Thursday, May 03, 2012

Backyard Orchard Culture: Progress Notes

Most of the fruit trees are near the end of blossoms. Some of the apples are midway through blooming, and a few blossoms straggle on, on the pears and cherries. Now some of the baby fruits are starting to show, giving me a hint of what to expect this year.
This is Almaden Duke cherry, planted last Spring, so just over a year after planting. Many of the buds took. The tree is about 3 1/2 feet tall. Since I want it to remain dwarfed, I'm going to let the fruits continue. Plus I want to see what they are like. Impressive, really impressive, to get fruit the 2nd year after planting, even if only a hand full or bowl full.
Hollywood plum. A few scattered fruit have taken. I thought it might not have any, due to frost while blooming. These are so good, I'll settle for having just a few.
The peaches that I planted in tubs late this winter. Starting to leaf out. I underplanted one with lettuce and one with cilantro, so as not to waste the soil and space.
Shiro plum. Judging from the number of tiny embryonic plums, I think there will be a bowl full or two. Like the Hollywood, I wondered if I would get any due to frost while blooming. Home-grown Shiro are so good, it's worth the wait and worth the trouble to get even a few.
Surefire Cherry - I'm guessing, about 4 years old now. I planted tart cherries largely because of late blooming, to miss those early frosts. This one is the latest of my many varieties, as far as blooming goes. They should set well, and we should get a pie or two. These have a wonderful flavor, different from the sweet cherries, and when very ripe can be eaten out of hand, sweet and tart at the same time, with red juice.

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