End of the growing season thoughts and facts

My orchard is now 13 years old going on 14. This year was different. All of my Mirabelles bloomed and fruited. My cherry tree was flush with Montmorency. My other Euro plums were excellent. The size of my apples were huge. My grapes were the gift that kept on giving, all three: concord, Hope, Swenson Red. My Seckel pears and Flemish beauty were all full size and very good. My peaches were the worst. I had one apricot from three trees. We did have a late cold spell in spring. I thought my apricots and peaches survived they did not! My berries were very good. Just not enough of them. My black currant crop was huge.

Squirrels were my nemesis. There is no creature more evil than a squirrel!

My house still has not sold, so I am about to start my spray schedule this weekend. The cycle continues, for now. Due to the encouragement of AntMary and Drew, I had the best tomatoes ever! Thank you all for your continued support and advice. I’m finally growing into my orchard! Any other orchard conclusions?


I don’t have a lot of orchard conclusions, but I do have a garden song … :


Yet another year with no fruit! Peach tree was covered with fruit until about June. No issues whatsoever other than squirrels. They tore up the netting and got every single fruit. This is the sixth year after planting and no ripe fruit. Next year I’m not messing with nets. I’m going after the squirrels.

Grapes looked great until about June also. But finally got hit with Black rot. We could taste a handful for the first time , 5 years after planting. But most were not edible. Next year I’m going to add one spray of Immunox to my spray schedule. Finally had to accept the fact that there will never be more than a handful of organic grapes in my yard.

Apple tree planted in 2015 didn’t produce anything. Didn’t do much growing either for that matter. I decided I’ll let it be next year and not graft on to it or do anything else that might stress it out, like looking at it.

Pear tree planted this year (April) is still sitting there looking all sad. Didn’t really leaf out except for few funky looking leaves. I have a feeling it’s not going to leaf out. I have asked for a replacement tree.

Cherry tree planted this year grew well. I also saw what looked like flower buds on the trunk of it. But something scratched the trunk, destroyed the buds and ate the leaves recently.

So not a happy conclusion from my orchard (if 4 trees and one vine can count as an orchard)


No fruit here, but we weren’t expecting any in our second fruit-growing year. Should get some strawbs, rasps, and maybe a few apples and blackberries, if everything turns out as planned next year.

Most of the fruit trees planted last year have put on some good growth, some like the peaches, and a few apples, not so much. But, maybe they’ll take off next year.

A very good garden year. Beaucoups of cukes, corn, peppers and beans. NO taters of any kind, sweet or regular. Not a lot of tomatoes, but enough to make some salsa. Lots of canned garden goodness for the food cellar this year. Haven’t decided next year what will go into the gardens, but it’s still early.

This is our 4th garden year since we moved here, and I’d like to think we’ve learned something new every year. Never thought I’d have to do a big repair job on our tractor, but it came out well. Learned that my fishing line deer deterrent fence couldn’t keep them out of the 'maters, but they left the corn and beans alone, oddly enough.

Hope everyone has a great season next year!

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It was a year of firsts,with Santa Rosa,Lavina,Sprite,Purple Heart,Kuban Comet,Superior and Kirke’s Blue Plums producing a little.Also Flavor King Pluot and Pearl Prune fruited.New Peach were Bill’s Nectar Peachcot and Chinese Honey Peach from Bob Purvis wood.
The stone fruit trees in my greenhouse still didn’t put out much,mostly due to Spider mites,which I’m still learning how to deal with.
Oh yes,Blueberries.Lots of those.I hope Indigo Crisp’s flavor gets better.
Looking forward,there should be larger amounts from these and new stuff,recently grafted. Brady


Great muscadine crop. No plums, huckleberries, blueberries or figs to speak of due to late frost. Got great pears off the two old trees in my Aunt’s lot next door, but pears on my property were a total loss due to the late freeze. My two year old Lemon Frost lemon tree made 9 lemons this year. I’ve already eaten three. They are way better than a regular lemon. They are a lot sweeter and not quite so sour.


Lots to be thankful for…Apples were sparse and included golden delicious, ginger gold, honey crisp, winesap.
Peach trees continue to improve, we had several dozen. Ever since I put these trees on the north side of the house they have improved.
Blueberries were good, but slow to ripen.
Awesome blackberries, raspberries took a hit from borers. Gooseberries were very good.
Good hopps. Cascade.
Rhubarb was good.

The not so good.
Papaw, nada. These trees were put in about 8 years ago…another 1 blossom year.
Plum. One plum. These are Damson and Plum Berry.
Honeyberry- year two, several berries, do not seem happy.
Currants were overall slow…
Chipmunks found out figs are worth eating, ugh!!

Love growing fruit! Happy Thanksgiving.


Our -30F winter last year took its toll on my Peaches, Apricots, and Blackberries. No fruit on any of them. I am hoping for the best for my PAF Blackberries during the upcoming winter. My Aronia’s did very well, along with the Gooseberries and Honeyberries. My apples are just getting mature enough this year so I’ve got my fingers crossed for 2018. Strawberries are young but did manage some sweet fruit. The birds cleaned out my Elderberries once again. My neighborhood gang of Antelope cleaned off my Juneberry bushes too. I rally don’t want to have to do it but I might have to install a fence to keep the critters out of my Orchard!


Boy, with that amount of minus degrees it is amazing that you can grow all of your types of fruit on your list. You must have found the most hardy varieties.

Lots of trial and error.

