Monday, January 17, 2005

Adventures in fruit growing

We have planted various fruit bearing plants hoping to duplicate the taste of freshly picked plums, peaches, apricots etc., instead of the bland tasteless ones from the supermarkets. The cherries we planted were a bust. What the deer didn't eat the birds ate or if not that, some kind of black rot killed the trees. Bush cherries were abundant but sort of watery and soft with an off putting taste. We tried to make a sauce or chutney out of it but it was a failure.

I planted about 15 blueberry bushes and these have produced only enough fruit to make a pie or two. Not quite the 15 pounds per plant the catalogs promise. This is quite shameful because we live in the second biggest blueberry producing state-Michigan being the first. I keep acidifying the soil by heaping on the peat and sulfur and have even resorted to feritlizing the plants but to no avail. The berries are quite tasty though so it's worth the effort and it's nice to just pick the fruit off the bushes and pop them into your mouth.

We've planted four apricot trees but one died immediately. The first year about 15 fruit set and were doing ok after the June fruit drop but either the birds nicked the fruit or they never ripened. Last year we had none but the trees grew fairly well so I'm hoping this year we'll have some edible fruit if we manage to keep the birds away. One tree was "Moonglow" which requires the "Sunglow" for fertilization. The nursery only sold the Moonglow and I didn't find out 'til later why this tree hasn't produced any fruit! Now why would this nursery do this? A warped sense of humor? Needless to say I don't buy stuff from them any longer.

To be continued.

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