Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Raspberry & Blackberry Plants Blooming

   Raspberry plants are still blooming, as are thornless blackberry plants. Berry ripening seasons this year should start earlier than average, as shown in the fruit harvest seasons sidebar at left.  All berries are sold pick-your-own only.
These 'Apache' thornless blackberry plants are covered in blooms now.  Blossoms that are open now will have fruit ripe about June 22.  'Natchez' thornless blackberries start ripening earlier, about June 6 or 8 this year.
   Pick-your-own red raspberries should start in 12 to 14 days, by May 22 to 24.  Raspberries cost $2.08 per pint + sales tax, pick-your-own.  We're still open by appointment through May 31, as the sidebar at left says.  That ensures that during the earliest days of raspberry harvest, when a limited number of berries are ripe, that we have enough berries for those who've made appointments to pick each day.
   From June 1 to Aug. 31 we're open our summer hours, shown in the sidebar at left. By that time there will be plenty of raspberries to pick, and thornless blackberries will start ripening about June 6 or 8.  Thornless blackberries cost $2.55 per quart + sales tax, pick-your-own.
   Last year we removed the 'Triple Crown' plants from 2 rows, and all last summer I herbicided the sprouts that kept growing from the roots, so we could change the variety.  About 8 weeks ago I transplanted rooted tip layers of 'Natchez' thornless blackberry plants into these 2 rows, so we'd have more of this variety, our customers' favorite.  Today I transplanted a few more 'Natchez' plants into these 2 rows, to replace some that had died.
The center row has rooted tip layers of 'Natchez' thornless blackberry, planted 8 weeks ago into this row where we removed the 'Triple Crown' plants last year. At left is a row of 'Natchez' that I transplanted 2 years ago, that will bear a good crop this year.  At right  is a row of Triple Crown' that we removed this past Dec. that has resprouted, so I'll need to herbicide these sprouts all this summer before I can transplant 'Natchez' into that row next spring.
   I'm still very busy pruning raspberry and blackberry canes and tying them to the trellis wires, applying herbicides along apple, pear and peach tree rows, and picking asparagus twice each day.  Our workers and I are still thinning the young peaches, and when we finish those, we'll thin the young pears and apples.
    We still have harvested asparagus, apples and pecans for sale.  Prices are detailed in the previous post. Just phone 620-597-2450 a day in advance, and leave a message on the answering machine saying your name and the day and approximate time you're coming to get them.
   The phone rings in the house, and I check for messages when I come in from working in the orchards or
berry plantings.  When the weather's nice it's especially important to call a day ahead, as I can't always see the driveway from some parts of the fruit plantings, and when I'm working on a tractor I can't hear vehicles come in if you just drop by.
   In the past few days, several people dropped by without me seeing them come in; I only saw the vehicles leaving.  If you do drop by, ring the bell on the sales building, which I can usually hear, unless I'm working on a tractor.  When people have left a message letting me know when they're coming, I switch to working where I can see the driveway near that time.  Thanks.