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Growing fruit in the NY munsoon

14 years ago

Here's an update on observations of performance of trees here in southeastern Malaysia, I mean NY. After about 12 inches of rain in each of June and July we got about 2 inches yesterday. Guess my hose will be superfluous this year.

Earli-red-fre white peach has performed poorly, fulfilling my Malibu blond (think tan and bikinied) metaphor (or I should say simile) of, beautiful and bland and kind of blond, or at least white. Summer Pearl has indicated the asset of getting up much more sugar in these wet and gray conditions, as has Saturn. Unfortunately the Peento peaches may be more vulnerable to brown rot- especially the ones in a horizontal position on the tree where they actually fill up with water like a cup. On a site with Saturn and Summer Pearl where I applied a single spray of Indar (July 7th) the Saturn were nearly wiped out with rot when I came back July 30th. Summer Pearl peaches were almost pristine and just a little less sweet.

Next year I will apply my fungicide a week later (July 14) or so, on sites I try to produce stone fruit with a single fungicide spray.

The Shiro Jap plums are cracking most everywhere as they would even if there was half as much rain, and their sugar is not great, although they are still pleasant. The Santa Rosa and its early little sister Summer Majic have not cracked at all and both show more character in flavor then Shiro with adequate sugar. Methely did well probably because I pruned all the trees I managed very open and came back in early summer and did some more.

I tasted a couple Oullins plums for the first time this year although half of the tiny crop were rotted (they got at least one spray) quality was pretty good which is great considering conditions- but they were not pretty with scarred skin. Castleton is cracking a lot for the first time ever, so I don't think its plums can stay on trees long enough to get to potential sugar. Glad I'm not trying to grow smooth skinned stone fruit for a living this year.

My Summer Beaut nectarine is already full of a lot of very cracked fruit, which is disappointing as it produced a few flawless fruit last year in its first bearing season. It was wet last year but not like this. Still the fruit on the part of the tree that gets hit by the earliest sun are smooth and well colored showing promise of some nice fruit in a couple weeks or so. Certainly shows how important that Eastern sun is to crack susceptible fruit. I will exploit this knowledge more completely next year by opening up such trees even more than I already do and summer prune as is helpful. If you try to grow such fruit where it gets summer rain I suggest you site them to Eastern exposure. It is helpful for reducing most fungal problems as well, I believe.

Great season for Apricots as crops were good at every site I manage them. Quality is a bit unpredictable from site to site but all were at least good and a lot better then normal store bought. The best rivaled my memories of them in southern CA as a boy. The Alfreds on my tree were very scabby and many burst just as they ripened, but I still got a good crop of decent cots- the several varieties I grow from the Canadian Harrow breeding program were of considerably better quality- larger, smoother skinned and better colored. Hargrand would be my favorite if I was growing commercially- they really size up. Also Early Blush showed promise as a very early cot which would make it exceptionally useful, coming at a time when cherries are over and no other tree fruit has clicked in.

Well thats all I have time for now- got to go pick another gallon of blueberries before they drop. Of course theyÂve been absolutely great.

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