garden ponderings

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Fruiting Plum Trees

Plum trees flower so early in the season here, we rarely get fruit.
On top of that, we have had rain every day for over a week,
which is not great for pollination.

Above is a Santa Rosa plum tree whose fruit is so delicious to eat right out of hand.
The last time this tree bore fruit was 25 summers ago.  We took quart bags of home-grown plums on a family river rafting trip.  They were so juicy, just a few bites,
then see how far you can toss the pit.

This Japanese prune plum tree has borne only a handful of fruit in over 25 years.
It was swarming with insects that appeared to be fertilizing the blossoms,
on the cool, but dry afternoon, this photo was taken.

Besides conducive weather at pollination time, we need no more below freezing temperatures.  I will always remember when it was severely cold one Mother’s Day in early May – we lost the fruit from all of our trees that year.


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Last Hurrahs

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Leaves on the Sweet Gum tree (above left) are just turning from green to yellow, while the Sugar Maple (on the right) has lost most of its leaves.
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Why would the leaves on one of three Aspen trees still be hanging on, when the other two trees are almost naked?

There are no flowers around the house.  Between the drought and global warming, I should be able to find some plant that will flower later in the season.  Driving today, I did spot nasturtiums in a neighbor’s yard.  Those I know I can grow – and they come with the bonus attribute of being edible besides pretty and late-growing.
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Down in the garden, it is another story.
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Dill (left) and Cilantro (right) flowers are staying handsome.  I think it is the perfect balance between enough sun to keep them happy, but cooler days of less daylight keep both of these plants from ‘going to seed’.
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Copy of DSCN4155 Copy of DSCN4157Cherry tomato and jalapeno flowers are in for disappointment, there is no chance they will grow to maturity before winter sets in.  Just not enough heat-hours left in this season.
Strawberries, also, keep blooming, and their fruit is much quicker to ripen, so I have a chance to harvest more of them – hoorah!

Strawberry flowers

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Strawberry flowers

While this plant is not full of flowers, I am impressed the plant is flowering in our cool rainy weather. We have had some 60-degree days that probably favored flowering and these are sturdy plants.

This may be the third summer for these plants, which could be their maximum production year. If I was really together and hard-core, I would be planting another bed of strawberries to start bearing a year from now. This current batch of strawberry plants was purchased from a reputable nursery (Territorial Seed in Cottage Grove, OR) instead of the local discount store. There were a few holdover plants from the last discount store buy, and those plants need to be dug up as their production doesn’t even warrant the space in the garden.

I will have to look up the name of these strawberries, if I want to be able to make an educated, experienced purchase on my next buy. I remember being given a choice between taste, higher yield, size or disease immunity and I went with taste. Ultimately, for me, it really comes down to taste for home-grown strawberries. These are not the largest berries, but we are still eating last year’s harvest – yum!