I had one of my best Bluberry years. All of the bushes were full except for two that I moved and they were being a little stingy on the crop this year. Best year for apples around my area. Easily a thousand apples picked this year. The veggie garden took its time because of the cool start to June, but kicked in when the weather cleared. I’ve moved 6 Apple trees and got rid of a few that just weren’t worth it to me so next year will be a little slower, but other Apple trees are just starting to fruit so it won’t be so bad. I’m cutting back on veggies next year too much work cleaning the beds up and that’s where I moved my trees so I’ll have a more tidy garden, but still plenty of vegetables to go around.


I had a good year, not everything worked, some failures, but it seems everything is falling into place. I’m super happy with my harvest. The failures for the most part I know why, so learned a lot. A year of first tastes, trumps it all anyway and it was such a year. What was great is the fruit was better than I ever expected. Super satisfied to set gardening goals, and meet and even surpass them.
I have had bad years, and sorry to hear some have had such a year, don’t give up, adapt, adjust. Add known to work stuff so you will always have something, good luck!


What did you think of Kirke’s Blue? Is it a “must have” or ordinary?

I would love to hear about your firsts and what was superior to your expectations :slight_smile:

Some were both, like plums, which were better than I expected, Flavor Queen is often dogged as bland. Mine was very mild and sweet, with a tropical type taste. I thought they were fantastic. Different from any plum I ever had. Nadia Cherry-plum hybrid also was quite good, many claiming it was hyped even after tasting. I thought it was very good. The last two years my Spice Z Nectaplum was rather plain, not much taste, sweet but bland, this year it was very flavorful. All the plums I have read that rated average to bland were great and the plums rated high I thought were just OK, very strange! Dapple Dandy rated average, one user here removed his tree this year, I thought was really good, I could keep eating them, plus they hung forever. No disease problems, lasted 7 weeks in the fridge (I had about 50 of them). My peaches and nectarines produced before and did again. I had over 500 stone fruit in my postage stamp yard. Backyard orchard culture works. I tasted honeyberries for the first time, some new strawberries that were very good,
At my cottage I have a row of 14 Cornus mas trees, They produce the dogwood cherry. After 6 years (they were seedlings) these non-cultivar or species specimens produced and I got a taste. Very tart, but excellent flavor, very happy with them. I wanted a hedge too, and so have both a hedge and an edible. The hedge looks like a hedge now too (things falling into place). Mission accomplished.
I had a good blueberry year too with a lot of fruit and excellent growth especially on newer plants.
Mostly it was the stone fruit that soared this year for the first time, and it surprised me a lot. Mission accomplished.
Also I play around with breeding and I had a good year, even developing a very tasty pink raspberry. “Irene” I’m calling it, after my mother. Three hybrid peaches I bred grew well and look great. Jury is out on fruit for 2-3 years. So a red letter season for me.


I had about a quart or two of sweet cherries for the first time, after waiting for many years. That was probably my high point. I am still in the process of establishing my rural orchard, so my home plantings got rather weedy. We didn’t have any super harvests, but enough apples, pears, and raspberries for the two of us. We’ve had at least a taste of most other berries. Plums haven’t produced very well over the years, nor cherries. The blueberries had a very small crop. The new orchard produced its first three apples. But the plants are all looking healthy and I am looking forward to see how things do in 2018. In this mild weather, I am still hauling mulch to the orchard this week.

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Since only having two fruit so far,I can’t say the variety is a must have,so more sampling is needed for me to make a decision. Brady

I whined loudly in late May as a spring frost really did a number on my pears and and apples. Then the guy who was hired to spray the weeds in the yard came on a windy day and really burned up some of the apple and pear trees with herbicide damage.

Despite all that I ended up with 18 bushels of wonderful apples, 3 bushels of pears, 1.5 bushels of peaches and plenty of tart cherries. Much to thank the good Lord for this past Thanksgiving. No grapes this year but enough of most of the other fruits.

Fun trying to decide what apple to use in the pies for Thanksgiving! Finally went with Northern Spy and left the remaining NW Greening for another day. Used up the last of some windfalls over the weekend making apple sauce that was enjoyed over the potato pancakes last night.

I have plenty of apples to last thru Christmas for me and my extended family so
very greatful for the crop that was far better than I anticipated. Several extended family members put in a request for more Honeycrisp but I finally had to say that the orchard is big enough and we do not need more apple trees! Although many more varieties that I still want to grow so now is the time to start planning on what varieties to graft to existing trees to get more variety but not really more yield.

My Stanley plum is now covered with black knot despite my best efforts to keep it at bay so out it goes. One less tree to care for although I sure will miss the delicious plums.


This 2017 fruit growing season gave me more positives than negatives.

Besides not getting any apricots because of late freeze, everything else made up for it.

Start in early July with Black Gold cherry, severl pounds of them. All my three European plums set fruit very well. OFM took some but I still had plenty.

Peaches set a lot of fruit even when one branch broke with 65 peaches went down with it. Got to try Gold Dust, Madison, Saturn and Winblo for the first thime. Arctic Glo and Artic Star nectarines tasted good despite rot.

Got a few new (to me) Japanese and hybrid plums and a couple of pluots but not enough to comment on them.

First time eating these apples from my backyard: Frostbite, Hoople’s Antique Gold, Gold Rush and White Winter Pearmain. Like the first three and have to reserve my judgment on the last one.

Lots of Asian pears and some Harrow Sweet.

While OFM, CP, coddling moth, squirrels, groundhogs, raccoons, bunnies, etc damaged many of my fruit, I am very happy with the harvest that I don’t let those pests bother me (for now). 2017 is a good year. Let’s repeat :smile: .


You had the best Mirabelles!

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