A Few Summer Fruits

Our little backyard orchard hasn’t been doing well at all this summer.  Each tree has only been producing a few fruits.  The Asian Pear tree had lots of new growth in the spring, but some of the branches turned black and just died out.

But we did manage to get at least 10 fruits growing on different varieties of Pear branch.  Even with the small amount of fruits that showed up, the birds are trying to get to them before it’s ready to pick.

I think I’m going to have to take some small brown bags or newspaper and wrap each fruit to prevent birds from attacking them.  It won’t be too hard since I only have a few fruits on the tree.  I know Asian pear farms in China hand pollinate their trees and hand wrap the fruits too.  No wonder it’s so expensive!

In the beginning of the year, I had decided to prune down the Mexicola avocado tree because it was just getting too big (wide and tall). Now I’m starting to think the heavy pruning caused it to fruit less. Even after the pruning, it did send off lots of blooms and even started to form tiny fruits. But most of the tiny fruits started to drop by end of spring. And now I am just down to 2 fruit on the tree. Well, maybe the tree is just taking a break and next year it will bear more fruits.  We’ll just have to wait and see.

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Spring Blossoms 2017

Spring has arrived!  And that means blossoms are popping out left and right.

The Asian Pear is again blooming and coming out strong.

The cherry tree has a few more blossoms, but I doubt I’ll see even a handful of cherries.  Especially if the birds get to them first.

 

The Mexicola avocado has always been prolific with blossoms.  Even so, the flowers end up dropping by middle of summer.  But since I noticed more bees buzzing around maybe we’ll have more fruit setting rather than dropping.  Maybe we’ll have a good crop of avocado this year.

Even with all the rain we had this winter, the sate of California still encourages us to save water.  Since our mini backyard fruit orchard is on year 3, I would think  most of the roots have grown deep and strong.  So hopefully it will do well with limited water.

 

 

Winter Garden

After consecutive days of rain, it was nice to welcome the sun this weekend.  And it was a lovely and warm 62 degrees too 🙂

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These are the same succulent plants from previous years.  I like how these always turn a bit red on the tips during the cold season.

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This clementine actually had lots of blossoms, but most of them dropped.  But somehow there are 2 fruits that are ready for picking.

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The fruit was very sour and had way too many seeds.  I should have listen to other gardeners when they warned me about the seeds.

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The Mexicola avocado tree is getting bigger.  I also topped off the main branch because it was getting so tall.  Being that our backyard is small, best to keep this tree pruned.

I actually told myself I was not going to add anymore plants to the garden.  But I couldn’t help it and I got 2 more plants.  The Forsythia plant and also the pineapple guava bush.  Pineapple guava is known to be carefree, drought resistant plants…. that sounds good to me!  Anyway I haven’t put them in the garden yet… when I do I will post an update.

Autumn Harvest

The summer has just flew by and now it’s autumn!  The world is getting bigger and the the clock keeps ticking forward.  So much distractions and things to ponder.  Just need to remember to take time out and enjoy the small things too.  Such small things as my little backyard orchard. Which didn’t really produce much of a harvest at all…. but what we did harvest was greatly appreciated!

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I do have a small jujubee tree, but it’s still too young and looks like a small shrub.  These big varieties I got from the Farmer’s Market recently.  Jujubee are sometimes called, “Chinese apple” and taste like crisp apple but with a unique sweetness.  One of my mom’s favorite fall fruits.

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Best to pick the avocado when they turn black/purple then let it sit for about 5 days until soft enough to eat.  This Mexicola variety has very thin skin that was hard to peel, so I just ate the skin too.  Good thing it’s organic!

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I’ve gathered some fruits here… “Wonderful Pomegranate”  and some avocados.  We gave  few ripe fruits to our friends and neighbor.  One that grows mandarin oranges and he didn’t have a good harvest this year either.  Besides the drought, there is also a citrus disease going around here.  Maybe next season will be better.

All photos taken with Samsung Galaxy Note 2

Summer Backyard Fruits

Summer has officially arrived on June 20th and I hope everyone is staying cool.  As much as I love summer greens & fruits, I don’t know if I like the summer heat as much.  But thank goodness for the cool breeze blowing off the deltas and river ways.

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Our mini fruit orchard is making an effort.  The Mexicola avocado tree is doing well. It has produced at least 10 fruits, compare to last year of 1 fruit.  Next year we may actually give it avocado fertilizer and see if that helps.

The other trees in the garden which I didn’t get to photograph include the Wonderful pomegranate, Algerian clementine, apricot and Bacon Avocado.  The apricot tree has some strange little holes on it’s leaf and I haven’t found a cure for it.  Since it’s still young and the roots haven’t been established yet, it makes it difficult to fight off any disease.  But once it’s a few years older, maybe it will do better.

Most of the trees are struggling, but the Asian Pear tree was the most productive, with close to 30 pears!  I was hoping the fruit size would be larger and I don’t know if it will continue to get bigger.  It’s probably because we’ve been conservative about watering our garden.

Anyhow, at the rate of things in the state of California, we really don’t know how long we will live in one location.  But either way, we put down these fruit trees and maybe the next generation can enjoy the fruits of our labor.

Photo taken with Samsung Note 2

Clumping Bamboo Shoot

This will be year 3 for my clumping bamboo.  The reason I chose this variety is because it won’t spread too far.

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I’ve never grown bamboo before so I didn’t know what to expect.  For a while it didn’t do much growing and then after a few spring rain, this little bamboo shoot came out of nowhere.

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One thing I do know about bamboo is that they can grow fast.  So a few days later I saw this long skinny bamboo stalk growing as tall as the parent plant.  For someone that has never grown bamboo, this was really exciting to see!

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Another thing that also enjoyed the spring rain is the Wonderful pomegranate bush.  There seem to be more blooms this  year, so that’s a good sign.

Photos taken by Samsung Galaxy S3 and Note 2.

White Pear Blossoms

We had quite a bit of rain in March and everything is coming up green in our area.  Spring is possibly the most cheery time of the year as little blossoms start showing their colors.

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Here are some white Asian pear blossoms from our multi-grafted pear tree.  Last spring there was only a handful of flowers.  So I think this year we could have a good crop of pears – compare to last year’s total of 3 fruits 🙂  That is if the bee population is healthy and strong and ready to do their their busy bee thing soon.

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This will be year #3 for my little backyard orchard.  The nice thing about growing trees or annuals is that once it’s in the ground, there isn’t much else to do except to watch it grow.  Well except for the usual care such as pruning, mulching, fertilizers, keeping the bugs off and of course water!  And despite all the rain we’ve had this winter, Governor Brown had to remind us know that we are not in the black yet, so we must all conserve and limit our water usage.  Wonder if it’s not too late to start collecting some of that rain water.

Photos taken with Samsung Galaxy S3