The method to enjoy our sometimes frustrating hobby and obsession

Maybe it is because my fig plant is young but my fig as been unbothered by any bug or animal. I have a Galicia Nigra from One Green World.

My Desert King is 6 years old, not young, I have lots of birds here, they love my fig trees.

I am hoping my figs start to grow faster. It has at the very least grown unlike a lot of my citrus but has only put on a inch or two all summer. All my pears, apples, plums, cherries, mulberry, brambles and more have put out a lot of growth this year. Only exception to that rule is I had a pear tree that seemed to have a fungus of some kind and weirdly no one here could identify what is truly was. Some said it was a problem with insects burrowing in the tree and not being sprayed, others said it was a problem of fire blight and others wondered if it was a pesticide or some kind of issue with sun. It was the only issue I had this year other than aphids.


I’ve had the worst year so far- trees dead, no squash yet in August, my okra is three inches tall. beans died. BEANS. my tomatoes are just now flowering. all but one or two of my grafts didn’t take. everything is late. I’ve got one baseball-sized watermelon in the entire garden…

I mean it’s bad. I’ve only gotten two summer squash.

first it was cold and wet, very late into the season then it was 110F for two weeks, no rain in a month and HOT. too hot for flowers or pollinators

oh yeah and aphids tried to bury my plum tree, squirrels ate my starts, earwigs took over the straw and raised beds, then finally grasshoppers have arrived just in time to eat all the corn silk, so they’ll be no corn. pests have been wild this year for me. one of my figs is pale and yellow and I’m worried about mites now.

we’ve been living on greens and potatoes and garlic, that’s all I’ve grown. I don’t know what more to do, I’ve tried mulch, compost, fish feet, osmocote, calmag. blah

but I’m still going out there every day and it’s enjoyable, somehow


Sounds Biblical. What state do you live in? It’s relatively bad here in S. NYS because of the drought. Hoping for rain today.



The weather has been challenging. Hang in there and use every trick you know. If i may make a suggestion since greens are doing well for you plant lots more greens now so that later you can cover with plastic. During winter if greens are covered in a thin sheet of plastic it will protect them from freezes. We grow turnips as root crops that way as well. Dont love turnips myself but they keep us alive because they are so productive . Things like lettuce, spinach, mustard you can keep alive late in the winter for fresh food. You can have greens until december or January in my area. Certain winters our winter greens never die. If you really want to cheat winter plant winter wheat next month and drink wheat grass juice until time to plant next year. You already proved yourself by not giving up. The difference between our family and other people frequently comes down to our knowledge to survive. We share our knowledge and what we have with others and we all get by together. My sister had plenty of peaches this year so she made a big dinner with peach cobbler and had everyone over. In my family the family sticks together and we do well together. My sisters kids came over last year and picked hundreds of pounds of pears. Insects , animal pressure, weather have all been difficult this year for raising food. My neighbors will kill coyotes soon their numbers are way up. They want to keep them off their cattle and animals. Absolutely understand and would do the same in their shoes but cautioned them against killing them all as they are rodent control. Coyotes are necessary to the system. No one else mentioned coyote balance to chicken and cattle farmers. My orchards are still heavy with fruit even on a bad year. I’m helping them learn to graft and to survive here. Think in terms of years like this never come singular they come in multiples. This is the new normal we need to adjust the rule book has changed. If you expect every year from now on to be like this one you adjust. Insects die in the winter and you have a pest free big harvest. The year is not over when other people take off their garden boots in the fall and burn off their garden. Those people spend their time at the diner drinking coffee between cattle feedings complaining about how tough the summer was. Meanwhile we will harvest turnips and greens in large quantities. Wishing you much success in your garden and for fall crops

People like @fruitnut does some of his best work in the greenhouse and a greenhouse works well for him!

Whatever crop your growing now you can add a couple of weeks to a month to like those blooming tomatoes with some clothes line wire and plastic you dont put on until the weather gets cold. See this link Top 10 Cold Frame Tips for Fall and Winter Veggies Gardening - Proud Home Decor it summarizes much of what i mentioned thats posted throughout the growingfruit site in more detail. Here is a cattle panel greenhouse like i use Cattle Panel Hoophouse Greenhouse


In many ways your story is my story. I start out so hopeful and try to do my best. This year my weather in Virginia is just what you described. Not quite so hot as you but we were 90-95 for a prolonged period. Got everything planted, mulched, sprayed. And then the rain.

Every day. Weeks and weeks of it At first we welcomed it. Things were growing great. Squash in, zucchini, lettuces, onions, radishes, broccoli, peppers, cucumbers. Loads of wonderful crunchy tasty cucumbers. Tomatoes, lovingly grown from seed, nurtured, watered, babied, transplanted, staked.

First cucumbers got the mosaic virus and died off quickly. Squash and zucchini rotted, root vegetables rotted, tomatoes cracked, fungus in, bugs in. Everything disentegrates before my eyes. Another hopeful year gone to crap.

50 fruit trees cared for like babies. Sprayed on schedule, watched closely, kept warm with bonfires every night when it dipped to the 20s (no kidding). Lots of blooms, hopeful, watchful, pulling off discolored leaves, getting rid of aphids, scab, CAR, peach leaf curl. Frosts, frosts, frosts. In late April, now mother’s Day. Unbelievable.

Rain, rain, spray, spray. Then fireblight. One tree, two trees, more. Fruitlets start turning black. One tree, two trees, and lots more. Here I am, everyday walking the orchard, making notes, drawing pictures, labeling grafts. At first, apples on trees that have never borne fruit before and I am so hopeful and excited. Asian pears for the first time ever. Plums. Tons of European pear blooms first time ever (sad but true).

