Last night it was chilly. Our temperature dropped to 26F. At that temperature, without protection, we could lose a large portion of our crop. Many people use a wind machine to blow the warmer air from up above, down on their trees. We use water for frost control. As we apply the water, and it freezes on the flowers and buds, it releases heat which keeps the flower temperature above 28. As you can see from the picture of the apricot tree, a lot of ice can accumulate on the trees. In the morning, as the sun was coming up and the light reflected off all of the ice, it was quite a sight. We will have to watch for frost for about the next 5-6 weeks. To help us not miss cold temperatures, we have an alarm that wakes us up when it gets cold enough to need frost protection for the buds. The Dapple Dandy and Flavor Grenade pluots have a lot of blooms this year. We hope this translates into a lot of fruit this summer. It is supposed to be warmer tonight. I hope so. It would be nice to have an uninterrupted nights sleep. We are mowing off the primocane raspberries now. They will send up new shoots and produce berries on the top of the shoots in August and September. If everything works well, we will try offering u-pick raspberries In August. The plants are starting to grow and I am excited about the prospects this new season brings. Enjoy the all the beautiful flowers around our valley this spring.
I was driving around the other day and saw an apricot tree that was in full bloom. Thankfully our apricot trees are not that advanced, however I can see white on a few blossoms on our Tilton apricot tree. I drove to Pasco and picked up our Lauren and Josephine raspberry plants from Tim Nourse of Nourse Farms. They have always provided us with quality raspberry plants. While I was there I was given the opportunity to receive a very new variety to trial called Octavia. We will be watching this for the next several years, providing feedback to them and seeing if this will be a berry that will work in our climate.
This year we will be exploring raising raspberries in a greenhouse for production in April and May. We will be using a variety called Tulameen. We received the raspberry roots last week. We are planting them in pots and will grow them this summer. We will then move them into the greenhouse in late December or January. This will be quite an adventure, we will keep you posted.
We should receive the last of the peach, pluot and apricot trees to plant this week. After that the only thing left will be some Reveille raspberry plants from a grower in New York, whenever they thaw out. Have a nice week and enjoy the fine weather.