What's Happening in the Fall of 2017


Hey subdood,

Your trees look to be about as old as my newer trees. Thanks for the pictures, it helps me by comparing the growth rates. I am so jealous of all the space you country guys have. I’m jamming trees into the suburbs, for better or worse!


Looking forward to first lemons from my Meyer lemon. The fruits have just started to get less green and look good thus far.


Thanks, Jim. Yes, we have lots of space, and it’s tempting to fill it up with trees and plants, but I think I’m done with any more fruit trees. Tending to 26 of them is a chore, and they’re not even bearing yet.

My trees have had varying degrees of growth, but most of them seem to be doing well after two seasons. If I knew more about my soil in the back orchard, I wouldn’t have planted them there. It’s pretty poor nutrient wise, and a bit too acidic. I fertilized those trees this year with 10-10-10 and some lime to try to sweeten up the soil. We’ll see how they do next year. But, I think I’m going to move a few of them to the barn orchard, since they’ve been so slow to get going.

I will add some rasp and blackberries next year. I tried 6 rasps this year and only 2 came up.

For next year, I hope we’ll get some of our own Earliglow and Jewel strawberries, and maybe some Winesap, Grimes Golden and perhaps Roxbury Russet apples, and some Moonglow or Pineapple pears. The blueberry, gooseberry and tart cherry bushes are still too small to produce.

Have any of your fruit trees/plants produced for y’all yet? I know you’ve had a good veggie harvest this year. We canned a bunch of peppers yesterday, did 9 pints of sweet brine peppers, mostly jalapeño and banana pepper rings. Had some today, very tasty, initially sweet and tart, and then the hot pepper kicks in.


Got a Wallace Woodstock catalog today in the mail. I ordered a couple of apple trees from them, which are doing pretty well (Macoun and Cortland).

They seem to have some new apple varieties to pick from, but not as many apricot and peach trees as in years past. Plus, their berry selections seem to be less this year as well.

Not that I’m going to buy any more trees…


Yes,we had about 12 Jonafree apples and 11 Asian Pears, upwards of 100 unidentified peaches and a handful of July Elberta peaches. Many of the other apple and pear trees have fruit spurs so I am excited about next year.

I’m starting up the fermentation jars this week. Fermented salsa and kimchi. I still need to harvest the rest of the tomatoes, peppers, kohlrabi, cabbage, and turnips. Will pick the lettuces, mustards, radishes, and collards as needed. I also pickle jalapenos and make jalapeno poppers to freeze for later, then wrap them with bacon.

I may or may not grow the large Burgundy amaranth again. I’ve been harvesting the seeds to add to our oatmeal, and talk about a time consuming job. I did harvest the leaves for smoothies throughout the summer. Think I will try malabar spinach next year.

Had to hose down the kale last night as white fly numbers became unacceptable. I sprayed them off then applied a homemade soap solution. Need to plant garlic. Lots to do!


You might try dolomite to slowly sweeten your soil - it’s cheap to get and use - and also try some fungal root inoculant for your trees. Some of your trees will require the calcium and all can benefit from it, and from the greater reach and surface contact the fungal inoculant offers.


That sounds like a good choice. You should have some basis for head-to-head comparison before too long.
I might have kept Ashmead’s if I knew more at the time, especially the need to prune laterals back a foot or so to encourage spur development. About the time I gave it away I began grafting and the “few trees” became a quest to find the best to fit this situation and my tastes.


Phase 3 of new orchard project: beginning to smooth things out. Probably about done for this season, as recent morning temps (around 15) are freezing the dirt. Might get a start on a few fenceposts, but most will have to wait for spring.


I was happy that my limes ripened this year in the summer, when I like limey drinks


Thanks, Dave. I did put pelletized dolomite around the base of all my trees in the back orchard. I have ag lime, but hate using it because of it being so powdery.

I wish I would have done my soil tests beforehand. I would have plowed up the ground and then laid down a bunch of lime and fert before planting the trees. I just assumed I’d plant them and they’d grow. So, I’m doing what I can.


