[NAFEX] climate, weather and fruit

Ginda Fisher list at ginda.us
Sun Jul 26 00:20:21 EDT 2009

On Jul 25, 2009, at 5:29 PM, Alan Haigh wrote:
. . .
> We are in the midst of a very unusual growing season- this is about  
> weather and not climate.  I'd like to know how everyone is doing  
> getting their fruit up to harvest.  Here we are having way, way too  
> much rain and relatively cool weather . . .

I am in the same general weather pattern as you, and have had way more  
rain than normal, and cool temperatures.

The tomatoes look very sad, and are well behind where they ought to  
be.  They also sem to have more problems with dying leaves than  
normal.  I thought that was virus, but maybe it's a little of this and  
a little of that, and some of that is wilt.  The basil is also much  
smaller than normal.

I was worried that the currants wouldn't make it through the winter as  
they've been suffering from a mysterious ailment, but it was a mild,  
currant-friendly winter and I didn't lose a single cane.  They had a  
good crop.  They might have been a little less intensely flavored than  
normal, but it's hard to tell.  The jelly I made got rave reviews from  
the friends who spread copious amounts of it on roast lamb.

The blueberries are very happy.  The early-ripening berries were huge,  
much larger than I've ever seen them, but disappointingly bland.  The  
later-ripening berries got some sun as they ripened (the early ones  
had solidly overcast and rainy days for the entire time from swelling  
to harvest) and have been quite good.  Once again, I am happy with  
both the quantity and quality of St. Cloud as compared to my other  
half-highs, but the Northsky I picked on a hot sunny day were awfully  

The raspberries are also doing very well, with a large crop.  Despite  
the rain, I haven't seen any berry rot, and the flavor has been  
excellent.  I don't think they finish ripening until they get the sun  
they need, though, so they sort of self-regulate quality.

Last year I got my first real apple crop, and this year they all went  
biannual on me and barely set fruit. Everything they set has been  
eaten by critters, so no apples for us this year.

The Puget Gold apricot set such a large crop that I thinned it.  It  
had a little bit of spotting on the fruits, which might have been some  
fungus or mildew, but didn't extend beyond the exterior of the skin,  
and as I'm pretty much the only consumer minor cosmetic issues aren't  
a problem.  I had the race the squirrels, and picked all of the crop  
under-ripe, still, the somewhat underripe 'cots were tasty, and the  
slightly under-ripe 'cots were delicious.

I still have a lot of unripe fruits on the cornus mas.  I am hopeful I  
might harvest some.  The trees look happy.  In fact, all my young  
trees have put on a lot of growth this year.  The only one that looks  
unhappy is a winterberry (ornamental holly) which seems to have  
powdery mildew.

The alpine strawberries are doing really well, and are as tasty and  
small as ever.

That's about all I have to report.

Ginda Fisher
eastern MA, zone 6

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