Fruiting Characteristics of Common Fruit Trees
Type of Tree
Location of Fruiting Buds
Age of bearing
Amount of Pruning
|Long Branches||Spurs or Short Branches|
|Apple||Minor||Major||8- 10 yrs.||Moderate|
|Fig||Major||Minor||1 yr & new shoots||Various|
|Pear, Asian||Minor||Very minor||Major||6-8 yrs||Moderate to heavy|
|Pear, European||Minor||Minor||Major||8-10 yrs||Moderate|
|Persimmon||Major||Major||Minor||Minor||New shoots at the tip of 1 yr branches||Light (thinning)|
|Plum, European||Minor||Major||6-8 yrs||Moderate|
|Plum, Japanese||Minor||Major||6-8 yrs||Heavy|
|Pomegranate||Minor||Major||Short new shoots||Moderate|
|Quince||Major||Minor||New shoots||Light (thinning)|
Beans: I grow lots of beans – I like yellow beans (Pencil Pod, an open pollinated variety) for pickling, green beans for fresh eating (Romano or Bountiful, both OP), purple beans for an early jump on the season (Royalty Purple Pod will grow in even cool and wet soils so they can be started in March, my first 'green' bean actually starts out purple!) and I grow drying beans – last year it was Cannelini, the wonderful Italian white kidney bean. All were very productive last year – I had a wonderful harvest of each (in the green beans, we never got around to planting Romano, but Bountiful was bountiful!). The one thing that can ruin our bean yield is an attack of snails and slugs. They will crawl over everything else to munch bean leaves. Do not plant beans near a slug/snail hiding place. Not that we had that problem last year. We had no pests to speak of.
Corn: I don't grow a lot of corn, and had no real plans to put any in when I was given a flat of 'Mexican Wedding Corn.' Mexican Wedding Corn comes from a Mexican tradition, each family having their own favorite strain of corn, when a couple marries, the two families plant their separate strains of corn together in the new couple's field. The newlyweds chose from the resulting seeds the strain they wish to call their own. I got several pounds of corn in many different colors and patterns. I chose one (I'm calling it “Two Mary Corn” after the two volunteers who gave it to me) that I intend to breed on over the next few years. These are flour corns (for corn meal) and not fresh eating corn.
Cucumbers: We had a banner year with cukes this year. My favorite 'Armenian' cucumber produced so many cucumbers we could NOT keep up with them. At least Armenian cucumbers aren't hard and bitter when they get big. One of the most tender cucumbers we can grow, these are favorites for production and good eating. A close second are the Japanese cucumbers, Suhyo. Also sweet and non-bitter even when large, Japanese cucumbers are very spiny with a very dark skin and are well ribbed. They weren't as productive this year compared to times past even though they were treated much better.
Eggplants: With the great year for tomatoes and peppers, the lack of eggplant production was a puzzlement. We only began to see eggplants in September and by then it was too late to get much of a harvest. We grew Pingtung Long, Black Beauty, Turkish Orange and Ichiban and none of them did much. (Turkish Orange would have done better perhaps if we had kept it picked, but it was hidden among other plants preventing us from discovering it until late in the season when loaded with fruit.) As to how they tasted? Ask someone who likes eggplant, for me it's nothing but an ornamental.
Melons: I have never been a big fan of growing melons – they take a lot of space and don't figure high on my list of foods I have got to have. As close as my garden is to the ocean, it takes some real effort (and attention) to get a good crop of melons in. They need heat, like all these vining plants (see squash and cucumbers) and space. However, unlike cucumbers and squash, they stick in my mind as a foo-fo0 food. Having said that, I have grown Ambrosia cantaloupe successfully and I have had whole crops fail. When it's good, it's really good. When it's bad, it's really bad and it's a gamble every time. I think melons are a bigger risk than I want to take.
Okra: I really dislike okra, but we had several plants of 'Burgundy' which always attract a lot of attention. They have a gorgeous flower and the bright red okra pods sticking up in the air are an admirable force of nature. I guess they taste good too – folks came back for more. Clemson Spineless is the gold standard of the regular okras. I hope in the coming year to trial Star of David... Works for me.
