The Rhythm of the Orchard
Springtime, of course, is when orchards spring to life with buds forming as the weather warms in March and April.
Spraying of organic oils takes place before blossoms explode. The organic oils used are for both fungus and insect prevention and control.
The fruit trees will all bloom between mid-April and mid-May, with tart cherries the first to bloom, followed by sweet cherries, peaches, pears and all of the apple varieties.
After the blossom petals drop, the fruit starts to form (or “set”) and leaves begin to come out. Over the growing season, a good deal of time is spent mowing the orchard grass, monitoring and treating insect and fungus infestations with various means.
Tart and sweet cherries and peaches ripen in the early part of the summer, during June and July. Blueberries and grapes ripen in mid- to late-summer, from late June to late August. Pears ripen in late August to September, and apples begin to ripen in late August and continue through October.
At the end of the harvest, we spray organic oil on the trees and nitrogen under the trees to prevent overwintering insects and fungi.
Late fall and winter are the times when most major pruning of the trees and bushes takes place. It is important to prune trees every year to promote vigorous growth of fruit-bearing wood.