Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Pruning Peaches and Thornless Blackberries

   Harvest seasons for peaches and thornless blackberries have now ended, so there will be no more peaches or thornless blackberries in 2016.  We are now very busy pruning the peach trees and thornless blackberry plants, which are both very big jobs.
Our two college student workers, Brandon Ledford (left) and Ben Miller (right) are still pruning the peach trees through the end of this week. They've already pruned the row to the left, so the trees are much lower and less wide.
   Our two college student workers are still pruning the peach trees through the end of this week, then they go back to college.  Our four high school student workers started their senior year today, so from now until graduation they'll only work for us on Saturdays and school breaks.  When they finish pruning the peach trees, they'll help me prune the thornless blackberry plants.
I've been pruning the thornless blackberry plants in late mornings.  These 'Natchez' plants in the foreground have had their side branches pruned back, while plants in the background have not yet been pruned.
   The 2016 apple harvest will start next week with very small amounts of some very early apple varieties.  We have just one tree of 'Gala', two trees of 'Jonafree', and a few trees of 'Crimson Crisp' that were just planted 4 years ago, so they only have a few fruit this year.
This 'Crimson Crisp' tree has fruit ready to harvest in a few days. I just planted these trees 4 years ago, so they only have a few fruit this year.
   We also still have a few 'Enterprise' apples for sale.  These were picked in mid-late Nov. 2015, and are still crisp and juicy since they keep well in a cooler for 8 to 10 months.  The 2016 'Enterprise' apple harvest (and pick-your-own apple season) won't start until very late Sept., and the best pick-your-own time is the entire month of Oct.
Most of these 'Jonafree' apples are not ripe yet, but harvest will start next week.
   We have harvested apples for sale in late mornings and from 7 p.m. until dark, through Aug. 31.  Most early mornings I'm applying desperately-needed herbicides around the apple trees, and I can't see or hear cars come in the driveway while I'm spraying.  So if you want to come in early morning, please phone 620-597-2450 the day before you come and leave a message saying the day and time you'll come, so I can look for you.