What's happening today - 2018 edition


Someone has been hard at work weeding!


Yeah, that would be my wife. We agreed that I would tend to the tomato and pepper plots, and she would take care of this and the tater patch. Of course hers is almost immaculate, but my 'mater patch is starting to look a bit wooly already.

I’m mostly trying to keep my tomato plants off the ground with a lot of staking. It’s getting to the point that the plot is turning into a jungle, some of them are over 6’ tall, and growing into each other. I imagine all this rain will accelerate the diseases, so hope we can get some ripe fruit before they start to rot away.


Lovely!! Mine is all gone. Shredded down. I do have a few okra growing and peppers holding on…barely! Have planted 5 tomatoes for fall and gopher has pulled two of them under. Temperature 107 today. Supposed to cool off tomorrow with a high of 101. Might not be a fall garden!!



Yeah, in that kind of heat, only okra seems to do well. I learned that the time we were in the Metroplex, after July you can forget about having a garden.

Our high today was only 75, sorry to rub it in! But, it’s been cloudy and showery, too.


That’s adding insult to injury now… :joy::joy::joy:



I’ll think of you next winter…



Some more pics from down in the barn orchard, after I did some weeding and mulching of the trees, still not half done yet with them.

Pineapple pear, I finally took off its fencing, it was just getting too big. The deer don’t seem to mess with them like the apples, for now. Our biggest tree, over 15’, I’d say.

A view of some of the trees, with a Contender peach in the foreground, which has done great after planting last April. It needs to be pruned, obviously. Blushingstar peach to left, with Moonglow and Pineapple pears to the right, without cages now.

A couple pics of the Triple Crown blackberries, they’re going to need trellising soon, they’re just growing along the ground now. Not like those upright UA berries at all.


Did your contender set fruit this year?
It doesn’t look like you prune it to the open center. Is that because you want to be able to cage it or any other reason?


No, it didn’t set any fruit, it hardly bloomed actually. And then we had a 25° freeze soon after, so none of our four peaches produced anything.

Part of the reason it looks like that is so I can keep it in less caging, but it’s outgrowing that one. It’s got some decent outward scaffolds, they’re just intermingled with the branches in the middle. I’ll need to cut out those to get that open center look. I was curious if it would hurt it if I did the pruning now in the middle of summer. I was going to ask someone like @Olpea, @alan or @fruitnut about that. I’ve read that some folks allow their peaches to grow like mine, and then prune out the middle growth a few years later.

I’m hoping next year will be our first harvest of some apples, pears and peaches, provided they bloom and survive any freezes.


Was an alaska fish food day today. Happy trees n blues.


I bagged my Hal-Berta Giant peaches today. I only have a dozen fruit on the tree. I sewed up some bags quick and tied them on. I haven’t bagged any fruit before, but decided to try it on these peaches. The Japanese beetles attacked a few of my earlier ripening peaches. Man are they gross. They got two peaches but I must have killed several hundred beetles on that tree. I don’t want to lose any of the Hal-Berta peaches, so I hope this works.



Using corn as a trellis for your beans is an ancient native American technique. It does work. Also squash is planted along with the beans.


It looks like you could certainly do some pruning to the benefit of the tree- I’m pruning peaches in my nursery almost constantly- but I have to because the trees are too close and are hell bent for light so growing excessively vertical. You have to be careful with peaches once they are the size of the one in the photo to make sure you don’t lose vegetative growth on your permanent scaffolds towards the trunk of the tree. I sometimes use the temporaries below to tape the permanent branches to a more horizontal position, pealing off the leaves towards the end of the lower branch to start the tape there and bending the permanent to reach to end of the lower branch I’m taping it to.

I think you should choose your 3 permanent scaffolds and open up the tree enough for those to get good light from the trunk on out, while spreading them by one method or other to about a 70 degree angle from the trunk.

Olpea knows more about the danger of pruning peaches too late in the season. I’ve never suffered consequences from pruning- even when peaches have about stopped growing in very late summer, but he claims that pruning too late can make them less winter hardy. You might want to act fast while trees have time to adjust and recover.

I do often keep a central leader for a few years, but I summer prune it to avoid excessive shading. My most favorite branch spreading method is to use spreaders and you need something to push against.

Nice piece of property. Looks like peace and quiet awaits you at home.


Yes, I’ve heard of it. With squash it’s called the Three Sisters method. I guess the squash helps keep the weeds down.

We did this the first year we got here, it does alright, but gets to be a big mess, plus I think the beans pull the corn down a bit. But, it does save space. We had a great crop of beans that year, think we canned about 50 quarts.

It looks like not all the corn came up, so it looks like some of the beans won’t have them to vine up on. Guess they’ll have to be trellised another way, or just left on the ground, which I’d rather not do.


Thanks, yes, it is very quiet around here, and isolated. Closest neighbor is about a quarter mile. We have about 65 acres overall, but the area we keep maintained is about 3 acres, so it’s a bit of work to keep it looking decent. There’s also about a 3 acre pasture that I keep bush-hogged, the rest of the land is hilly, wooded terrain.

All of my trees (except the big pear trees) are in the cages, so I believe that encourages the upright growth, even though i have also been pruning and pulling down some branches.

Do you do any hinge cuts on branches this time of the year? I’d worry about doing any cuts, when it’s this warm and rainy. Also, would a hinge cut on a peach branch work alright?


Great looking garden! Luscious and weed free. I am jealous of all the space you have. Keep up the great work.


Thank you, it looks great when it’s weeded, but that’s my wife’s doing. It is a lot of work keeping them looking like that. I was just down in the potato/pepper patch, and it’s an ocean of weeds already.

Sometimes having all this land can be an issue, because you want to fill it up with trees and other stuff. I have 29 trees now, and it’s a lot of work keeping them maintained, and they’re not even producing yet. Then there’s all the various berry plants. At least those have already given us some fruit.


I’m up to 22 trees in the ground and 4 in pots on my 1/3 of an acre. I need a better summer pruning plan because many of my trees are growing into each other, especially my original peach tree. It seems like my goal going forward is to keep trees in a certain area rather than prune for production or looks. I have about 30 feet of blackberries, 20 feet of raspberries, a 25 x 8 foot strawberry bed and 6 blueberries. These have all been good, strawberries a little less so than normal.
It is nice when you get some fruit after several years of work, a really proud feeling.
Have a great week Bob.


I do hinge cuts until about mid-aug so they have enough time to do some healing. I prefer not using them but often have with peaches and any other species when I want to keep over-sized scaffolds (more than a third of the trunks diameter where they meet)- sometimes not oversized, but usually I can bend smaller ratio branches without a hinge. If the union sucks and very little pressure will snap the branch off you can even use electric tape to keep pressure off the union and on a hinge just outside the branch crotch (away from trunk). This involves using tape to actually pull the branch more vertical and then using the hinge past the tape to spread the branch.


Got home from work and noticed my orchard fence looked a bit lose. Some critter, which I assume was deer ate every remaining apple in my orchard. Granted, there were probably less than 3 dozen apples remaining between Williams Pride, Goldrush, and Pink Lady. But it stings none the less. They didn’t touch my pears which are the only tree fruit I have remaining. I fixed the fence and relocated my game cam. But that’s all after the fact.