Garden Expansion

IMG_2569 Uhl in Eagle, ID – I didn’t get to write about it this past weekend because I was too busy riding, but last week we made some improvements to our garden. Since the garden that came with our house was is in the corner, next to a six-foot fence, the area didn’t receive full sun. This meant that most of the tomato plants wouldn’t produce until really late in the season. And since we have no use for so much lawn, we decided to put a couple raised beds right on top a grassy area where the grass wasn’t growing very well, anyway.

IMG_2570 My friend Dan helped out with building the frames—without a truck nor any wood tools, it would have been difficult to do myself. Then Heather and I stained them and filled them with the rich compost dirt we’ve been cultivating since we moved here. Any organic matter we discard in the kitchen goes into the compost bin and eventually churned into the garden. We didn’t have enough to completely fill both 5’ x 10’ beds, but it’s plenty for for the tomato, squash and watermelon plants we planted.

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Hail Storm

IMG_8177 Uhl in Eagle, ID – Good thing I rode indoors this morning. This afternoon we had a nice thunderstorm roll through with pounding rain and hail! It left a nice little pattern of hail beneath the rain gutter.

Bees are Buzzing

Img_7818Uhl in Eagle, ID – It finally feels like spring outside and the bees are out in full force. Seems like the snow the other day didn't affect our apricot blossom's attractiveness. There were plenty of honey bees gathering fresh nectar. We'll see if the blossoms survive and hopefully give us some apricots this year!

Name that Tree Disease

Img_7281 Uhl in Eagle, ID – Maybe I can harness the power of the web here. Since Typepad does a good job of indexing posts so they show up high in the big search engines, I thought I may use this to my advantage. I'm having a hard time figuring out what's going on with our Pluot tree. I've done a bunch of research but can't come up with a good diagnosis.

The first issue is a growth or "canker" at the base of the trunk of the tree. It's about the size of lemon and is hard to the touch. It's light brown, which is what is throwing me off. Img_7284crop_2The canker that seems to be most common in plum trees (pluot is a hybrid plum/apricot) is called Black Knot. But as the name indicates, those are usually black and the one on our Pluot tree is light brown.

Then there is an issue in the leaves. Many of the leaves have holes with yellow edges around them. From my research, I've learned that there is a disease called Shot Hole, that manifests in a similar manner, but with that disease there should be a dark tissue around it. The other option is that it's Phytotoxicity or Spray Injury. This may be more likely as I have been spraying our trees toImg_7286 prevent Cottling Moths. I think from now on I'll only spray the apple and pear trees. Cottling moths typically lay their eggs in apples and pears which will eventually develop into larvae, and subsequently worm holes. But since they don't seem to affect stone fruit trees I can probably skip those.

Anyway, hopefully a fruit tree expert will stumble across my site and have some ideas. When checking my site referrers it's amazing what kinds of searches people do that eventually lead them to my blog! In the meantime I'll check with the local Zamzows and see what they have to say.