Updates From The Farm

Flower Thinning Fruit Trees

We've posted before about thinning out just set fruit on fruit trees. As the blossoms are pollenized and the fruit begins to grow, it gives off ethylene gas. If enough of this gas is released, either because thinning happened late or not at all, many fruit trees will...

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Apple and Pear Scab

The last two weeks have been both cool and rainy. With this kind of weather, we have our thoughts on fungal disease control in the orchards. One of the greatest challenges to growing apples and pears in our climate is scab, a fungal disease (Venturia inaequalis on...

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Peach Leaf Curl Resistance

The Center has an exciting new website that has a section entitled Growing and Variety Trials. This part of the website will over the next year begin to populate practical grower information on the numerous trials on going at the Center. Today I’ll outline some of the...

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Watching Bud Stages

It's the time of year that fruit trees are coming out of dormancy and buds are swelling. Using the swelling of bud to time preventative sprays is the most accurate way to control diseases on your fruit trees. By watching the buds on your fruit trees, you can time...

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Apple Maggot Update

We’ve had several customers call after noticing that their apples (or pears) have apple maggot in them this year. The most asked question is, “What can I do now to prevent this from happening next year?” We’ve posted in the past how to time sprays for apple maggot....

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European Pear Harvesting

We've posted before about timing harvest of pears and apples, how to tell when they are ripe, when to pick, and how to store. As summer ends and fall begins, we are ramping up the harvest of pears and apples at Cloud Mountain. Every year, we are asked how to tell if...

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How We Graft Japanese Maples

In our last blog post, we talked about Japanese maple propagation in general and why we graft, and today we will lay out the steps that we use in our grafting program.  With a few basic tools, a little bit of plant material, and a good bit of patience, you can build a...

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Grafting Japanese Maples

Summer heat is upon us and while many gardeners in Western Washington are simply trying to keep things alive during these hot dry months, we are in the heart of our propagation season.  Mid July is when the new wood of the Japanese maples begins to harden off, and...

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Thinning Season

We've posted on this topic before, but it is worth saying again how important it is to thin the fruit on your fruit trees. Typically, most trees set much more fruit each spring than they have the energy to ripen. By thinning the fruit while it is small, you direct the...

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Summer Cover Crops

Most folks know that winter cover crops like rye and vetch can be a huge benefit to their soils. Winter cover crops benefit their crops by providing soil cover to prevent erosion, keep valuable nutrients cycling through the microbiome below the soil surface, suppress...

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Results of a Cold, Wet Spring

Many fruit trees are starting to show the signs of a cold, wet spring. Our first indication of the weather showed up on peach trees, in the form of peach leaf curl. Established trees of leaf curl resistant varieties like Frost, Avalon Pride, and Betty showed much more...

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High Tunnels- Training Tomatoes

At Cloud Mountain Farm Center, we grow about a thousand tomato plants each year in our high tunnels. All of the varieties we grow are indeterminate varieties, meaning they are varieties that continue to grow and produce over...

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