RASPBERRIES AND APPLES DOING WELL

The wet weather has been good for both our raspberries and apples and some amazing ferns along the snowmobile trail just below the raspberries.

The picture below shows a lot of green raspberries on the three year old Boyne variety in the upper field.  Depending on how much sunshine and warm weather we get, they will probably be ready for first picking around July 7 or 8 – watch the web.

The cherry crop is moderate this year – more than last year, but not like 2015.  There are MANY cedar wax wings hanging out in the cherry trees waiting for the fruit to ripen, so it may be a challenge to get cherries picked before the birds do.  They will not be ripe for at least a week after raspberries start.

Apples are growing well – picture shows some McIntosh now over an inch in diameter.   The big challenge now is to avoid being hit by hail – so far the storms have gone either south or north of us.

I will post again when we have a better idea of when berries will be ripe.

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APPLES ARE GROWING

We are off to a good start.  There was good weather for a few days during bloom and the bees (both our imported bumble bees and quite few native bees as well) were able to get out and pollinate the flowers.  You can see in the photo small apples that are now 10 mm (3/8 inch) in diameter and there are quite a lot of them.

We are now trying to get a window in the weather when it is not raining and not too windy so we can put down a weak acid thinning spray.  The goal is to remove some (but not too many) of the apples, so that the remaining ones grow larger.  It is a balancing act – if too few come off, then we have a lot of hand thinning – if too many come off the harvest is smaller.

There is a moderate set on the cherries and the raspberries are getting ready to bloom.  Raspberry harvest usually starts first week in July – plus or minus depending on the weather.

10 mm apples

 

APPLE BLOSSOMS ARE OPENING

Bloom looks promising this spring – lots of fruit buds.  we have avoided the  frosts this spring. We had one morning at 31 degrees.   There would only be a 10% loss at 28 degrees – 25 degrees causes a 90% loss when blossoms are open.

So we are good so far.  What we need now is some sunshine so the bumble bees will come out. The one inch of rain last night was gentle and did not wash off the open flowers.  Zestars (as you can see in the photo) are in full bloom – Cortlands are next followed closely by McIntosh, Empire and Honeycrisp are starting.

We have had a busy spring – picking up and chipping all the brush once the snow melted in April,  planting 500 new raspberries and 125 new apple trees (with the help of neighbor Kyle Zecher).

I will post more bloom pictures when we get some sunshine.

 

Zestars in bloom 2017 - Copy no exif

 

WINTER PRUNING UNDERWAY

We are making good headway on our pruning – there plenty of fruit buds, so we have potential for a good crop – we need a cool March to keep trees dormant and to avoid hard freezes in April and May.

Hope everyone is having a good winter.  Look forward to seeing folks in July for raspberries.

 

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