We interrupt our regularly scheduled programming for the August farm and garden report.
My fuchsia plants and I have a sometimes bumpy relationship. The two plants on our front porch have suffered with my sometimes irregular watering practices and occasional white fly infestations for almost five years now. At the start of Spring, one was so dry and withered that it looked dead. The other still had a few leaves, but they looked somewhat wilted and a few looked dirty or moldy. Thanks to a little diligent watering, some compost tea, and judicial application of bug and mite spray, they have rebounded… again. It’s nice to see the hummingbirds return to our front porch.
We have two major flower beds around our house: one in front and one around the side. Both have been somewhat neglected for the last few years; the pressures of a far too busy job and the needs of a small child have put gardened pretty far down on the list. Since I had a week off between jobs earlier this month, we took a day or so to do some much needed weeding. Ivy, blackberry brambles, and other things had taken over, especially in the side flower bed. The berries started to come in and ripen. It’s a shame that I don’t have a parcel where I can just fence them off and let them go wild because of those ripe berries tasted so sweet!
In the five years that we’ve lived at this house, our neighbor in the house behind ours managed to pick all the fruit off the pear tree near the fence between our two yards. He pruned it back pretty hard this spring and told us that he didn’t expect to get any fruit from it. The tree is a fruit growing machine. It immediately started branching once again, and it’s full of fruit. A few of the branches are on our side of the fence. I’m hoping to get a few pears this year. I tried one this week. It was still a little woody near its core, but the pears should be good in a week or two.
Our Meyer lemon tree is also proving to be an able producer this year. The green fruit start to appear in the summer, grow through the fall and winter, and start to ripen in early spring. Then, they get darker and darker yellow through the summer, gradually falling off through September and October. We’ve been slack about making lemonade and lemon pound cake this summer, and I’ve got a lot of limoncello left over from the last two years. I’m predicting lots of lemonade for Baby G.’s second birthday party in a couple weeks.
Finally, there is the apple tree. The guides I get from the local nursery say fertilize in February-March, just before leaf budding begins. I was late with the first fertilization this year (I use an organic “compost tea” made from an organic fertilizer for fruit trees.) I got to it after it started flowering. It made a lot of flowers, but only about two fruit. It then proceeded to start growing and branching a lot. As it would grow and branch, sometimes flowers would appear at the ends of the new branches. I fertilized again in June, and just a few days ago. The tree evidently decided that it wasn’t carrying enough fruit, because when some new branches bloomed in July, it added four new fruit from about 8-9 flower blooms. So, it looks like I will have half a dozen apples come harvest time in October instead of two…. if I can keep the fruit on the tree that long.
We now return you to your local regularly scheduled programming, already in progress.