Hi! Im Julieh; Anybody else excited about planting season coming?

Am exited to finding this group I garden in Eastern SD; (zone 4) and also @ our cabin in zone 3 Mn. Will prob. start veggies (tom’s peppers; cabbage; flowers) in two wks. We plant them out under milk jugs about 4/15.


Welcome to the forum!!! I have a month or more before I even think about planting indoor and mid May before I can plant outside. Exciting isn’t it?

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Well right now. Most of us east coasters are worried to death about loosing all of our plums, peaches and cherries. But I did go seed the garden bed with turnips, beats and spinach.

Welcome to the group!

We’re still dealing with new snow, but I did get the fever enough to order seeds from Fedco last week; as soon as the snow recedes enough I’ll get some greens direct seeded- a bunch of lettuces, spinach, choy, and some Asian greens I’ve never tried before. And I’m eager to see if my fall spinach and lettuce are any good after this topsy-turvy spring we’ve been having.

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I’ve got GHs, so the planting (and work) never stops. But I had started tomatoes, peppers and eggplants just a few days ago. Also have some greens started to replace the aged ones that are starting to go to the chickens.

It was feeling rather spring-like here until a couple of weeks ago, when it turned cold, cloudy and snowy. Had almost forgot that we can have winter. But I expect I’ll be starting cold weather outside crops inside in a couple of weeks.

And so it begins again…

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Hey JuileH. Welcome to the forum. I don’t know if we have any members from South Dakota on here. I think @TheDerek may be the closest member to you, in ND, and some folks from MN, like @Klondike_Mike, @smsmith for example.

I start all our tomatoes, peppers, and herbs indoors. I usually don’t start sowing anything until April, since we’ve had late freezes the last couple years here in NE Kentucky. I don’t want them to get too big before they get transplanted, which will probably be in late May. We’ll be breaking ground prob in April, so still a ways off there.

We got 3 new trees coming in a couple weeks, and a bunch of rasps and blackberry plants in April, so also geeked about that.

I’m excited to see some of our fruit trees budding a bit, as well as our berry plants. The grass has really got greener over the last week, so it seems spring is almost here. Glad too, it’s been a cold winter (for us). I’m sure y’all have had much colder weather, so I shouldn’t complain too much.

Welcome again.


I’m getting excited too! I’ve only lived in Illinois for 3 years now, and moving from zone 8b to 5b has been an adjustment in all ways, not just gardening, which I actually did very little of before moving.

The item I am most anxious over is heavily pruning my fantasia nectarine. A couple years ago I posted about a sore on its trunk, which was accurately diagnosed on here as being cut. My husband admitted hitting it with the weed whacked after I mentioned to him I joined this forum for help. I didn’t prune much that year so it could focus on healing, which luckily it did.

Last year my husband’s uncle came to help us prune it, he has had various fruit trees over the years/decades. All of his instructions on cuts matched what I had read, so I didn’t really question what he was doing. A few months afterwards though, I read that nectarines should be cut in a vase cut, which he did not do. He had cut a bunch of the lower branches, and left the tallest center branch to lead the way for height.

Live and learn, I hope I am able to adjust the shape/height of the tree this year without messing it up, I feel like I have invested a lot of energy into this tree and really want it to succeed.


Pruning has changed a lot as most of us prune for small trees now. You can probably still make it a vase, only the lateral branches would be higher than we like. Older trees don’t throw many new laterals so you can only work with what is there. of course leaving it a central leader is not the end of the world, you’ll need a ladder though. Many like high laterals as squirrel baffles can be installed.

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Yeah, the uncle is like 6’ and he made a comment about how he likes to be able to walk right up to a tree’s trunk without having to bend in half. Later I told my husband with that goal I wouldn’t be able to reach any fruit :joy:


Tall central leader peach trees are only advantageous for backyard growers who don’t mind ladders, or commercial growers utilizing motorized scaffolding.

I often read a lot of excitement about this, that, or another unique/different peach pruning system, but a low open vase system is still the gold standard for peach training. It works because peaches are precocious, fill their space quickly, while maintaining production (i.e. fruit on last years wood) and don’t have viable dwarf rootstocks available for most peach growing areas.

Despite all the hoopla over new and trendy training systems, peaches will continue to be grown on an open low growing vase until there is a major paradigm shifting breakthrough.

