Pennsif's Progress - The Days are Numbered // Day 951 : Plums away!

in gardening •  2 years ago 

Today it was all about pruning.

I have a friend, M, who is a master gardener.

He has been teaching me all about pruning our fruit trees for the past six months.

We had a couple of sessions in the winter on the apple and pear trees.

Today he came again for another session on the pitted fruits - the cherries and plums particularly, and also one greengage.

In the past I've been more of a hacker than a pruner. But now I've set myself the target of planting 100 fruit trees in three years I did think it was time to learn to do it properly .

It has been fascinating to learn all about restorative pruning, formative pruning, apical dominance, the rule of thirds etc etc. After four sessions with M I do feel confindent now in keeping our growing collection of fruit trees in good order.


Unfortunately some of our cherry trees are suffering from fungal leaf spot (left above) and a couple of others from bacterial canker (right above). Neither of these should be fatal to the trees but will likely affect their yields to some extent. There is no easy organic cure for either of the diseases so we will live them for the timebeing.

While in the home field pruning the cherries I did spot some very beautiful berries of the Guelder Rose (Viburnum opulus). We have a small patch of Guelder Rose in a rather boggy area of the field.

The berries are edible in small quantities but with a very acidic taste. They can be made into a jelly. However they are mildly toxic, and may cause vomiting or diarrhoea if eaten in large amounts. I'll leave them to the birds 😉

Just for interest the Guelder Rose in one of the national symbols of Ukraine.

Everything is booming and blooming in the garden.

I am particularly happy that figs are now appearing on my number 1 fig tree (I've two younger ones as well). We had some later in the season last year but they didn't ripen in time.


And bringing a little bit of hope and sunshine into the back garden is one of my 'rescue' sunflowers. I found four of them growing on a compost heap. Unfortunately only one survived transplanting and slugs.

I am also having another go at growing celery.

I planted them in open ground last year but they didn't really produce much edible stalk.

This year I am trying them in 30 litre tubs. I planted them about half way down the tub and have then been adding compost as they grow.

Hopefully this will produce a better amount of tasty white stalk.

Anyone tried this method?

Despite rain during the day we were gifted with a beautiful sunset to round off the day.

Night all.

[all images taken by @pennsif]

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Great job with the pruning! the deer have made it so i have no fruit trees to prune. they keep trimming all new growth on our 3 year old babies in our fruit guild. I grew celery this year for the first time. I planted them in my permaculture style way, in between asparagus, which ended up under the asparagus as they grew and they loved that! I think the shade helped!

Hi @wholesomeroots, thanks for the idea of planting celery with asparagus. I have just established a new asparagus bed this year. I'll try popping in some celery with it next year.

And thank you for the resteem - much appreciated 😊

you are very welcome!

  ·  2 years ago Reveal Comment

Thank you.

I wonder if some ducks would help with the pesky slug population.

Congratulations on the plan to have 100 fruit trees. All the same variety or mixed? We have about 45 different types of trees on our homestead, mostly fruit mixed with ornamentals and shades.

We've quite a few different ones - various apples, pears, plums, cherries, greengauge. As well as a few more interesting (and challenging for Wales) ones like medlar, quince, apricot, nectarine, peach, kiwi, fig... And in the conservatory and new greenhouse we also have two oranges and two lemons. We have had a number of lemons but no oranges so far.

We have lemons, limes, figs, kumquats, bananas, plantain, passion fruit, coconut, papaya, mango, grapes, and pomegranate. We also have Sabo, Guanacaste, neem, eucalyptus, Ylang Ylang, and other assorted shade trees. This is going to be the first year we are trying out raised beds for our vegatable garden. We are also experimenting with peanuts as a ground cover. So far so good...

Wow, an impressive selection. I guess the weather is a bit better in Nicaragua than in Wales 😊

nice pictures knowing when and how to prune will be good for the orchard :) nice plans I look forward to watching your dream unfold as you see fit to share :) thank you

More coming soon on the fruit trees. Thank you.

I definitely want more fruit trees too! I guess the existing fruit tree on our property is a plum! It's not very healthy but it started dropping some fruit. I'm glad to know what it is! Hahahah

I have a peach tree that isn't doing very well... I hope it comes back next year. Ah well.

In any case!!! I'm excited to learn more about the trees from you!! I can't wait to see how everything turns out!

winter times is a great time to do research into what will thrive in your area in regards to a food forest or even bushes and shrubs that will bear edible fruits :) or berries to be sure they never leave chain em down and you'll never have to wonder if they will come back ;) :P

Fruit trees are a must. I see them as an investment. Whenever I have a bit of money to spare I always look out for more fruit trees to add to my collection.

Pruning, more complicated than it looks, you'll do well learning from someone who knows what they're doing.
I've only ever seen green stem celery. Although they use a similar technique for leeks to get the white stem right?

Yes I am lucky that my friend is teaching me pruning. He has been doing it for over 30 years so he knows his stuff.

Yes I think a similar method can be used for leeks.

I enjoyed your post very much and am also trying to do better pruning and caring for my fruit trees.

That's great. Thanks for dropping by.

Great post Pennsif, I can only dream of planting a 100 fruit trees! But I think I might take you up on that challenge, 92 to go lol. when I grew celery before I had the most success where it was shaded for the hottest part of the day, but they got early morning and later afternoon sun. Best of luck!

I need to do another count but I think I have about 60 of the fruit trees so far, should be able to reach the 100 next year. So far only had a couple of losses so not so bad (one due to a goat and one due to a sheep!). Good luck with your fruit trees too.

@pennsif Try crushing some truly fresh garlic and mixing a bit of water and spraying on the canker area. No guarantees here, however, I've eliminated a good deal of exterior molds, etc. by this method.

Thanks for the tip with garlic. We have quite a bit of garlic we are harvesting at the moment so I will give it a go.

This post has received a 2.07 % upvote from @lovejuice thanks to: @greenacrehome. They have officially sprayed their dank amps all over your post rewards. GOOD TIMES! Vote for Aggroed!

Thank you.

Wow, those Guelder Rose berries are seriously vibrant! I wonder if you could use them for fishing? They're strikingly similar to trout bait that does well in mountain rivers over here!

  ·  2 years ago (edited)

Umm, that could be a good idea. I really want to get into fishing at some point soon. We did restock our lake about 10 years ago but no one has ever fished it yet. I will ask a couple of friends who are anglers about the berries.

PS Thank you @greenacrehome for the @lovejuice upvote.

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