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Fast-paced, informative review of what we should be doing in our backyard orchards this time of year. Tom Spellman discusses the need for deep irrigation ahead of summer heat; early, low-nitrogen feeding for flower bud and fruit development; thick, large-chunk mulch; fruit thinning for size and quality; peach leaf curl; insect awareness and control; flexibility in scheduling summer pruning for tree size and fruit quality.
March 22, 2016: It's fruit thinning time in the BYOC demo orchard at Hickman, CA. DWN's Tom Spellman observes this year's good to heavy sets among the stone fruits and discusses the need for early, aggressive thinning - for tree health as well as for fruit size and quality. Tom demonstrates his preferred method for bulk thinning, then shows how to space individual fruits. Varieties shown include Tropic Snow peach, Desert Delight nectarine, Bella Gold Peacotum®, Minnie Royal and Royal Lee cherries, Sweet Treat Pluerry™ and Flavor Delight Aprium®.
DWN's Tom Spellman discusses the importance of early fruit thinning and shows how to speed up the chore: do some of it by pruning. Also discussed: Coffeecake and Chocolate persimmons; automatic irrigation systems and water usage; the benefits of mulch. Lastly, Tom reminds folks that Zaiger fruit hybrids are not GMO's; they are produced the natural way, by cross-pollination.
On the second day of October, Tom picks and savors Flavor Finale Pluot®, Coffeecake persimmon, Parfianka and Eversweet pomegranates. Discussion includes when to harvest pomegranates and late season apples, plus fall season orchard chores: pick up fallen fruit, stay ahead of weeds, replenish mulch.
- For best quality fruit and to prevent limb breakage, thin the crop early and aggressively. Also discussed: minimal irrigation, low-nitrogen fertilizing and the benefits of mulch. Plus, first summer pruning of the demo low-cut trees for size control, improved air circulation and sunlight penetration.
- Tom urges backyard growers to hone their fruit thinning technique and discipline. Also, pinching back early growth at thinning time.
Picking persimmons in December, 2013. Past season's growth and size control of demo orchard trees: peach, plum, Pluot®. Fig espaliers vs. gophers. Preview of the winter pruning for new pomegranate espaliers and trees to be kept under six feet tall.
Tom reviews the DWN Backyard Orchard Demo planting in bloom, discussing pollenizer bloom overlap, the importance of low-nitrogen fertilizer, mulch, minimal irrigation and the early thinning of fruit.
Tom Spellman talks about the main points of Backyard Orchard Culture. Topics include managing tree size, successive ripening fruits, dealing with poorly draining soil, the basics of fertilizing, mulching and more.
Planting Fruit Trees
In part two we finish planting our fruit trees and grapes, then Tom goes over some pruning techniques.
Watch as we plant a new BYOC demo orchard. Part 1 includes a raised bed, multiple budded fruit trees, pomegranates and more.
How can you get three or four times the variety in the same space as one? High density planting and successive ripening is the answer. Dave Wilson Nursery shows you how.
When planting a multiple budded fruit tree, there are a few important things to consider.
Poor draining soils in your area? Elevate your planting and give your fruit trees some room to breathe.