Here we are again at the beginning of spring, and the ever-repeating miracle is about to unfold before your very eyes!
We spend most of our time being serious business people, but it’s hard not to be excited at this time of year, as well as a little nervous because for our fruit trees it can be a make-or-break time.
Home fruit growers often tell us that they find the idea of growing their own fruit quite hard.
Spring provides the perfect antidote. At this time of year, the experience of watching your trees go from looking almost dead in the middle of winter to quickly becoming covered in flowers, then leaves and fruit is exactly what you need to turn nervousness into joy at being witness to such an incredible process.
Of course there are risks, and there can be many low points when things go wrong and you feel responsible, but every year we feel like it’s an absolute privilege to look after our fruit trees as they do their thing.
Spring is such an active and changing time of year, the trees literally look different from day to day, and almost hour from to hour, especially when they’re flowering.
This is the ‘engine room’ of the whole season, when you need to be on high alert monitoring the weather and the trees to be as responsive as possible.
For example, getting organic fungicides on your trees at the right times is crucial, especially in wet weather, and can make a huge difference to the outcome of the season.
Learning to monitor your fruit trees is a key skill at this time of year, and one we focus on in our short course Learn to Diagnose Your Fruit Trees. It’s also a time when we’re on high alert teaching our Grow Great Fruit members!
The early peach varieties are out in beautiful flower, and lots of the other peach and nectarine varieties are rapidly approaching budswell.
The first of the blood plums are flowering (the first few flowers are just appearing), some almond varieties are in full flower, and the first apricots are blooming.
We know, it’s just nature and it happens every year, but we never get sick of watching it It’s such a miracle to see little dry-looking buds turn into flowers, and then into fruit. Growing fruit never gets old!
Meanwhile other deep winter jobs are also still in progress. There’s still a few trees to get planted, we’ve just finished cutting last year’s grafts back to the bud, and we’re still finishing the winter pruning, which we try to do while the trees are still dormant because it’s the the best way to get a nice strong growth response from the trees (plus it’s much easier to see what you’re doing).
So we’re straddling two seasons, having fun, and waking up excitedly each morning to see what looks different!
Viva la spring!