Sunday, May 20, 2012

More food crops around the yard

Most of our readers are probably familiar with the unusual weather we've experienced this spring, and some may have first-hand knowledge of its effects on different crops.  I was especially concerned about our cherry tree as it bloomed in March, about a month earlier than normal.  Our temperatures were especially warm through much of March, but the inevitable freezes hit again in April.  Since our cherry crop was reduced at least 95% last year due to freezing, I was anxious our experience would be similar this year.

As you can tell from the photo above, we have a crop!  The blossoms had faded and fruit was beginning to form by the time the freezes hit our yard, so apparently the fruit is more robust to cold temperatures than blossoms are.  The crop appears to be about 70% of the size of a bumper crop, but we're grateful for even a harvest of that size.  We're hopeful the fruit will continue to mature without further damage from weather or pests.

The hops also got off to an early start this year, reaching heights by the middle of April that required almost three months longer last year.  As you can see in this image, the freezes damaged many of those early leaves, and even killed off the central leaders on many of the longer bines.  Because many of those early bines were stunted, I've allowed additional later bines to continue to grow in case the early ones die off.

Amazingly, some of those early bines are already producing cones in May.  We didn't see cones until late July last year, so I'm not sure if this is a consequence of a stunted bine, or an early start.  Regardless, the bines in general are more abundant and vigorous than last year, so it should be interesting to see if that correlates into cone production.

Finally, a stop at the raspberry patch shows some promise of fruit as well.  I haven't watched this fruit develop in the past, so I can't comment on how it's progressing relative to other years, but we are understandably hopeful for a decent harvest.  Thanks for visiting!


  1. We had cherry trees in our yard while growing up, but the birds always seemed to get more of them than we ever did. :) Hope you get lots of good stuff from your fruit trees and bushes.


  2. Thanks for your well wishes, Victoria. Today looks like the start of harvest for the cherries, so we hope to get most of them before other pests do. I think our cats probably limit the amount of bird damage on the cherries.