Learned something new today! While cherry blossoms are sort of sweet, as you expect from most flowers, these peach blossoms are a tad spicy! I'm a little worried about the cold temps in the forecast tonight.... I believe this is supposed to be the most vulnerable point in a fruit blossom's stages....
Between the three plum trees, I'd guess there's maybe two dozen of these little guys? Dinky little things, and who knows.... maybe more will develop! I don't even know if they'll fully develop and make it through all the challenges of homegrown fruit, but it'll be cool if they do.
That's a male rose breasted grosbeak out there on the feeder with the downy woodpecker. The downies are out there all the time, but that's the first grosbeak I've seen out there this year. They seem to be very shy birds, and don't hang around when there's motion near the window. I'm very happy to get to see one! Clicking on the picture should give you a larger version.
This is just one branch on the peach tree I planted last year. See each of those flower buds about to open?
Those COULD turn into peaches!
The trick is to not get my hopes too high. I only have one tree... this peach tree isn't supposed to need a different variety to cross pollinate.... but we shall see. Also peach trees can have a lot of pests and diseases. And then we could get bud-killing frosts... although there are different stages/temperature vulnerabilities I need to look up.
Sooo we'll just see what happens later this summer. I won't count on making pies or cobblers this summer. ;-)
This Asian pear that recovered being chewed up when Doogie was a puppy really hasn't gained much height yet, but it looks like this'll be the second year where I have to seriously thin the blossoms/immature fruit. It's LOADED with flower buds and, assuming we don't get with a hard frost, will end out having dozens of fruit forming on its tiny frame.
The problem with that is none of the fruit will do very well... they'll be crowded have poor air flow, possibly get moldy, and will all fight for the tree's energy... resulting in teeny fruit.
So I'll probably leave all the flower buds on, wait to see how well it cross pollinates with the other Asian pear (different variety), see how well the developing fruit fare against any freezing temps we might have, and then I'll thin it out drastically. I really want it to put energy in gaining some height this year. Maybe I'll let it form a dozen fruit, and then I'll probably lose some to pests.
I still get rave reviews from a neighbor who got to eat one last year. Can't wait for this year's crop!
It was muddy work this weekend, but I finally got this project accomplished. The trees were supposed to be ONE 2-n-1 grafted plum tree from Stark Brothers, only the first tree had one of the two grafts die. Stark Bros sent a replacement, which was damaged when it arrived (the UPS guy looked really apologetic!).
Stark Brothers were amazing... they had another tree out to me within days!
I couldn't trash either of the two originals, and so potted up all three (that included digging up the original).
All three overwintered in the greenhouse, leafed out and bloomed this spring in the greenhouse, and so I felt they deserved a fair chance. Only now I had THREE trees to find space for... so we'll see how this goes.
The farthest bed has strawberries (Honeyoye), and the other two Brussels sprouts, lettuce, kale, bok choi and herbs.
I planted my asparagus patch TWO years ago, and the major rule / life lesson with home grown asparagus?
That's not something I'm known for having. Nope, not me.
Sharon and I went in on two orders of asparagus plants... one purple, and one green. We each amended our asparagus beds-to-be, digging up the soil, adding good stuff to the existing soil, and then putting in the bundles of dead-looking tangled up roots. Once that's done you have to wait.
Sure, some spears will show themselves the first year, but those are absolutely OFF LIMITS! NO TOUCH-Y!!! Then the next year you're maybe allowed to sneak a few spears, although you're really not supposed to.
This past fall I dumped (ha!) a load of composted horse manure on the bed, followed by a layer of chopped leaves. That seems to have paid off... as I was raking off most of the leaves and picking out weeds recently, earthworms were squirming for cover. Previously, the soil in this area was so compacted there were no signs of life when I would struggle to get a shovel in it. I'm thinking I might even add some homegrown worm castings (with worms!) to the bed sometime this year!
And now we're to the year where we're allowed to harvest more. Sure, we should still take it easy on the plants, and not harvest all spring like it's an all-you-can-eat buffet... but trust me, I intend to enjoy my asparagus this year!
We're having stir fried rice to use up some turkey breast I smoked last week. Should be interesting. Along with the carrots and broccoli, I think I'll add the chopped up asparagus. If I leave it big enough, it'll be easy for Brett to make sure he doesn't get any. 'Cause you know Brett, right? ;-)
This is one of the perks of keeping the freezer loaded with raw scones... no trashing the kitchen right now, but still enjoying the smell of fresh baked goodies. Cranberry orange and lemon currant. Mmmm!
The Japanese maple is looking great with the newly greened up lawn as a backdrop! Notice the difference between my lawn and the neighbors. I don't know if it would've looked that good anyhow, or if that's all thanks to the corn gluten treatment it got a few weeks back. The good news is the maple is leafing out.... so it survived its first winter here.
Looks like the first house finch has hatched today. Temps are dropping, so Mama Bird needs to get back to the nest. Unfortunately she set up home on our front porch, which means foot traffic scaring her away occasionally.... will try to avoid the front porch more the next week or so if I think about it. Brett'll be happy when this is all done so I can move the tree to the basement.
Here's what happens to plum trees that spent the winter potted up in the greenhouse. Blooming a bit prematurely... I've been putting them out on warmer afternoons to harden them off before they actually go in the ground in a few weeks. Wonder if I'll get plums this year? Odds are they haven't been pollinated, but who knows!