Thursday, March 24, 2011

Winter & Early Spring Work

Our fruit customers sometimes ask, "What do you do all winter?"  Pruning!  Whenever the weather is conducive, we're out pruning.  We start removing last year's fruiting canes from blackberries and raspberries in fall, and keep working on them all winter and early spring.  I started pruning apples in Jan. and hope to finish soon. With my workers on spring break from high school and college this week, we've been pruning the peaches and pears.
Our workers are pruning peach trees down for easier harvest, and removing dead wood.
I'm removing last year's fruiting canes, now dead, from purple raspberries.

With early spring comes the start of the pest control season.  We've already put on a delayed-dormant oil spray on apples and pears, to control aphids and pest mites without hurting beneficial predator mites and insects that eat the aphids.  We sprayed the peaches for leaf curl before bud break, and today sprayed blackberries and raspberries for anthracnose disease of the canes.
Bill's applying dormant oil to pears.
Bill's applying the peach leaf curl spray before budbreak.
Unfortunately, as we pruned peaches this week, we found the -16 F winter temperatures had killed all this year's flower buds.  So there will be no peach crop this year.  We should have good crops of all our other fruits.