. The fruit crop on the tree is not as large as usual but under the circumstances that is understandable. The back plum tree which is younger does show some drought damage and I notice that several of the limbs have not leafed back out. Once we are certain that those limbs are dead we will prune them out and hit the tree with a good shot of compost and manure around the bottom and we are considering picking what little fruit is on the tree off to allow the tree to concentrate more on recovering as opposed to fruit production.
Thus far to date there is a peach crop. Smaller than usual but there none the less.
One of the youngest trees, drought stressed last year is showing signs of peach leaf curl. A fungal infection that has been aggravated by the abundance of rainfall I am sure. The other three trees on other parts of the property are not showing symptoms and this fall we are considering treating all four of them looking for an organic solution first.
The strawberries in the raised bed have been fertilized with compost and rotted manure and mulched with decomposing straw. They are setting berries beautifully and we look forward to our first picking of ripe red berries ripening in the June sunshine.
The one hundred new strawberry plants just planted this year in the garden are leafing out and even have a bloom or two. They will produce little this year but next year should produce a full crop.
The grapes and blackberries were pruned in March and have been weeded, a generous amount of rabbit poop placed around each plant and mulched heavily with straw and dry grass clippings.
The grapes are just now showing blooms. The blackberries have not begun to bloom yet.
We have gotten one full cutting and a small one off the rhubarb. With 5 gallons of chopped rhubarb now in the freezer we have begun to thin the bed and give crowns away.
The bed had gotten much too thick and had started to be prone to downy mildew. To improve air circulation and sunlight between the plants we have removed 3 large crowns and would like to remove one more. That will leave us 5 large crowns in the bed which should be more than sufficient for our needs and still be able to fit in that space allowed.
Once the crowns were dug up the holes were refilled with rich compost and the bed heavily mulched with a straw and goat poop combo. These rhubarb crown that were removed were shared with a friend that lives locally that I met through this blog. I like being able to give someone else a start of these wonderful plants just as someone local once shared them with me. This friend graciously shared a start of raspberry plants. So I will now add to my orchard a new fruit and to my family a new friend. Two new blessings in one week.
Anyone else out there add something new to their orchard or have any raspberry growing tips?
Blessings from The Holler
The Canned Quilter