As it appears you’ve already learned, not to trust uncles who grow several fruit trees. I’ve met dozens of customers who are fruit tree idiots when it comes to advising me how to manage fruit trees based on their experience. They tell me everything from trying to manage deer by hanging bounce sheets and Irish Spring soap to controlling insects with companion planting. All kinds of astrological fruit tree ideas.

Honestly, nowadays you are better off watching several youtube videos from trusted sources, than trusting a local with some claim to expertise. When you’ve lived a half century like me, you realize someone’s self confidence has little relation to the accuracy of their claims.

Scott posted a reference forum. In there he posted a good pruning reference of peach trees.

Look under NC Extension Peach Pruning. The vid on pruning a young peach tree is very good. While I don’t agree w/ every last detail of Mike Parker for my climate, he obviously knows his stuff, and if you follow his guidelines you won’t go wrong (except that make sure scaffolds chosen are less than 1/2 the diameter of the trunk, which he doesn’t mention).

As a working example, it somewhat frustrates me that on a similar question on a current topic, lots of folks are suggesting a new grower keep a large poorly angled scaffold in order to gain a year on fruit. It violates the vid above, as well as every rule I’ve read and observed, but I feel like I’m being drowned out by the passion of others, lol. Train your Fantasia nect to a low open center tree with care being taken to make sure scaffolds are no more than 1/2 the size of the trunk and at no more than a 45 degree angle to the trunk.

Well that is not what I suggested. I suggested leaving it alone if it is dying, I don’t think it is. You would not remove a benign cyst from a guy who has end stage cancer, but doctors will suggest you get it removed, seen it suggested myself, unreal. What I meant is if the tree only has a few years, why bother? Now all you guys say it will be fine, then i would suggest pruning it. I do have a hard time wording stuff correctly I tend to think faster than i can write. I would probably remove it if the tree is going to be fine. I tend to cut first and ask questions later, I have become cold and hard concerning such things as I gain more experience.
I have been trying to check myself, now with so many grafts on my trees… I suspect one day i will cut one off!

I for sure didn’t intend to single you out, but in general thought you were in the “let it go” chorus. Not that I’m against growing a dual trunk if it’s managed appropriately, but just pointing out I would almost never settle for the shape of tree the poster in that thread shows, over the tried an true method of a single low spreading tree w/ one trunk. And you are hearing it from someone who considers peaches a long term “annual”, not a perennial (so I’m not looking for peach trees in the super long term).

Yeah again I thought it was a goner, it still feel it might be. I’m not sure you’re right?
15 years is a long time to me. Probably all i have left, if that.

Well you may be right. If borers have done enough damage, the tree may be a goner regardless of the pruning. For me, Lorsban works wonders, so borers are a yawn, if I catch them before they’ve made it all the way around the tree.

I feel it. My Dad died at 57. For a long time I’ve felt that was about my life expectancy. But for some unknown psychological reason I seem to plan for decades more (my personality). Probably nonsense, but I act on my feelings when it comes to planting/pruning for the intermediate/long term.

Thanks for linking the video, that has a lot of good information. Unfortunately I think the lowest branches are close to 3’ off the ground now, so we’ll see how much recovery I can do. I think the tree was a year old when they bought it (in-laws planted it as a gift when our son was born) and that was about 2 years ago, so the lead branch would be too thick to cut with shears. Anyone ever taken a saw the the top of a nectarine tree and had it be successful? Or should I just settle with my fate of having a tall fruit tree?

Ya, for sure. I’ve taken a saw many times to my peach trees. Heck I’ve even taken a chainsaw. Search this forum.

I’m for sure not afraid to butcher a tree to straighten it out.

I’m talking about peachtrees here, which are different than other fruits.

Here’s an old thread where I took a chainsaw to prune some trees (not my favorite, or recommended pruning tool, but sometimes you do what you have to).

Thanks, Olpea, that is a helpful thread. I think I might have to do a big prune this year, otherwise I’m going to want to later when it won’t be as good on the tree and harder to do. Another thing I’ve been thinking about is where the tree is planted, right next to the property line. I feel like if the tree gets any taller, and I have to drag a big ladder out to pick the higher fruit I won’t. And then it’ll all fall in the neighbor’s yard and annoy them. Let’s face it, my dog already sneaks over occasionally and eats their cat’s food, I don’t need to add to the list of annoyances :laughing:

Thanks for sharing the video. Just planted a reliance and contender here in Colorado last spring. Definitely gonna be doing some pruning this spring!

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