April 30, 2014.
Yesterday, we removed mummified plums left over from last year’s harvest. These harbor spores for diseases such as black knot. This disease is spread primarily from black knots left over from previous years. We found only one of these to remove. The knots and mummies must be disposed of or burned. Remove the mummies and knots only during a dry time. This is the critical time to spray for this disease. Captan works well.
This is a very serious time for apple scab. The developing leaves must be protected from over wintered scab spores. The rains are washing away any spray residues from our sprays applied last weekend, so we will have to re-apply fungicides as soon as conditions allow. Next week we should be in to tight cluster stage and this is the time to focus on powdery mildew control as well as scab.
This past Monday we planted our new plum trees. Soil conditions were pretty good. Next up are the raspberries which we hope to plant next week. Best not to push it and plant in mud- that is not good.
We have elected not to prune our plums this year due to fairly low counts of flower buds. We are trying to hang on to as many plums as possible. It appears that the peaches will be light in terms of the crop. For trees with nothing on them, we will prune heavily so that we get good re-growth for fruit buds for next year and this heavy pruning allows us to keep the trees down. For trees that do have a small crop, we will wait to prune till the flowers are obvious and we will prune to keep every flower. This can be time consuming because typically the flowers that survive are in the tree tops.
It is time to install the trellis strings and irrigation lines in the fall raspberries before the new growth gets going.
We fertilized the apples, raspberries and blueberries this past week. The blueberries and raspberries will get a second application if needed in 3 weeks.