By Dr. Robert Moon
The young fruit trees growing in the Harvest garden are thriving but not without some difficulties. As with any young tree, there are potential problems – weather, birds, insects and disease – all trying their hardest to defeat or eat these trees first production. But the good news is that these trees are producing fruits and nuts at a young plant age despite these problems.
The apple trees suffered freeze damage, hail damage, disease and insects but there were still harvestable apples. The plum trees had to have the fruit thinned to keep the weight of the fruit from breaking the branches. But even with this thinning, the trees produced a bumper crop that many of you enjoyed at the community picking day. The pears were damaged by hail and the birds enjoyed the first fruits leaving few for anyone else to enjoy. Sometimes we have to share. The pecan trees are producing even though they have not reached the 7 year maturity point for production. These pecans will be ready to harvest after the first frost and that time is coming quickly even with the recent 90 plus degree weather. And finally, the figs are going to produce a good harvest this year.
These young fruit trees are all producing earlier due to maintenance practices to encourage maximum fruit and nut production, even with the inherent problems.
You will be receiving word about another community picking day for the pecans. It will be sometime in November...so stay tuned! Growing fruit and nuts in the Harvest garden and watching them mature and produce is fun and rewarding for all involved!
Remember, picking the fruit and nuts need to be done only when the HOA has announced a community picking day.