Fruit Trees need thinning during years where the is an overabundance of fruit sets. With peaches, the general rule of thumb is thin to at least 4-5 inches between each fruit for optimal growth. More thinning may should be done on young trees with delicate branches.
Here is a before and after pic of the thinning process on a 3 year old peach tree. It’s hard to take immature fruit of the tree sometimes, but you have to keep in mind that a fewer number of large juicy peaches are better than hundreds of tiny poor tasting ones. The peaches that are left on the tree respond quickly to the increase ratio of available nutrition per peach.
I wait until fruit is about the size in the picture to the left to thin. By then it is obvious which were pollinated and are growing well. The flower shells should slip right off. Thin the fruit by holding the stem with one hand and pulling the unwanted fruit off with the other hand. Be careful not to tear the limb. Also, consider the location of the fruit. Everything else being equal, leave those that will get the most sun exposure once the leaves fill in.
Other “stone fruit” like apples and pears follow the same basic guidelines of one fruit for every 4-7 inches. Asian pears benefit from a more aggressive thinning. The picture shows a Flora-Home Pear that will need plenty of thinning to produce a large and juicy fruit.
A good mix of compost and manure are added to the banana trees to give them and the new pups some fuel. You can see from my last post, the new growth is impressive. Apparently the like!
Cats are needed on the homestead to keep rodents in check…but they present their own problems. Moles love Canna Lilly’s bulbs.
Here you see the damage from the cats. They are using the young fruit trees as scratching posts. Millions of trees around here and they appear to only use the ones I plant.
This was the fast short term solution. I realize now that I should have left the original tree protectors on for a little while longer. I never considered the “cat” factor.
These young Rabbiteye Blueberries are looking so good. I don’t thin the fruit, but if the bush needs thinning….you can remove shoots or canes early in the season. Be careful because each type of cut can produce different results.
I added a small rabbit wire cage around this young black elderberry. Later I will add a large cage since the dogs tend to munch on this when they are not feeling well.
Of course the most important spring maintenance is watering. Here the boys join forces to care for their baby peas. Well, we are off to unload some hay, plant a few grape vines and weed a few paths. Them maybe we will go fishing.