Photo album: June 2009 fruit & berry pollination report

By this point in the growing season, I have a pretty good idea of what my future summer fruit crop will look like. The blossoms are gone and the bees have done their work. Some crops are looking good. Others, not so much. Here’s the June 2009 pollination report.

Strawberries in June

Strawberries in June

The strawberry bed is full of strawberries this year. In fact, the kids have already started raiding the bed each day.  They will eat every berry they find.  In addition to the large strawberries, we also have quite a few patches of alpine strawberries (red and yellow varieties) and these are ripening now as well. 

Raspberries in June

Raspberries in June

We planted two new raspberry beds this year.  We bought some new canes but also transplanted some existing canes that we had into the beds.  While nowhere near ripe, you can see that the raspberries are forming nicely.

Blueberries in June

Blueberries in June

The blueberry crop is coming along nicely as well.  I have about 10 blueberry bushes in varying stages of maturity.  Two of the bushes are getting pretty large and are heavily loaded with berries this year.

Currants in June

Currants in June

The red currants have been ripening over the last week.  The berries are tart, even when fully ripe, but the kids still love them and keep the bushes picked pretty clean.

Grapes growing over the pergola

Grapes growing over the pergola

The grape vine growing over the pergola is beginning to show fruit.  Hopefully we’ll be able to eat more than we did last year when the birds stole the grapes just as they became fully ripe.

Shiro plum in June

Shiro plum in June

And as usual, the Shiro plum will have a heavy crop.  This is by far the most reliable fruit tree I have growing.

Other fruit trees did not set nearly as much fruit as the Shiro. This isn’t entirely unexpected because a number of the fruit trees in the orchard are only a few years old.  Here’s a rundown of the pollination in the orchard:
  • Peach trees:  I have two fairly established peach trees in the orchard.  Between the two trees I have a grand total of one peach growing.  Peaches are self-fertile so it can’t be a cross-pollination problem.  I think the varieties simply bloom when it is too cold here for the bees.  These two trees will probably be removed when I start the next phase of the garden bed expansion.  The peach and nectarine trees I have in the greenhouse are likely to be more successful. I have three peaches going strong on the mini peach tree and one nectarine on that mini tree.
  • Pear trees:  I have three trees.  Two I just planted this year so I wouldn’t allow fruit to grow on them if fruit had set.  The third pear is a little twig of a tree that has been in our yard for years.  It is the remaining growth of a larger tree that mostly died back.  The little twig is really perking up now and has four pears growing this year.
  • Cherry trees:  I have three cherry trees.  The pie cherry is a medium-sized tree that we transplanted this year (it had to be moved because of the greenhouse) so I have no expectations of a crop and am just hoping the tree doesn’t die. We also have a Ranier with a light crop and a new sweet cherry that won’t produce anything this year.
  • Apples:  We have eight apple trees.  Most are too young to set fruit.  I do have a Winesap that has a few dozen fruit this year.  Last year it had more, so I am wondering if I pruned it wrong this winter. The Gravensteins only have about a half-dozen fruit.  These require cross-pollination with two other varieties, so I think the cross-pollination has been a bit problematic.  The new trees I planted this year should help with this in the future however.  I was hoping for a better apple crop than I am getting this year.
  • Plums:  I already mentioned the Shiro and how well it is doing.  I also have an Italian Prune with a light crop and newish Schoolhouse plum that has only one plum on the tree.  The Italian Prune has been a disappointment the last few years.  This is a fairly mature tree.  We planted it at least five years ago.  Two years ago we had a good crop.  Last year was a bust.  This year is a bit better, but just a bit.  It is supposed to be self-fertile, but the fruit doesn’t seem to be setting well.
  • Kiwi:  The kiwi vine growing up the pergola is looking great this year.  Kiwis take a number of years to become establish.  This one is about five years old, so it is possible we could start getting fruit from it this year.  Fingers crossed!

Well, that’s about it for the pollination report.  Definitely not the best year, but I do have a number of fruits and berries to look forward to as the summer progresses.

Happy gardening!


This entry was posted in Gardening and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Photo album: June 2009 fruit & berry pollination report

  1. Mom says:

    Some apples tend to bear more heavily in alternate years, so don’t worry too much if the Winesap is slacking off.

  2. sinfonian2 says:

    Great fruit harvest. I think you have a big enough orchard to get a decent harvest regardless of how mediocre individual trees/bushes are.

    By the way, your blueberries are growing great, thanks again!

  3. Nancy says:

    Your pictures are great! What fun for the kiddos to get to hunt and pick berries in their own yard! When I was quite young, we lived in Alaska and we used to pick wild raspberries and blackberries…Mom was always hoping for enough for at least one pie…Sometimes it happened…*: )

  4. (Derek speaking)

    You forgot to mention that the huckleberries are also ripening…

  5. Since Derek mentioned the huckleberries, it reminded me of the salmonberries, which are ripening as well . . .

  6. KitsapFG says:

    You have a wonderful variety of fruits. While we have good berry production, we just do not have enough sunny locations on our property to put in any real fruit trees. I can certainly admire your home orchard though!

  7. Ralph says:

    How are your asparagus growing. I planted a full bed of them this spring as well (20 plants). VERY slow start, but we now have about 16 of the plants growing out.

  8. Pingback: Quite a year for plums and Ebony becomes Broody « The Zero Fossil Fuel 10 Year Challenge

  9. Pingback: Weather shmeather, gardening goes on | The 10 Year Challenge

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s