All the espalier fruit trees that are going to bloom this spring have bloomed. The final tree, Granny Smith, opened up today. Some of the petals have a little damage on them. I suppose imperfections are to be expected whenever a gardener doesn’t use dangerous pesticides. The dormant trees are only treated with a copper spray along with pyrethrum. I’ll need to keep an eye on old Granny. She also is a little sensitive to the sun.
Most of the espalier line of fruit trees will be shaded from the intense summer sun to avoid any further sun scald. It’s because the trees are opened up and have more exposure to the sun that scald damage occurs. Two of the trees, apricot and plum, have no problem with the sun. These two trees produce many more leaves to provide shade to the limbs than the other trees. Peach, nectarine, pear, and apple produce leaves more at the end of their limbs; while the apricot and plum have leaves shooting out everywhere all summer long.
All the trees have been dormant sprayed, fertilized, mulched, and had fresh support ties to start them off the right way for the next growing season.
Other activity today:
- Lettuce – Planted in the salad bed where tomatoes will rule in a short time.
- Tom Thumb – (50–70 days) Tennis ball sized butter head Limestone Bibb type lettuce. Terrior Seeds / Underwood Gardens lists this as a variety from the 1830s and suggest that it would be a good choice to grow in pots, window boxes, and under trees. I planted this in my salad bed to replace the spent lettuce that can’t take the warm spring weather. No tree or shade in sight.
- Saint Anne’s Slow-bolting - (58 days) A short romaine type that is a good candidate to be used as a cut and come again lettuce. I have high hopes this variety will take me to the end of spring when there is no hope whatever of growing lettuce until fall.
- Carrot – Also planted in the salad bed that will soon hold all the summer tomatoes.
- Red-Cored Chantenay - (60-75 days) Large bodied, deep red-orange to center. Refined shape with wide shoulders great for bunching.
- Sunflower – Something is mowing down the seeds I planted a few weeks ago. I’m planting around the salad bed to see if location matters.
- Teddy Bear – Giant six inch puffballs of sunny golden-yellow flowers. These dwarf plants should grow 2’ – 3’. Perfect.
There was a very light rain this afternoon with clouds for most of the day. The temperature probably didn’t even make it to 70°.