Please read this newsletter carefully and save for future reference as crop conditions vary greatly from season to season.
We have survived most of what "Mother Nature"
has thrown at us. Last of serious concern is hail.
Lost apricots to the late freeze. Have a good to excellent crop load on most all other fruit
Will start picking (you pick/we pick) Black Raspberries and Blackberries Wednesday,
June 10 and Saturday, June 13. All the berry bushes are loaded, so if you want a great quantity (and easy pickings for pick your own) then Wednesday morning would be the best time of the season to get them!
For the rest of June after the 13th will be open Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, 10:00am until 5:30pm. Should start picking plums and a few peaches the latter part of June.
Peaches and Nectarines
Encountered some crop loss to the late freeze in the lower areas of the orchard. Overall have a good to excellent crop of peaches and nectarines.
Fruits are already large. Now if can get some dry weather, eating quality should be excellent!
Will be picking a few peaches mid to late June. Should start picking Red Havens, the first really good peaches of the season, the week after July 4.
Many of our peach and nectarine trees are old and dying. Have attempted to replace them by inter-planting between two old and dying trees. Our soil is highly contaminated with oak tree root rot fungus. The inter-planted trees only lived one to three, possibly four years. With this inability to replace trees, we were going out of growing peaches and nectarines and did not even realize it.
The "walking tree" concept developed by Clemson's Dr. Schnabel, which allows growing peaches and nectarines without tree loss to oak tree root rot, has saved our peach growing. For last four years have planted all such trees with great success using Dr. Schnabel's concept.
Plums and Prunes
Plum crop is smaller than usual. The Bubblegum trees are loaded!
While the fruits are still very small, believe I see a sizeable prune crop.
Apples bloomed a little earlier this year and it was rainy and cool. Under these conditions honey bees don't like to fly, resulting in reduced pollination. Had serious concerns that would mean poor fruit set. Heard similar concerns from North Carolina. As apples have grown large enough to easily see and we have started thinning, it appears our pollination fears were wrong and may have one of our best apple crops.
Apple crop losses to rot while still on the trees has been increasing. Especially as our trees have growing taller and taller. In our climate apple trees can grow several feet taller then nursery projections.
We concluded that our air blast sprayer
cannot adequately spray these tall trees.
It also does a poor job of controlling where the
air blast goes.
To hopefully significantly reduce on-tree apple rot, we have spent many hours making two major changes:
- Right now you will see numerous brush piles in the orchard. Using a pole chain saw, the height of all apple trees was reduced to 10 to 12 feet.
- During the winter we fabricated from scrap materials in our garage four adjustable air flow control tubes which are now mounted on sprayer and appear to be working great!
Honeycrisp, McIntosh and Cortland are varieties
very prone to on-tree apple rotting before ripening. In addition to the two dramatic changes just mentioned, we have increased spray schedules, the types, and concentration of fungicides used.
Two of your favorite apple varieties, Pink Lady and Goldrush, have good crops set.
Pears - Bartlett Types and Asians
The bartlett type pear crop will be smaller this year than last. By "top work" grafting we converted most of the remaining poorer Standard Pear varieties to the excellent Shenandoah variety.
Just finished thinning the Asian Pears. The crop appears to be excellent. I'm totally sold on our Asian Pear tree conversion to the tree structure observed in Japan. It has got to be the way to grow Asian Pears in the Southeast.
Last year we lost about 60% of our beehives to the extremely cold weather. This spring have caught
15 swarms. By taking new extra queens from hives, Frankie has started 4 new hives. Now have 30+ beehives. This should provide for a good increase in honey production.
Our figs are now recovering nicely from the very cold weather of 2014. Starting to see a few small figs. How big will the crop be? We have no idea.
Looks like overall we will have great fruit growing season! We look forward to harvest starting and to seeing many of you real soon!
RETAIL FARM MARKET HOURS
JUNE 10 and JUNE 13
10:00am til 5:30pm
JUNE 14 THRU JULY 3:
Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, 10:00am til 5:30pm
CLOSED Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday
JULY 5 THRU ABOUT MID-NOVEMBER:
Tuesday through Saturday 10:00am til 5:30pm
Sunday 12:00pm til 6:00pm
CLOSED on Mondays
FARM ADDRESS FOR INTERNET DIRECTIONS AND MAP
2400 S.C. Hwy 11
Travelers Rest, S.C. 29690
Retail market phone: (864) 895-0608
View past newsletters, including the first newsletter of the season, and print out our fruit ripening charts online anytime at http://carolinafarmers.com/perdue/.