Anyone want to design me a mini cherry shaker? Think I could wrap this up much faster!
Got lucky there was thunder and lightning and not a drop of rain! It rained all around me so looks like I barely dodged cracked cherries! I’m not running out of cherries to pick anytime soon so I did as @IowaJer suggested and called in family to help. The idea of picking ASAP is best with these because the crop is huge! If you pick a little early you might get the crop picked before you lose it. Yellow spot spreads worse in high moisture so the sooner those cherries are off the bushes the better. Lucky the rain missed us!
Nice pics showing up here. Nice to see all those ripe and ripening cherries, it will be maybe another 6 weeks until they ripen here, but at least it looks like I got a good fruit set.
It’s official these little bushes out produced Montmorency! Montmorency has never produced this well for us in Kansas. Can CJ keep up the production like good old Montmorency? The gallons are still coming! Some of these cherries are only 1/3 the size of Montmorency. Don’t get rid of your Montmorency tree because for pies it’s king but for juice there is a new king in town and that’s carmine Jewell! CJ takes less space to produce more so if you don’t have this bush already get one! I picked 1 gallon off a bush this morning and was not even half way around the bush. They are all loaded like that! Never expected this kind off production.
Look awesome Clark! Did they size up any from earlier? I think mine look smaller than before.
Thank you! Some are smaller cherries than last year. Some are as large as Montmorency more or less. A very small portion are that large. I would say 1/3 are the same size as Montmorency. Many are only 1/3 in size a Montmorency cherry. Some are about twice the size of a large pea but only 1 or 2 percent are that small. For juice I’m looking at overall numbers and the sweetness and poundage are both excellent! Sweetness is much better than last year on this weeks cherries which is strictly lack of rain. We have plenty of moisture overall but fortunately today it’s hot and 92 degrees. The cherries are getting blacker and the fungal diseases are not rushing me to spray. Fungal disease don’t spread in hot dry air. The cherries are not cracking since it hasn’t rained which is also allowing me to keep them on the bush longer. We could not get anymore ideal conditions than these for cherries. The only downside is it will be impossible to top this crop next year. They certainly have lived up to their reputation and surpassed it in my location!
Carmine Jewell as you can see by these pictures are getting very dark and are starting to get softer which indicates their ripe. You can see the average size of the cherries beside a dime. I randomly picked a handful to demonstrate size ensuring not pick the largest or smallest cherries. This is what they look like in this stage. Hopefully I will finish picking cherries this week. The weather is hot and dry for the next several days. The daytime temperatures are 92-93 degrees. Feeling very blessed to get such an abundant harvest.
When they are dead ripe they are so dark you can barely see the cherries next to the bush foliage. These bushes are loaded with cherries! If I ever plant a few acres of these I won’t be picking these by hand!
This is the first year CJ are producing for me. I have them netted and they are medium maroon color right now but probably will get darker. I tested them and Montmorency today, both were 12 brix after a heavy rain. I’ve only picked a few so far but will probably pick the whole bush in 3 or 4 days. I’ll have enough for one pie but I enjoy them so much fresh that we’ll probably just eat them that way.
My soil is relatively poor in comparison to many growers in some places so it took about 7 years to see really large crops on some bushes. This row of cherries were planted as liners in 2011 or 2012 so they have done better. I purchased some bushes The first year they were available in the United States from Gurneys. The test crop I planted in some of my poorest clay soil and was soon impressed. The CJ really benefit from cow manure and wood chips around the bushes every 3-5 years. My soil and at times harsh conditions are similar to some of the conditions they grow in the Canadian prairies. Your cherry yields should start drastically improving every year. Many of my bushes are at their peak heights which for this location seems to be 10-12 feet. My young new bushes are adapting to Kansas weather and are getting better all the time. Some grow several feet in a year. I’m tempted to dig up 50-100 or so and row plant them. Knowing what’s it’s like to pick CJ I wonder if I really want 100. Anyone doing large plantings yet? I would love to take credit for the abundance of fruit and say it was some rare fruit growers skill but the truth is simply these bushes have great genetics. The growers skill matters the first few years when they are small but after that occasionally feed them and spray them and the abundance of cherries will come. They are kinda slow to start but be patient.
Can you take a picture of your row of bushes. I want to see them from the distance to see how much bigger they look. Remember Daffy Duck saying, ( I’m rich, I’m rich, I’m rich, I tell ya I’m rich!). Are you doing a silly dance and throwing cherries in the air? How did you happen to buy so many CJ’s? Did you get a better price, or did you still pay full price per bush? That’s a lot of investment.
The second batch of CJ were $9 each on sale because they had a bunch left over when the hot weather arrived. The first batch I paid $35 each for and purchased 4 of them I think. Here you go this is part of the row. Nothing is mowed yet since I’ve been grafting and cherry picking.
I can tell they are bigger. They will look even bigger once you mow. Watch out for ticks.
Carmine Jewel - My Take Away (With Pics)
Waiting patiently as the cherries north of us ripen up. Waiting to see what their harvest will be like. Iowa is next Carmine Jewel - My Take Away (With Pics). Historically there harvest is very heavy. I suspect it will be a bumper crop! Juliet might be another great cherry to add and many others developed in Canada are very good also as seen here My "Romance series" cherries. Canada appears to have another heavy bush cherry crop this year. The bush cherries actually were in a good fruit grower article in 2014 discussing their commercial viability http://www.goodfruit.com/new-prairie-cherry-varieties-making-an-impact/. As many of you know carmine Jewell was released in 1999 but did not make it in to the United States for awhile.
Carmine Jewell picking is finished up today. Picked another 9 gallons of cherries today. In the bucket wound up at about 23 gallons total. We could afford to be picky so we easily discarded several gallons of fruit that was not exactly what we were looking for. Some was half ripe, had a blemish, to small, not ripe at all etc…Seems like @IowaJer gets substantially more fruit but I’m pleased with the overall results. I do not irrigate these bushes so they have not been watered since the second year I planted them. We picked primarily from one dozen or so large bushes though we picked a few from a few small bushes. A couple gallons per bush is not bad. The new bushes will be producing more before long and I will have a harder time keeping ahead of them. At least a half dozen small bushes had a handful of cherries on them. Gave one gallon away to a neighbor and the contents of this cooler is headed for the freezer! Great haul this year!
I think they are excellent too. I have 2 plants, a Juliet and Carmine Jewel. Once both mature, that should be enough for me. This year is a little lean as I moved the Carmine Jewel last fall, it produced but aborted a lot. It needs time to establish again. Mine need another week before harvest.The warm weather though has sped up ripening for sure.
Those two bushes when mature should yield at least 4 gallons if your averages are similar to mine. If you water your cherries you could increase those numbers. My bushes are in a row as shown above so they compete with each other for soil nutrients and water. If the bushes were not touching each other the production would go up astronomically.
You must have the happiest birds in the world!!!