Greenhouse fruit update

My trees planted spring 2014 are filling in nicely and most have fruit. So far the quality has been all over the place from over water stressed to great to OK. That’s to be expected on new trees with a new watering method. So far 2015 total water applied is only 5 inches. I’m pretty sure of that number. Last three yrs have averaged 17 inches total but it will be less this yr.

There are still old trees being removed as the fruit is harvested. Also figs that will be gone this winter. Then there will be six rows in a 32ft wide greenhouse. The center 4 trellised and outside two not. After everything is cleaned out I’ll decide on drip or basin irrigation and cover the ground with reflective weed barrier. That will increase light into the canopy.

Currently it looks like this down the center two rows. Apricot and pluot on K1 budded June of 14. Trees are single leader 7ft tall.

Grafted trees planted 2014 are bearing fruit.

An outside row planted 2014 on Lovell.

Fruit above the figs is on 2014 trees. The fruit on the right is on a 2011 tree coming out after harvest.


I always enjoy pics and explanations of your greenhouse. What you accomplish is remarkable! If I had the choice of a large controlled environment, I’d jump on it.

Such a large reduction in water usage is a notable accomplishment. When you say that the older trees and figs will be gone, do you mean that you are moving them to the outside, or eliminating them altogether?

What are your temps inside the greenhouse this time of year?

The figs will be moved and older trees cut down after harvest. I’ve already cut down a half dozen that are done fruiting. The warm end of the greenhouse will be figs, blueberry, and citrus if it survives. I’m tired of fighting scale on the citrus. So far I’ve not sprayed anything in the greenhouse this yr. I did buy 4000 predator mites for spider mite control. Have my fingers crossed on that front.

So far the greenhouse hasn’t been above about 94 but mostly 86-92 in the trellised area for a high temp. Nights here are low to mid 60s in summer.

The peach is Sweet Dream. Pretty nice size and still growing!

Same here. I’m getting tired of losing an entire year’s crop due to one brief weather event. I sarcastically refer to some of my trees as ornamental because I almost never get fruit off them.

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I’ve lost most of my outdoor fruit to coons and now possibly fox so far this yr. Had to erect a chicken wire fence around my last three Sweet Treat pluerry this morning. The outdoor grapes already have rot and something else going wrong. Last yr the coons took 98 of 100 clusters before I regained control. Two prior yrs frozen out. In the greenhouse it’s 95% cropping every yr.

I do have the prefect climate for fruit in a greenhouse. NY and anywhere else east of here would be much less favorable.

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Why is that?


What is the rationale for removing the trees?

Is it that they are not doing well, that you don’t like the flavor of the particular variety, that your greenhouse is an ongoing experiment or work in progress, or is it that you are just a compulsive tinkerer?


East of here is too hot and humid in the south. In NY it would be low light and excess humidity but I think workable because you could maintain a useable temperature range pretty easily. With the proper greenhouse covering for high light transmission and good control systems a greenhouse in NY would be workable. Your harvest season would be shorter than here but two months longer than outside. I read once about a greenhouse in PA that had a 40 yr old nectarine tree. That’s amazingly old under any conditions!!

I’ll have about 100 trees in the 6 rows newly planted. There isn’t room or light for anything else. Plus having trees all the same age and with similar root systems makes it easier to get the water right for max fruit quality. I’ve cut down many trees producing great fruit. But I’m confident that the new trees will do the same given time. So far fruiting as been promising. I do think I’ll water deeply once a yr in fall to rewet the entire soil profile. Then only wet a small area (0.5-0.7 inch per application) with each watering the rest of the yr. That will give a bigger root system better able to support the long steady water deficit needed to max fruit quality. The water deficit concept applies to grapes, figs, apricot, pluot, and nectarine for certain. Probably sweet cherries but they hit 25-32 brix easily. Not for berries. Apples and pears to some extent but my experience is limited.

Lookin good!! Anyone complaining how close my trees are I will send to look at the pics above :smile:

How is the fruit turning out this year? Any new exciting stuff? I got some really good Sandra Rose this year. My Robada are better than last year but I have pretty much concluded its not an east coast cot - far too much rot and while they get very sweet they are not getting much flavor. It has been dumping barrels of rain here, not good for any cot but Robada particularly is suffering.

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Thanks Scott!

Arctic Rose has so far been over stressed, extremely sweet, but with off flavor. That area and those trees on Citation are too dry so far. They’ll probably do better as the root system expands and I get the water right. Citation is not supposed to be drought tolerant but I can shrivel the fruit up right on the trees without much leaf loss.

Tangos just getting ripe and disappointing so far.

Raspberry Red nectarine from CRFG breeding program was about like Arctic Rose only both acidic and sweet.

The Flavor Supreme were superb as usual. Honey Lite and Honey Fire had amazing flavor for such early fruit on trees planted 14 months prior. They may even be better than my later Honey series nectarine.

Robada is highly freestone. Outdoors this yr some had mold inside by the time they were soft. My best cot this yr was Orangered on a drought stressed tree outside. Those hit 26 brix and were superb!!

Yeah, I agree. Thanks for the detailed explanation.

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Beautiful setup, Steve. Makes my orchard look like a hillbilly patch in comparison. So elegant.

You could have a 12 month harvest season in NY with citrus. In addition you might even add more than two months to other fruits if you were willing to heat more than I do. Heating would make humidity issues worse. I heat only enough to avoid freezing and to max out chilling at 37F.

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That’s why I consider it an unworkable fantasy for me. That is, unless my ultimate goal was to pick poached under-ripe fruit directly from the trees/vines. If our weather kept to the average temps every day of the year, it might be pleasant weather for growing just about anything. It’s those broad, steep swings in the range that are the kicker.


WOW. What an awesome set up! What state are you in?

I’m in Alpine TX. That’s west TX at 4500ft elevation. 75% sunshine all yr long. 90/64 summer and 60/30F in winter.

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Orangered is also tasting great here. Its prone to rot but its an excellent cot otherwise. The fact that it does so well in our very different growing situations is a very strong vote of confidence for it.

I’m also getting some great white cots this year, Shalah and Siep’s White are both excellent. After almost ten years of trying to get good white apricots I am finally getting there.


I’m always attracted to read up your posts about the fruit tree greenhouse and the accompanied pictures. Such achievement couldn’t be done in a few years but I always admired and envied! Lovely playground to have…



How are Moniqui and Zard holding up?


You’re ahead of me then…my cots are sizing up but no color change yet (Tomcot)… I’m seeing a lot of bacterial spot or whatever it is on many of them.