March 18, 2015.
Many orchard tasks are in limbo because the weather is so cold – a few good days but just enough to tease us. Most of our time has been devoted to pushing snow and preparing for the maple season. Several good runs this past week with decent sugar content in the sap. Doing maple is like going fishing, it is lots of fun when the fish are biting. When the sap sugar content is high, the syrup comes quick and everyone is smiling.
We are back to pruning the apples and we should be mostly done by the weekend. Preparations for our annual pruning workshop, to be held this coming Saturday, are in high gear.
Here is a partial list of the must do’s when the weather breaks: Finish pruning the apples, pears, sour cherries, blueberries and currants. Cane-out the summer bearing raspberries. Mow the fall bearing raspberries to the ground. Grind all the pruning brush to make way for the tractors and sprayers. Remove mulch from the strawberries and get ready for frost control with row covers. Cover the Josephine fall raspberries with mulch to promote an earlier crop for this heat loving variety. Prepare equipment for ground preparations in the new peach orchard and new apple plantings. We have nearly 3 acres to plant and we like to be ready. Lisa and family are planting the peaches and more summer raspberries. We are planting 500 more apples and some fall raspberries. Mulch blueberries with either sawdust or wood chips. Check deer fences for problems when the snow is gone.
We figure when the weather improves, maple will move real fast and all the stuff listed above will be accomplished quickly because we have no choice. Then we can make a new list.