Don’t underestimate top dressing with organic materials. All of that will make your soil better in the long run. For example, worms have an absolute field day with shredded leaves and/or coffee grounds. You get the worms working there for a few years, and you’ll increase the OM in your soil and be adding one of the best fertilizers there is in worm castings.

Or, mulch with freshly ground wood chips. They help add that fungal matter to the soil as the decompose and will leave that nice rich brown/ black soil behind.

Just a few suggestions. There’s so many ways to add OM.


That’s a lot of bombers!


Hey Jim, I saw you deciding on WilliamsPride for an early apple. I have one. If you gat the itch for another early one, Pristine is superior by all accounts in my house. Zone 6a, SE Mich.


Very sad day for me. We had to euthanize my buddy of 12 years this morning. I buried him at the edge of my property out past my orchard. Pets are truly a part of the family.


So sorry - he looks like a fine fellow


I’m sorry to hear that. Pets are truly part of the family. But I’m glad he was able to have a happy life in your home and you were able to have as much time together as you had. I hope you are able to remember the good times when the sorrow fades. :cry:


That is sad. I’m sorry for your loss.


Drew, you might have seen my questions about pluots lately in the forum. Since they act more like plums as far as bloom time is concerned, I think I would have a better chance at getting some fruit from them as opposed to an apricot/aprium.

I think I’d like to try 2 or maybe 3 pluots, two of them being Flavor King and prob Flavor Supreme. I know some folks on here aren’t as big on Dapple Dandy as these others, but I had some from the store and thought them to be very tasty. So maybe DD would get a shot, but F Grenade sounds interesting as well.

I noticed that in your pic of a cut DD, that it is very dark red. All the pics I’ve seen on the DW site shows them to be almost grayish looking. The ones I got from the store look more like yours, tho not as dark fleshed.

You mentioned your DD were very good, but not quite as good as the FK. What makes it better in your opinion? More sweet, tart, perfume-y, crunchier? Which variety is more vigorous, and more productive? Also, are pluots generally more firmer than a J plum? And, did you have any other pluots produce for you this year? On another note, did you get any Arctic Glo nects this year?



Sorry to hear that, Dave. At least y’all got to be with him a good long time. Our dog, seen in my avatar, is also 12. He gets around alright still, and you can hear him on bark patrol on some nights. But, over the last year or so, he’s developed some twitching in his back right leg. He doesn’t get it all the time, and he doesn’t seem to be in any pain, but we worry about him. My wife picked him up as a pup from a local shelter, so she’s very attached to him. Since we don’t any kids, he’s like family to us, too. We got a kitten earlier this year, and he’s quite a character.

They’ve kinda bonded, although, sometimes the cat likes to think he’s a tiger in the savanna, and likes to attack the dog like he’s some kind of wildebeest. Very funny to see that.


I liked flavor king only slightly over DD. DD has a lot of other characteristics that to pick one over the other would be hard. DD hangs better, is bigger, etc. DD grows and produces better here too. My biggest harvest of all plums and hybrids this year. I also grow flavor queen. Production was low. I liked them a lot myself. This one is dogged for being bland. To me it had a tropical taste I liked them a lot. Very mild, different from most plums. I suspect most yellow plums taste like this. Flavor supreme is the least productive and black knot prone. I have others but they are too small to fruit. DD is good firm ripe or soft ripe. Stays firm long. In fridge went soft in a month but was still very edible, amazing shelf life!
Arctic Glo produced a big crop. A very reliable producer. Excellent as always.
Indian free produced a giant crop and it too was awesome. Best stone fruit year I ever had. Flavor grenade is often mentioned as doing well in the east. Seems to me FH and dapple dandy or dapple supreme would be good choices for flavor and production. I’ll have more to say about FG this next season. I should get a few. It rocks to start with known producers as stone fruit takes years to produce. Waiting that long to get crap sucks. I always suggest to get proven winners first. Then add to experiment. For sure the way to go.