A Fruitful Spring

Pears

After last year’s disappointing blossom freeze from the Mother’s Day snow storm, we are so excited to see fruit popping up on our trees and vines! After the hard pruning over the  winter to fix a bad cut job, I was happy to see a few pears on the pear tree. I wasn’t expecting a lot this year but looking forward to a better next year.

Apples

 

There are quite a few apples on two of the three apple trees. The deer like to frequent this area and we don’t have our fence back up yet. I hope they save us some fruit, at least at the top of the tree.

Walnut

I found a tree label for a Black Walnut tree and I think I found it! I had a specialist look at this tree and he felt it probably wouldn’t bear nuts based on the lack of care. I was so happy to see pods forming! They started dropping off with the heat, but I’m crossing my fingers that we get a few nuts this year just to see what they are like.

Grapes

And of course the grape vine is yielding  grapes. The first thing that comes to my mind is how am I going to keep these from the birds?! I’m going to have to investigate this further. I’ve tried netting on my blueberries in the past and found birds get stuck in them. Maybe there is a better netting out there somewhere.

With each success, I find there is always a question behind it that requires a little more work………the fun of creating a farm!

Pruning Grape Vines

Grapes

When we moved to the farm it was winter and the overgrown grapevines were in hibernation. It was a great time to cut them back. I was nervous, but did some severe pruning and loaded it up with compost.

Grape Vine 2014
The new growth was incredible, covering half of the shed it sits in front of, but no grapes.

Grape Vine 2015

Grapes grow on second year shoots so I this year I had to carefully prune the vines correctly. I picked the 5 or 6 sturdiest looking shoots, tied them to the wires and cut them back to 4 or 5 buds. I’ve heard recommended number of buds ranging from 2 to 5 and decided to try the higher. I was really excited to see how quickly actual grapes showed up on the vines this year. Note the main picture.

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Pruning Fruit Trees

Fruit trees

The fruit trees were professionally pruned today! The previous owners hadn’t maintained them in years and they look so much better now. If you’ve never pruned a fruit tree, don’t do it unless you’ve had a little hands on training! It’s a matter of yield. If it’s not pruned correctly, you won’t get the fruit you want.

Here is an example of what happens with a bad prune job.

pear tree

Blunt cuts to larger branches cause sprays of tiny branches to grow straight up rather than well formed branches reaching out from the tree. It’s not only very unattractive, it also makes it impossible to have a large crop of fruit. These tiny branches, even if they do have pollinated flowers, won’t be able to hold the weight of fruit and will never make it to full ripening without falling off the tree.

This is a pear tree and the ones above are apple. We didn’t get any fruit last year. The trees were covered in flowers in the spring and a Mother’s Day storm drop 18 inches of snow resulting in not only destroying the flowers, but a few broken branches too. There were peach trees on the property but they didn’t survive. I’m considering buying more, but we have enough to work on at the moment!