I have learned that a hard prune does indeed encourage new growth. But if I would let all of this new growth develop into vertical branches, I would have a big pruning job next spring. I did notice that at this stage of growth they break off very easily.
The only tools I needed were a step ladder and a pair of leather gloves. I gave all the main limbs a gentle rub down which removed all the new vertical growth. It required very little time and I plan to do this about once a month through out the growing season.
The new growth near the terminal end of the main limbs will remain and hopefully develop into fruit bearing branches. I or the deer will only get a few apples this year though. John
Today I finished the hard prune on my apple trees. I try to learn something new every day. What I learned on this job was, it’s a job for a much younger man than me although it will never be required again in my life time. Tomorrow I will spray the trees with oil spray and again in a couple of weeks. I will spray them again with a GP spray before pink tip. After that I will prepare the new Orchard Bee nests and when the blossoms start to open, I will remove them from the fridge and turn them loose. I will suspend any spraying until the orchard/honey bees have disappeared. john
I got the second tree pruned when it started to rain and we are supposed to get nearly 2”. I put my tools away and ducked into the greenhouse. You can see three larger limbs leaning against the fence in the background. They along with others will be used for the smoker next year.
While in the greenhouse, I planted some small sweet potatoes from last years harvest. I have never tried this but I hope it works. If I get more than one sprout per spud, I will cut the spud and repot them individually. I am hoping this works because I am sick and tired of the quality of slips you get through the mail or L&G centers. John
The temperature to-day was in the high 50s with lots of sunshine. A beautiful day to be outside pruning apple trees. The trees have been producing fewer and fewer apples the last several years and I have learned that a hard prune may bring back the production. Well I did what I think is a hard prune and the wife and neighbors probably think I killed the tree. It has been said that you should be able to throw a cat through the tree without hitting any branches. Well I could throw several cats through the tree. It is also said not to expect many apples the first year after a hard prune (no kidding). The next two photos are before and after the prune. We will see what happens next. John
Thursday I was planning on pruning my apple trees soon.
Later that day, the National Weather Service was predicting a winter storm from Friday noon till Saturday noon with an culmination of 6”+. Later they changed it to 8”+ and later yet they changed it to 8”-12”. At that point I went to bed and this is what I woke up to.
Fortunately Number 3 son showed up to do some snow plowing. I panicked when I seen the GH roof the center looked like it caved in but it was fine and all the plants inside were as snug as a bug in a GH.
Well everything is cleared and we can get out easily but there is nowhere to go. Oh well I think I will wash wine bottles tomorrow. As usual all comments are welcome. John
I have been increasingly dissatisfied with the storage of root crops in the fruit cellar. It is just a little to dry and warm for storage. I end up storing stuff under the benches that I no longer use. Well I pitched it all and built a 22” X 22” X 8’ storage bin for roots and tubers in the GH. The side facing the camera is insulated with 1 ½’ of polystyrene and the two ends and backside are outside walls. The backside and right end are under ground.
Here you can see the insulated front side and a wooden slat floor for air circulation. The lids are hinged at the back and the middle so they fold under the shelves of the GH.
Well maybe not with aging but the weather was beautiful. Sixty-five deg f and partly sunny. I was able to get the rest of my apple trees pruned and I am hoping to get them sprayed twice with oil spray before they blossom. She (MN) has not been very kind since early fall, I am hoping she will have a conscience and give us a nice growing season.
While I was pruning the apple trees, the UPS truck showed up with my block of coco coir and new burners for the BBQ grill. Both will require there own entry for the journal.
My friend EG reminded me with his journal post yesterday, that I had a lot of work to do before spring gets here. People think that willow trees grow fast, well my apple trees grow many shoots from 6ft to 7ft long every year and they all have to come off. They along with any branches that are crisscrossed or growing back toward the center of the tree will fill my 4ft X 8ft utility trailer twice. The last few years it is a three-day job for me. What is holding me back now is, this morning when I got up, it was eight DEG outside. It is supposed to be in the 40s in a couple of days so I will get a good start on them. I would like to spray them twice with dormant oil spray before green tip.
This year will be my third year with orchard bees for pollinating. There pollinating activity is like a honeybee on steroids. The second bundle of tubes from the right are completely filled with bees and the first bundle on the right are partially filled tubes. They both went into the fridge yesterday. I will not put them outside until the blossoms show white tip.