Updates From The Farm

This week things are waking up – Spring officially starts tomorrow and the trees are taking note. After the warm spell over this past weekend we’re seeing real signs of life across apples, pears, plums, peaches, and more. We’re looking to be about a week to a week-and-a-half ahead on bloom and bud stages compared to last year.

Fruit/Bud/Tree Development

·         Our first Asian Plums are in bloom – the Methley is in full bloom, and the Peach Plums are a few days away.

·         Most apple varieties in our orchards are now at silver to green tip stage, save for some late season varieties. On pears bud scales are seperating and we’d expect first blossom buds exposed shortly. Fruit buds are big and swollen right now just before they begin in unfold. It’s easy to recognize possible fruit load on pome this time of year. We’re taking note of which varieties are looking loaded and which are looking light for this season and we’ll be spur/flower/fruit thinning accordingly.

·         Peaches are between first pink and first bloom across varieties. Betty is just begun blooming in full, with Frost, Lucky 13, Salish Summer not farm behind.

Pest & Disease

·         Now’s a great time to prune out Black Knot fungal infections in plums during a dry window. We were able to prune off and cut-out some black knot at the end of last week when we were assured we had a 72 hr+ forecast without precipitation.

·         We’re cleaning up our dormant season prunings in the orchard – removing any larger prunings for chipping/burning and flail mowing smaller twigs in order to better allow for quick decomposition. Orchard clean-up activities such as this are important for control of disease pathogens, but also allow us to put captured tree nutrients back into our soil more quickly.

·         We’ll be applying a lime sulfur + oil delayed dormant spray on pome fruit early this week (for control of scale, anthracnose, and fungal cankers).

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