Is your veggie and fruit garden a bit off this year? We are hearing that sentiment from a lot of folks. This season is a funky one in terms of certain fruit and veggie production. Hence, it is always the case in the agricultural industry but we quickly forget. One fruit or veggie may be dynamite one year, while another crop does extremely poor. It’s usually due to weather, insects, you name it – some of it is just out of our control. A simple remedy: don't set your heart on one particular crop and avoid the ‘crushed’ factor should something fail. Great to diversify and do the yearly crop rotation when and if at all possible.
With that tidbit said about this year’s slow poke garden, one fruit that is worth my fellow gardeners trying out is the apricot. If you’ve visited any farmers markets and were lucky enough to stumble upon this tasty fruit, apricots can fetch at least $5.00/pint. That’s a dear price for a tree that is not that difficult to grow in cool climates. In just two years, our apricot tree has produced at least three quarts of fruit (with heavy thinning). Not bad considering some trees can take much longer to bear any edible fruit. Apricots tend to be free of the plum curculio (http://www.nysipm.cornell.edu/factsheets/treefruit/pests/pc/pc.asp) that often plague many fruit trees. The only consideration when planting an apricot tree is to place it in a protective pocket so to avoid spring frosts that can damage its early flowers and fruit set.
So it’s a wrap less our quote of the day, which a William Pitt line seems appropriate. “Confidence is a plant of slow growth in an aged heart.” Don’t lose your confidence this summer. Take it from the old time farmers – it’s been a slow poke year in the garden. Would love to hear what’s growing in your neck of the woods. Even if it’s the typical – a bumper crop of basil, tomatoes or eggplant, send your posts on what is or isn’t growing for you this summer.
P.S. One other quick note because so many folks have problems with deer in their gardens; some of you may already know it but it’s worth a try. Place a cheap transistor radio in your problem area, pick any station and play that tune 24X7. It supposedly works.
Image of Apricots from our garden by Ann Bilowz
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