Those beautiful apples start to get rot. The pear grafts start to die. The scab on the formerly loaded Arkansas black overtakes the tree. The golden delicious that I delighted over each apple last year has gone biennial The fireblight makes my 4 in one Asian pear a 3 in one eventually with another variety not far behind. Chucking apples with rot, bird bites. Those beautiful apples starting to drop. No European pears. Not one. No plums and the dreaded black knot hits for the first time. Removed it, sprayed it, scraped it, painted it So bad I am going to have to take this tall stately plum tree out. Then the next one shows black knot. That’s impossible!

8 peach trees, some huge. About 8 or 9 years old. Full of blooms. I’m hopeful again. Those fruitlets all freeze except for maybe 10 peaches on all those trees. Not ten trees with peaches 10 peaches
A peach branch starts to die. Borers? I checked for that. Sprayed 1 percent neem, checked every trunk, slathered it with pure neem on the base of every tree while down in the mud. Those 10 peaches start to drip with a jelly that I have seen and know what’s coming. Another branch turns yellow, drops leaves, cankers ooze, branch dies and I take that one out.

No one would believe this. I must be the only person on the planet with all these trees and almost no fruit. A few here and there, and they cost me hundreds of dollars each if you really get down to it.

You are not alone, my friend. I thought I did everything right. And what to show for it. I’m buying apples and pears and cucumbers and—wait for it—tomatoes at the grocery store. Unbelievable.

But I’m already thinking of how to mulch next year, and those new trees, ordering seed catalogs. I’m organizing my sprays and getting pruners sharpened, and buying a new beautiful long reach ARS pruner. I’m making a list of what scions I’m looking for Making sure I have parafilm and fungicides and insecticides and kaolin clay and neem for whatever direction I decide to go next year. Fruit pickers and baggies and Clemson bags.

It is what keeps us afloat in this endless rain. That sustains us on those scorching days. That gets us out dragging those damn hoses from tree to tree Those late freezes and sleepless nail biting nights sure to come.

It is the joy in seeing and tasting that first apple with your trusty animal companions. The beautiful peach that runs down your chin picked right off the tree. Dreams of those massive slabby (a word?) home grown tomatoes that hang over the side of toast. Berries galore for pies and yogurt and cobbler.

I will do it all again and fight the good fight I will know that despite all the gorgeous fruit photos of spotless, enormous fruit and over laden trees and garden baskets cracking from their load that I see every day on this site, I am still hopeful and diligent. Crazy perhaps. But still hopeful, living vicariously through my growing fruit companions.

Don’t give up.


I’m starting my winter greens now. But this year I didn’t have a good bean crop, usually I have a good crop. My two zucchini plants are finally rid of mildew and I didn’t do anything.I just removed all the leaves that were infected.

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If misery loves company, at least I don’t feel so bad about my failures now.

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Squash takes until August to fruit for me every year I grow it. Aphids are common here too. I keep a eye on my plants and wash them off. That gets rid of them early on I find. Late frost is expected here. We get warm ups and then a frost every year. That stuff is to be expected.

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I’ve got to build the hoophouse this month, it’s in the 80s-90s every day and it’s murder. I disassembled it for summer and need to put it back together. I use it with a low heat source, all shaded, to hold figs and such over winter. the avocado goes in the warmest section.

I’ll be bringing in lemon and coffee plants indoors this winter. I might try to bring in peppers- will they survive like figs do? could they go in together? I only water once a month out there in the hoophouse. I’m concerned that I didn’t fertilizer enough, that I fertilized too much, that things aren’t growing because the soil is too wet, too dry, too hot, I have no idea. it’s a lost year, to me

I have hunger gap kale galore. it grows like a weed here. it’ll grow under the icy snow all winter. I’m so sick of greens, like entirely tired of em. I wish I’d gotten beans at least this year.

things are starting to flower- now! in mid August. tomatoes, tomatillos, ground cherry, squash and cukes. in mid August just flowering. none of that will ripen, our frosts come early October.

the hazelnut trees, plum trees and apples are all alive, if empty. the cherries and mulberries were barren this year. I did get a pint of black raspberries from a huge plant…

maybe the eggplant will flower and produce in under a month? maybe I’ll get another sunflower head that’s not puny? who knows, at this point I’m glad of anything that’s not


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White fly like peppers in the winter but other than that they do fine and you already know they are perennial. They get along well with other plants.

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will they be ok in cool, dark with little water? I’m concerned they’ll dry out and die if they only get a monthly water, or that 40F might get too cold for them. that’s how the figs keep over.

@Rosdonald I’m glad I’m not alone this thread is reassuring

I took in peppers a season or two. Issue I had with them is they got insect problems outside every year which gets contained outside but spreads badly inside


I’ll give them a bath in sevin at this point, I’m so angry I’ll just do it before I put them in. I’m too the point of whacking an entire shovel at any grasshopper I see, I knocked over an entire shelf doing this today

Yesterday evening I had at least 25 Hosui pears on my tree. This morning I had 1. I’ve seen squirrels in there so it must have been them. I’ve just never seen them take such a staggering amount in such a short time. Squirrels usually leave some half eaten specimens near by but I could find no trace of anything. Maybe they had some help.

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When I see a large amount of fruit disappeared overnight, my bet is on raccoons and opossums. Raccoons are the number one fruit destroyer in my yard.


Coons like to eat in while squirrels like to grab a bite to eat somewhere they feel safe. At this point, I can tell pretty quickly, even before looking up at the tree and seeing if it is tiny or substantial shoots that are broken.

Squirrels also often clear out a tree in a surprising hurry. With coons, it’s not so surprising.

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:smirk: :wink:

The birds have discovered my Fuyu persimmons. One is half eaten.

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