Peppers: Last summer was a great pepper season! We had a bunch of different varieties – I hope I can remember them all! First of all, we had Sweet Banana and we got enough of them to pickle 8 quarts plus all we sent away to the food bank and the ones we ate fresh. I dried about 50 Jalapeños (you get the moisture out and all those peppers end up being about four ounces of dried peppers). We'll grind them down and make Jalapeño powder out of them. We had Yellow California Wonder, which didn't do quite as well as hoped, but we still ate a lot of them and sent more to the food bank. We had Japanese peppers, Shushito (Wrinkled Man) we grew for a seed crop and even though they went in very late, we still got a decent harvest from them.
Squash: Squash, as always, get mildew and it's hard to get a decent crop of them. We held off, and got them in the ground as soon as it warmed up and grew 'em fast, harvested 'em conscientiously and let 'em succumb to the mildew. There is no such thing as a bad harvest of summer squash and that was true this year. I like to grow 'Lebanese White' (also called 'French White') because I like their flavor – most summer squashes are too watery and flavorless to me. We had several months of good harvests – one of the high school students had a Yellow Crookneck squash that almost took over a 25' square and pumped out enough Yellow Crooknecks to feed several families.
But, of all squashes, I absolutely prefer the Winter Squashes with their hard rinds – they can be tough to grow here. Two years ago, I grew Kabocha squash, a Japanese heirloom that was delicious – this year I did Queensland Blue – both of these are Cucubita moschata, one of the many squash species and for my money, I will always have one C. moschata in my garden every year. They have the moist orange flesh that is sweet and flavorful. Very good eating and each squash weighing in at 12 pounds or more, means a lot of eating per fruit.
Seed Companies I Trust:
FEDCO; PO Box 520, Waterville, ME 04903 207.873.7333 They are rabidly anti-GMO, though they do carry hybrids in addition to open-pollinated seeds. A wonderful and extensive selection. Their catalog reminds me of the Trader Joe's Frequent Flier.
PEACEFUL VALLEY FARM SUPPLY; PO Box 2209; Grass Valley, CA 95945; 916.272.4769 I have purchased many seeds (and other things!) from Peaceful Valley – I love their catalog. They have an excellent selection of cover crop seeds as well as a lot of organic gardening supplies and tools. On line they are groworganic.com, but I find their web site so cumbersome I rather use their paper catalog. Find their catalog numbers for the item you want, then use the online site or call your order in.
PINETREE GARDEN SEEDS; PO Box 300, Rt. 100; New Gloucester, ME 04260; 207.926.3400 Probably the best for a home gardener – small packets of very current seed, a very good value. The smaller packets mean a smaller price so a person can order a lot more varieties and experiment. I have been a customer for many years. They do carry F1 hybrids so be careful and read the fine print especially if you intend to save any of your seed. SEED SAVERS EXCHANGE; Rt. 3 Box 239; Decorah, Iowa 52101; 563.382.5990 Membership $40. Free brochure. Almost all organic, but definitely ALL open-pollinated. There are two ways to save seeds: one is to collect them all and keep them in a huge building that protects them from everything up to (and including) nuclear holocaust (some place in Norway comes to mind – Svalbard). The other way is to grow 'em fresh each year and that's what I advocate. That journey starts here.
SOUTHERN EXPOSURE SEED EXCHANGE; P.O. Box 460, Mineral, VA 23117, 540.894.9480 (Fax: 540.894.9481) A commercial venture that is somewhat similar to Seed Savers Exchange, but really isn't an exchange. They do carry seed saving supplies - nice to have if you are going to save seed.
Start These In Containers
Start These In The Ground
Move to the Ground from Containers
Cabbage family members from earlier
Other green leafy vegetables
These will be the last carrots you can put out until next fall. Beets can still be sown even up until February, if you need that any beets. Peas, while possible, begin to get 'iffy' now.