Beautiful week on the land… lots of nice green growth coming out from the plants.
Looks like the cold weather early in April wasn’t kind to the peach and plum blossoms, so it will probably be a limited crop for them this year, if anything. The asian pears, apples and cherry trees are flowering nicely right now. Two of the apples Arkansas Black and Evereste have lots of nice flowers. Four of the asian pears (Chojuro, Ichiban, Hosui and Shinko) have between 6 and a 100+ blossoms each. Not bad for being only a year in the ground. We’ll see how many they try and set. Asian pears tend to try and over-bear. I’ll probably prune off the fruit down to no more than a dozen for each tree. The NY518 yellow cherry is the big winner for flowering this year, followed by Vandalay and then Stella. The Surefire cherry may not flower this year, but it is just getting started breaking dormancy. Surefire is really late in the season to flower compared to most cherries.
The gooseberries and currents all are either flowering or have already set fruit. The Orus 8 Jostaberry has the most berries on them, so far. We may get a pound or so of fruit from each. Four of the five varieties of autumn olives have flowers almost ready to open or are blooming right now. It looks like we may get small crops from five of the seven blueberries and a pound or so from the Darrow variety.
The brambles are really showing some vigor this spring! The raspberries have buds coming on last years growth and are sending up new canes. The blackberries and blackberry/raspberry crosses are showing a lot of new growth and putting up new canes, but the flowers should come later. It looks like my Beauty Seedless grape is not growing yet and may have been lost, but the rest of the grapes are all leafing out.
The figs are a wildcard… the Desert King is breaking buds and I can see some swelling for a handful of breba crop fruits, but otherwise, only the Violette de Bordeaux and Cantor figs are budding out. Hopefully the rest will follow soon. Young figs are a crapshoot.
The strawberries are sending out lots of leaves and blossoms. The Earliglow and Jewel types are showing some fruit set already. The Shuksan should set fruit in the next week. I’m curious how the wild strawberries do in terms of setting fruit. They have a LOT of flowers this year and are everywhere in the berms and paths. I think they are usually pretty shy about setting fruit. Maybe next year will be different once we have the bees…
The bees should be ready to pick up in a few weeks! I have the hives constructed and ready to transport to the orchard for assembly and weatherproofing.
Our wood chip hugelkulture annual beds are about half completed. Hopefully the couple hundred square feet will be enough for a decent number of our favorite tomatoes, peppers, garlic and onions, etc…. I ended up planting a potatoes and sunchokes in the orchard hugelkulture beds. We’ll see if I regret adding the sunchokes in a few years!
I transplanted my asparagus seedlings and got them in the ground. I planted them mostly in rows of their own, with about a foot spacing and several feet between rows. A straw mulch will be maintained around them throughout the growing season if they survive the transplanting. The root systems and tiny little crowns seemed very delicate. I hope we get at least a couple to survive and then I can let them set seed to encourage volunteers wherever they want to grow.
Sorry for the rambling post…lots to catch up on!