The strawberry patch will be started this year. (More on that as things develop.) And the rasperries were started last year and seem to be surviving so far. The rabbits have demolished the three blueberry bushes I have. (BAD Tami!) I knew the bunnies were chewing on them and haven't done a thing to protect them. They've chewed them to stubs so once we've re-fenced in the new expanded garden area, I plan on transplanting what's left into that protected area. My neglect will cost us for a few years in the blueberry department I'm afraid. We also started a table grape vine and a muscadine vine last year.
As far as the trees go, I planted a "self pollinating" peach last year along with a Granny Smith apple. They are little more than sticks right now so pruning them is no big deal. However, we also have a Gala and Fuji that are starting their 3rd year with us so it's time to get serious about my fruit tree education...which is sadly lacking.
I say to myself, "How hard can it be?" You stick them in the ground, prune them and after say 40 to 50 years you might get an apple to two. Maybe. They grow peaches around here locally. Apples? Ya gotta head up into the mountains of NC for those. So this just might be an exercise in futility. We'll see.
Now it was a beautiful day here Monday, blue skies and the promise of 50 degrees in the afternoon so I decided "today was the day".
Allison says bare is GOOD. More limbs = less fruit. She says to BE RUTHLESS. So I sucked up my courage and attacked my first tree.
Here's what it looked like before. (Pardon the big blue ball in the center...) This tree had suckers at the base. (snip) "Think levels and compass, Tami." I mutter to myself. (snip, snip) (*Allison says that you need to create "levels" and describes how one level goes opposite (east-west) than the next level (north-south) like a compass.)
And now after. Much better if I do say so myself. On to tree number two.
Uh Oh. This tree has a central leader that is split or at least it seems that way to me. I circle. I put the pruning shears on a limb. "Be ruthless!!!" I chant to myself.
I hesitate. Crap!!! Now I'm second guessing myself! This tree is just goofy. There's really no good limbs to start a level. Everything is on a sort of a V to each other. Still...I do the best I can. I take solace in the examples that Allison shows of trees in her own orchard that are goofier than this one. Sometimes you just gotta work with what you have.
So here's the second tree. Better...and Allison points out that if a few years go by and the shape of the tree changes you can always cut a limb back another year.
So that's off my list of "must get done". Thanks so much, Allison, for helping me out! I really appreciate it!