[NAFEX] climate, weather and fruit

Erdman, James ErdmanJ at uwstout.edu
Mon Jul 27 08:20:13 EDT 2009

We are having a very dry summer, again, but did get almost an inch of rain in the last 5 days, after less than a tenth for the earlier part of the month.  I think we are around 5 inches behind normal for the year so far.  My rainwater tank, which is normally full by the end of April from rainfall collected from a shed roof, hasn't had enough rain to fill it up yet this year.
We are getting a bumper crop of excellent red and purple raspberries, after almost no crop last year due to the rabbits and dear eating them down to the ground the previous winter.
Our Manchurian apricots (2 seedlings purchased 16 years ago or so from Bear Creek) are having a bumper crop, larger fruit than ever before, and little insect damage.  We are drying what we can, eating them until we are tired of them, and juicing some too.
It looks like our only bearing pear tree, a Nova from St Lawrence, is succombing to fire blight.  In just 2 or 3 days it went from looking perfectly healthy to having black foiliage, shriveling fruit, and looking really unhealthy.  If I cut the infected shoots 12" back into clean wood, I will be cutting out most of the tree.  Any suggestions of what to do immediately, and in the longer run?
Since we started mulching our tomatoes, and the rest of the garden, before the tomatoes get rained on, we have had much less problem with blight.  We try to get them planted and then mulched right away so that we don't have any soil splashed on the plants by rain, and this seems to help.  And of course it is nice not to have to do much weeding the rest of the summer.  Our earliest tomatoes, Imur Prior Beta, have been producing for over 2 weeks, and others are starting to redden, but peppers are slow in ripening.
Jim Erdman, in Menomonie, WI, cold edge of zone 4

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