Monthly Archives: December 2017
There once was a variety of peach that was so admired for its flavor, adaptability, and size, that from the time of introduction to becoming the principal variety grown in zones 5b-9 was less than 10 years. This variety is the Loring Peach.
The Loring Peach is to this day considered by many the best choice for marginal peach growing areas, from the coastal and inland areas of zone 8-9 to the colder zones of 6A-5b and all in between.
But what happened to this variety is what often happens to fruit when evaluated for its commercial value; it failed in appearance.
The Loring Peach was developed at the Missouri State Fruit Station at Mountain Grove as a part of a project to discover superior varieties with winter bud hardiness and late-blooming qualities. The primary goal was to introduce better commercial varieties of peache
Apples are the most popular fruit tree planted in the world with 7,500+ varieties to choose from. This can make selecting just one a challenge. Based on the adaptability alone, the Arkansas Black apple should be on the top of your list.
Thought to have been discovered in the mid-1800's in Bentonville, Arkansas, it is said to be a seedling of the Winesap apple, which it shares many characteristics. It quickly grew to become a popular regional selection and was a commercial success into the 1930’s. The Arkansas Black has distinguished itself as a true Gem of home garden apple selections since that time.
Very able to adapt to many climates, the Arkansas Black can tolerate the hot summer inland valley temperatures of California - sometimes more than 110 degrees - or the cold winter climates that are found in USDA Zone 5a -
Planting trees and shrubs too deep will cause a slow death for sure.
It is so very important to be sure that you plant your new trees and shrubs at the same depth as they are growing in the container that you received them in. If you are working with bare root plants be sure to plant all roots just under the soil surface and not bury them too deeply. Many times, the planting depth is visible on a bare root plant showing where they were grown at the nursery.
Planting your trees and other plants too deep where there is less oxygen in the soil and can cause root girdling and death of your plants.
Roots like to grow in the warmer soils closer to the surface where they can grow out in all directions to find food and water. Most tree roots can be found in the top eighteen inches of soil and many feet away from the
The planting season is fast upon us and all looking to grow fruit are busy researching what to plant. For my money, one of the first choices for Apples should be the Empire Apple.
Starting with the McIntosh Apple and Red Delicious Apple first crossed by Lester C. Anderson at Cornell University in the early 1940’s which resulted in thousands of seedlings that were planted in 1945 to be grown and tested by the New York Agricultural Experiment Station of Cornell University in Geneva NY. Over the next 20 years, the Cornell team tested and eliminated thousands of seedlings - finally resulting in the introduction of one: the Empire Apple in 1966.
Today, as reported by the US Apple Association, the Empire is one of the top 15 most popular apple varieties planted in the United States.
But unless you happen to
It’s only natural for us plant nerds to like to try growing things that may or may not be perfectly hardy in our yards. Or, maybe you have some rose bushes or other plants that might benefit from having some additional winter protection.
For those of you who live in the colder regions where you get snow throughout the winter… keep this in mind when you are out moving that snow out of the way of your sidewalks and driveways.
Snow makes the perfect insulation for your plants. Roses for instance will love having the snow piled up and covering as much of the stems as you can beneath the snow! Just be careful not to pile heavy snow on top of plants that might get crushed.
The rose bushes in this picture welcome the addition of piled up snow protecting the cold and wind off the canes closest to the ground. The parts that sti
With the onset of winter comes the cold. Depending on where you live you may have begun watching the weather reports to get ahead of a cold snap that could damage your Citrus or Avocado plants.
Depending on the variety, a rule of thumb is Citrus and hardier Mexican varieties of Avocados will tolerate to 30 degrees Fahrenheit for about 3 hours without damage. Some noted exceptions would be the Mexican Lime and any citrus or Avocado tree that has been recently planted.
Selecting the best location to plant is your best advantage against the cold. Choose locations that have good air movement but not exposed to high winds and avoid low locations where cold collects during the fall and Winter. In marginal citrus locations (zone 7) selecting a wall of the house or a south facing wall that radiates heat to add protect to your plants. Av
Most people cover their roses for the winter too early. Wait until your rose plants have been exposed to several killing frosts and some good colder weather to help them go dormant BEFORE covering if winter protection is needed in your area.
All across the midsection of the states, typically the right time is about Thanksgiving time to protect your roses. In the more northern states still time if you have not, and as you move into the more southern areas if winter protection is needed it may be a bit early still.
Hybrid tea, grandiflora, floribunda, and of course all the new shrub rose types can all benefit from some additional mulch added right on the plants about a foot deep.
Wait to prune your roses until late winter or early spring so any winter damage is removed when being pruned. And for roses that bloom on las
Here are a few tips for keeping your tree fresh while it is in your home for the holiday season.
- You just brought your tree home. While it is still outside, spray all needles with an anti-transpirant like Wilt Stop or Wilt Pruf, or even hairspray works great, to prevent the needles from drying out the day before you bring your tree inside. Spraying the needles prevent them from giving off moisture - instead they will hold the moisture in the tree. Hairspray does work well but remember it is very flammable (like your tree) so keep the spray and the sprayed needles away from flame like you would anyway.
- Make a fresh cut on the bottom of the trunk (even if only removing an inch or two) JUST before bringing the tree into your home.
- Put hot tap water in the reservoir, and add some soda pop or an energy drink. Trees t