Our apple trees are just about ready to start producing – as far as their age goes anyway. This has been an extremely mild winter and these trees require a minimum of 450 hours of temperatures between 32°-45º Fahrenheit. I don’t think it’s been that cold for very long all winter. So, I’m concerned there hasn’t been enough chilling hours to set fruit. The trees are all pruned and ready none the less. We prefer our fruit trees to be pruned to an open center, this keeps the tree growing “open and out” instead of “upward and columnar” which allows for good air flow and should make it easier to harvest fruit at picking time. We hope those skinny branches are bent to the ground and just loaded with apples.
The plum trees were staked to help them grow straighter. These trees were pruned to whips when they were set out last year and won’t be pruned this year. They, too, have been pruned to an open center. I expect we’ll be getting plums in about two years.
I relocated a birch tree to make room for another vegetable plot. Now we have forty-eight 30″x40′ permanent beds dedicated to vegetable growing. It’s a lot of area for one person to work intensively and entirely by hand. So, for this year, some will be fallow, some will be summer covered in peas and sunflowers, and still another will be broadcast with wildflowers. It’s a lot of space but I’m ready.
Trays and cell packs were dug out along with the tiny germination house. Seed potato and onion sets were bought. The planting schedule was re-worked and everything re-figured. A corner plot marker was moved out about four feet. An old veggie washing table was disassembled in order to be re-built into a better and stronger one. The west side of the garden fence was cleaned off. Some old diesel tires were hauled off. And, both mowers got new batteries and one even got new brakes. Woo, Hoo! It’s been a good week.