The stars align at last

alan haighJuly 27, 2013

OK, I don't believe in jinxes but I apologize to any east coast growers if conditions suddenly change after this post.

So far we are having a fruit growing summer to rival CA. Things are crazy heavy set and everything that's ripened so far, including earliest and next round peaches, apricots (first time I've ever had more than I need) and first J. plums have been fantastic. My freezer is full of blueberries as well.

My customers are smiling and raving, making me feel almost useful, and every day in my own orchard is a day of joy, discovery and anticipation for what's next. Today I was admiring the beauty of some Bueno peaches that look almost ripe but are still rock hard. They have this amazing blend of marguerita coloring. Never tasted one before.

I haven't had to kill a single squirrel or raccoon- the starvation winter seems to have accomplished that so far and pecking birds are more an irritation than anything to despair about. I've never had so few issues with wildlife with only deer and a couple of recently deceased woodchucks (in veg garden) causing any trouble.

I've only seen a couple of stink bugs in my peaches and they are so far not requiring any extra sprays. Even slugs are strangely non-existent- we did have a long wet period that ended several weeks ago that would normally have caused a slug and snail population explosion.

It's all way to good to be true, but I will enjoy this as long as it lasts. Last year was an unrelenting string of natural disasters so why couldn't the converse be possible? Of course, the year before last was going quite will until it started raining in Aug. and didn't stop for about 3 weeks. Warm and relentless rain can bring an end to the best of seasons.

Anyway, for those out there suffering difficult weather- remember that your luck will probably change and when it does, you will be more appreciative than ever of your harvest.

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Thats awesome harvestman. You guys have had it rough the last few years it seems, so its nice that you get a good bumper crop (yes, im knocking on wood for ya).

Here, everything was excruciatingly late then aphids. Lots and lots of aphids and above average rain. One good thing though, my second year pear tree has 20 pears and they all seem to be growing to size.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2013 at 4:01PM
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That's a precocious pear!

    Bookmark   July 27, 2013 at 5:02PM
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Noogy(6 sw mi)

Sweet! I have 150lbs of blues in the freezer and just about as many arapaho black berries too. My apaches are white spotted and looks like I have colette, bartlett, tennessee euro pears and Yoinashi, shinseiki ,chojuro, and hosui asian pears coming too.
Now it looks like we have to move. Anyone want to buy a large ranch house on 4.5 acres? I'll throw in some trees!

    Bookmark   July 27, 2013 at 5:14PM
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Throw in the 150 lbs of blueberries and I might be tempted ;-)

Agree with harvestman - great year so far for berries (though I don't have nearly as much as Noogy). Wish it had been a better year for vegetables though - I'm looking at Labor Day for my "early" (50-60 DTM) tomatoes planted 6/2-6/17 b/c of all the rain and wildly fluctuating temps. Then we got more rain and a heat wave. Now things are cooling down but may end up too cool for peppers and tomatoes that are blossoming now to ripen.

I'm just glad to have berries - last year the blueberries (and apples) blossomed during a heat wave in March and then they froze, and the drought shriveled all the blackberries. We may actually even have apples this year too.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2013 at 7:34PM
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It was a GREAT year for cool season vegetables.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2013 at 7:42PM
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john222-gg(Mississippi 8a/8b)

All my fruit did grate this year with the help from GardenWeb and people like you. Just shows every hog finds an acorn every now and then.THANKS.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2013 at 7:52PM
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Oh yeah, my kale is still going strong even after the heat wave this month, but everything else bolted a month ago. Bad year for lettuce - every time I seeded, we had a heavy rain and the seed washed out. I planted a row of beets and a row of chard twice, have 1 plant coming up now (!) and ended up with 2 chard plants. From now on I'm starting all the tiny seeds (except carrots and radishes, not that those did great this year but they don't transplant well) inside

Sorry, didn't mean to turn this into a veggie discussion.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2013 at 8:14PM
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bob_z6(6b/7a SW CT)

This year has been a good one for raspberries (Prelude early and Royalty late), strawberries (Surecrop and Ozark Beauty both did well), Wineberries (even the birds aren't making a big dent in them) and Triple Crown blackberries. I'll write this up in more detail in the blackberry thread, but TC has been far and away the best this year. Over the last week it has been super-productive and great tasting with huge berries.

My tomatoes have done very well. I got the first ripe ones on 7/14, from a Big Beef I planted on 4/14. I've gotten quite a few since then- the below pic was from a few days ago (all from just 2 plants) and I've gotten more since then. I picked the first Cherokee Purple on 7/24 (planted on 4/28). As those spreads are wider than the advertised harvest times(73 and 77 days), I'm guessing that the time in April was only partially effective. Even so, the last week and a half have been very good from a tomato standpoint.

The tomatoes are in a different part of the yard from most of the other vegetables. The other veg garden (in a cooler, wetter part of the yard) is doing very poorly, with only potatoes performing passably. Most had poor germination and those that did grow are growing very slowly. I may eventually give most of it up to weeds and just lay thick cardboard over it.

The only crop which I planted in both places was peanuts (I had a few left over and found a place for them). The ones in the warm, dry (though with similar levels of sun) part of the yard have done much better (until a recent encounter with a groundhog).

    Bookmark   July 27, 2013 at 10:47PM
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