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Archive for 'Fruit Growers Journal'


Apple buds are bursting into bloom as they seem almost eager to respond to recent warm temperatures.  In a typical year, each bud will yield a cluster of 6 flowers.  The one in the middle, the King, opens first soon to be followed by 5 surrounding flowers that open a day or so later.  Well, [...]

The Calendar Says Spring

Well, the calendar says spring even if the deep snow cover in most orchards is mocking us.  Most of us are eager for warmer weather; but the snow is not all bad.  It is great summer drought insurance and has insulated the ground well.  It has, however, made pruning a more difficult chore and has [...]

Badge of Courage?

Well, we are starting to get an idea of just how much damage the early heat and subsequent cold has done to the apple crop.  Oh, there is a crop, but it is thinner than we like.  Good sites, those with great elevation relative to the surrounding area, did well.  Cold air is heavier than [...]

A Sleepless Weekend

Three straight nights of worry.  A hard frost/freeze was predicted overnight for this past Friday, Saturday, and Sunday…all of which means growers have had three sleepless nights, up turning on overhead irrigation to protect strawberries and wind machines to protect apples and hoping…
The calls have been coming in from all quarters this morning – 24 [...]

A Spring Full of Worry

To say this has been an unsettling spring weather-wise is a major understatement.  Tree fruit buds got growing early this spring in response to an incredibly warm March.  Several hard frosts that followed have many wondering just what kind of crop we will harvest come summer and fall.
Apples are our main [...]

Pruning Peaches

We usually wait until the last minute to prune peaches, often pruning when buds are pink and just about ready to pop into bloom.  Peaches are a marginal crop in New Hampshire, although on good sites in the southern part of the state, annual crops are almost the norm.  Delaying pruning gives us a chance [...]

Is it spring yet?

Last Saturday, April 23, offered a stark contrast to the same date last year.  Instead of apple trees sporting some pink on flower buds just busting to burst, a couple of inches of heavy, wet snow hung on buds just starting to push green.  Warmer weather is due this week, but it will be mixed [...]

Pruning Season

We had our first pruning meeting of the season today at Sunnycrest Farm in Londonderry.  What a beautiful day – bright sun, blue skies, temperatures above freezing, a great crowd of eager home fruit fanciers, and most importantly, wonderfully hospitable hosts.
Pruning apples is one of my favorite chores (although I often feel guilty getting paid [...]

January Plunge

The thermometer at my house read -19 F at 6:00 in the morning.  Cold, not super cold, but cold enough to validate my decision not to grow peaches at home.  Was the commercial peach crop in the state hurt?   That remains to be seen, but at this time my guess is there will be peaches.  [...]


It was just 1 F this morning, the first of what will likely be many cold days over the next 3 months or so.  How does that compare to years past?
Well, on December 10 in 1902 it hit -13 F while just a year earlier on that date it hit a balmy 63 F.  Our [...]