Anticipating fruit

Plum blossom

My Victoria plum tree has some blossom this year, which is great news. I had no blossom and therefore no fruit last year. It’s apparently normal for plum trees to have a dormant year every so often in order to rebuild their energy (I know how they feel) so I’m very pleased to see it flowering again.

plum tree

However, it’s not exactly covered in blossom. It’s hard to tell from this photo, but what blossom there is, is clustered sporadically around the lower branches, but there’s nothing on the longer top branches. I didn’t prune it at all last year after reading somewhere that plum trees shouldn’t really need pruning (only old or crossing stems) so all of the growth is last years wood, as I know some fruit trees and bushes only fruit on older wood. I don’t think that’s the case here.

FestooningThe above article is from an old Readers Digest book called New Gardening Year, which was kindly given to me by a now sadly departed aunt. It might be slightly dated (revised edition 1997) but it’s a wealth of information, particularly when it comes to pruning anything. I might give the ‘festooning’ method a try. I think the tree is still young enough, and there are lots of long, flexible, top branches that could be trained down. It will make it easier to net against the birds as well. Click on the illustration to read it better.

Apple bud

My little apple tree is very late. There are others on our site that are already smothered in pretty, frothy, white bloom, like rosy cheeked brides all ready to trot down the aisle, whereas mine has barely woken up, squinting at the alarm clock with one eye, reluctant to get going just yet. ‘Give me another week, I’ll think about it.’

Oh well, at least it won’t get caught out by a late frost. Fingers crossed. I just hope it decides to give me a bit of fruit this year, that would be nice, you lazy tree.

strawberry bed
The strawberries have survived well, and the bed has been extended at either end with some of last years babies. There were 3 that had died over winter, but I don’t think that’s too bad really, and luckily I had just enough newbies to replace those as well. The more established plants in the middle are growing strongly.

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