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Gardening on the Mendocino County Coast

April 2009: Blooming Pear Trees; Vegetables Started
William P. Meyers

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We are in a drought, but it could have been worse. After an exceptionally warm, dry January we got normal rains in February, then a chilly March with a little bit of rain.

highland pear bloom

Highland Pear in bloom

The lack of chill hours (cold, but above freezing temperatures) this winter has the fruit trees a bit confused, especially the apples. My low-chill apples bloomed early, because of the warm February. My prized Fuji is blooming sporadically. The Braeburn bloomed all at once, as did the crabapple, but my Kidd's Orange Red has not bloomed yet. The pears bloomed all at once, with the only unusual thing being that the European pears (Rescue, Highland, Bosc) bloomed before the Asian Pears, reversing the normal order.

I put in some new trees, they seem to be budding out okay:

Aromatnaya Quince
Kanko Bai Apricot (Prunus Mume)
Sweet Pomegranate
Venus Grapes
Lewis Filbert
All in One Almond
Japanese Red Maple (3)

Braeburn apple, Rescue pear in bloom

Braeburn Apple on left, Rescue Pear on Right

On the vegetable front, my Broad Windsor Fava Beans are doing great. My snow peas were mostly destroyed by unknown pests. Lettuce, Slobolt and saved seed, is off to a good start. The Violetta Pac Choi, Derby Day Cabbage, and Winterbor Kale have just sprouted. The Candy onion seed is in the ground, but no sprouts are visible yet.

fava bean plants in spring

Fava Beans well started

Ants already were attacking the pear blooms, so I did my annual painting of some of the bark with vegetable oil [See Of Aphids, Ants, and Apples].

We have already eaten asparagus from the garden twice. I grew all my asparagus from seed, in two sets. The newer set are just beginning to be big enough to think about harvesting.

asparagus and friends

Asparagus with strawberry plants and garlic

Vegetables are still very expensive at our local stores, so I am looking forward to seeing more from my garden on my plate as the annual solar cycle progresses.

Hugo inspects crabapple tree

Hugo inspecting crabapple tree

kanko bai apricot start

Kanko Bai Apricot is off to a beautiful start

Blueberry bloom

This blueberry plant is blooming great this year.

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