Updates From The Farm

Quince buds at tight cluster

Notes from the Field: Week of March 25, 2024

This week we’re back to cool wet spring conditions, slowing down the rapid burst into spring that we observed across most crops last week. Fortunately, the nightly lows in Everson are well above freezing as this is the time of year where frost damage on peach blossoms and kiwis is of particular concern. We’re taking advantage of these conditions to get our new planting of rhubarb in the ground, continue tying/training and mulching on our apple trees and planning sprays for apple scab management. 

Fruit/Bud/Tree Development

  • We’re seeing apples as far along as tight cluster on some varieties with most varieties beyond green tip. Pear buds are at first white/pink on many varieties and we expect to see blooms opening very shortly.
  • Our Methley plums and Peach Plums are in full bloom with peaches close behind. The honeybees that aid with so much of the pollination in the orchard have arrived for the season and can be observed visiting the open blooms, particularly on the sunny days we’ve had recently. 
  • Hardy Kiwis as well as Currants/Gooseberries are pushing their first leaves of the season. 

Pest & Disease

  • We are beginning to note peach limbs that are impacted by bacterial and fungal cankers. Removing diseased limbs will be a high priority when extended periods of dry weather allow us to begin stone fruit pruning. 
  • Temperatures in the 50s with prolonged wet weather means apple scab development is likely becoming a concern. In our orchard this is managed primarily with sulfur sprays as well as other organic preventative fungicides prior to prolonged periods of wet weather. The purpose of these sprays is to prevent Apple scab spores from colonizing tender vulnerable green tissue as it emerges. We also begin foliar feeding as green tissue emerges to encourage strong and healthy growth that is less susceptible to disease. 

Hardy Kiwi buds beginning to push

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