Just as I left one apricot to ripen while the tree gets its strength up, I let a solitary plum from the tree I planted this spring develop. It was really hard to pick off all the tiny plums back in May, but if that means I’ll get a bigger harvest next year, I’m all for it. This plum had turned a deep, beautiful purple about four weeks ago. It remained very firm, only starting to yield to gentle pressure a few days ago. We actually found it on the ground today, and it may have been a touch overripe.
Still, the flavor was great – not as transcendent as that apricot last month, but still – unbelievably sweet flesh, with a tart skin and more floral than anything I’ve ever eaten from the store or even farmers market. The plum was quite a bit smaller than I expected, but still, it was the perfect dessert after the great Indian meal Janna cooked up today.
The upside to the veritable monsoon season we’ve been having (literally, only 11 dry days since April 1) is that the fruit trees, bushes and plants have been getting as much water as they can drink. While we’ve had very limited time out in the garden, the plants are doing really well!
My cherry tree had exactly two flowers on it, both of which fell off before too long. The leaves came in very nicely, though, and there is lots of new branching. I think it must fruit on two-year-old branches. Next year should be a good beginning year.
I left two apricots to grow on my tree. Picking off the buds and young fruit was heartbreaking, but I'm sure next year's crop will be worth it. The tree itself is branching out really well this year - I've pruned back some early unwanted branches that would have crossed to give the tree better air circulation. There are still a lot of new branches that will bear flowers and fruit next year.
My plum tree came with several flowers already on it - I can't take credit for these tiny plums, but I'm going to let two or three mature. The plant seems to be a couple years ahead of my whip-grown apricot and cherry.
The two red currant bushes are the oldest edibles in the yard - I bought them back in 2008, and have transplanted them several times. They're thriving in their new spot next to the cherry tree, and are both about three feet high. For about a week, the leaves were getting eaten by caterpillars, but I defeated them by picking them off manually. I'll probably end up with 1/2 pound of currants this summer, and with smart pruning, a few pounds next year. i do need to invest in bird netting to protect these guys.
I'll only get a handful of black currants this year, all from the new bush I found. All three plants transplanted really well, and even the midget plant has filled out a bit. Some of the leaves of two the plants have curled under, and had insect eggs layed on the underside. I manually shook these off and sprayed them with neem oil, and the eggs haven't returned, though the leaves are still sad looking.
The strawberries transplanted well, too. I lost a few of the weaker plants, but the healthy ones have sent out flowers and are starting to set fruit. It won't be too long before these are ripe and ready.