Friday, April 26, 2013

Apples and Strawberries Blooming

   Apple trees are now in bloom.  The cold spring has extended the bloom season of all our tree fruits.  Temperatures have dropped to 32 F or below several times during apple bloom, turning some petals brown, but not hurting the pistils, where the apples will develop, at all.  In between the rains, I've been making controlled crosses of 'Enterprise', 'GoldRush' and Coop 27 blooms for my apple breeding program.
Apple bloom is more staggered this year due to the cold spring.
   Strawberries have just begun blooming, and should continue to bloom over the next 3 to 4 weeks.  Strawberry and asparagus harvests have been greatly delayed this year.  Strawberry harvest season should run from about May 18 to June 10.  Strawberries are pick-your-own only, by appointment only, so call 620-597-2450 a couple days ahead to make an appointment.  We finally started harvesting asparagus, and will have limited amounts of harvested asparagus for sale from April 30 to about June 15, for $2.78 per pound + tax.  
   We'll also still have 'Enterprise' and 'GoldRush' apples for sale until late May this year.  They're protected from freezes in our sales building, and keep in top condition for 6-8 months in our cooler.  If you want to get asparagus and/or apples, call 620-597-2450 and leave a message saying when you'll be coming.  Thanks.
   In between the rains, our workers and I have been pruning blackberries and raspberries, and I've been applying herbicides to the bramble rows.  There should be good crops of  raspberries and
blackberries this year, but they'll start several weeks later than they did last year.
Our workers helped prune raspberries and blackberries last Sat.  From right to left, Rachael Triebel and Daniel Rennie prune black raspberries and Brandon Ledford prunes purple raspberries.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Cold Spring Delays Fruit Bloom & Strawberry Harvests

   The colder than average temperatures this spring have delayed bloom of many fruits.  Asian pears & European pears are blooming now, and some late-blooming peach varieties are still in bloom.  Apples have not started blooming yet, nor have strawberries.
Asian pears are blooming now, in foreground with white petals, and peach trees of the late-blooming variety 'China Pearl' are still in bloom in background with pink petals. 
   Strawberry harvest season normally starts about 1 month after bloom starts.  So it looks like strawberry harvest will run very late this year, maybe from about May 15 to June 8 or so.  That's quite a contrast with 2012, when strawberry harvest went from April 20 to May 8! 
   Raspberry, blackberry and peach harvests will also start later than last year, but probably won't be much later than most years.
   Asparagus harvest has also been delayed this year.  We should finally have limited amounts of harvested asparagus for sale from about April 25 to June 5, for $2.78 per pound + tax.  We'll also still have 'Enterprise' and 'GoldRush' apples for sale until late May this year.  They're protected from freezes in our sales building, and keep in top condition for 6-8 months in our cooler.  If you want to get asparagus and/or apples, call 620-597-2450 to let me know when you'll be coming.  Thanks.
Redbud trees are in beautiful bloom around our sales building, where we still have many great-tasting apples in our cooler.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Peaches in Full Bloom

   Peach trees are beautiful in full bloom now.  Temperatures are predicted to drop to 31 F tonight and the next night, which shouldn't hurt the peach crop at all.  Pears are just about to bloom, and apples will follow next week.
The peach orchard looked beautiful on April 7.
   During these couple days of cold and rain, I'm doing computer work and sorting apples in the sales building.  Then it's back to a very busy time of pruning blackberry and raspberry plants, applying herbicides, and many other spring jobs.
The white peach variety 'China Pearl', right, has large showy blossoms, in full bloom on April 9, while most peach varieties, such as 'Newhaven' at left and 'Challenger' in photo above, have smaller and less showy petals.
   Asparagus harvest should start in a few days.  From about April 15 to May 31, we'll have limited amounts of harvested asparagus for sale for $2.78 per pound + tax.  We'll also still have 'Enterprise' and 'GoldRush' apples for sale until late May this year.  They're protected from freezes in our sales building, and keep in top condition for 6-8 months in our cooler.  If you want to get asparagus and/or apples, call 620-597-2450 to let me know when you'll be coming.  Thanks.