Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Pears, pruning & planting

With the snow finally melting, and the temperatures easing, I've been able to get out into the orchard and prune trees.
Monday & Tuesday were wonderful days - lots of sunshine and comfortable temperatures. I made good use of them and got a lot of pruning done.
With all the snow we've had this winter, and the way it stuck around, I have got little pruning done - and so I am behind. Not a big deal really! When it's cold & snowy, I prefer to be inside catching up on my bookkeeping and office work, or puttering in the shop. Pruning is best left for fairer weather. A week or two and I can be caught up.

I've been pruning pears.
We have 2 small pear orchards on the farm.

The "old" orchard is just behind the barn and was mostly planted in the early 1950's. It was all Bartlett & Bosc and I've interplanted some dwarf Flemish Beauty a number of years ago. Pears are often planted along ditches because they can take the heavier wetter soil where peaches or cherries will not grow.

The ditch is running quite full after all the rain last weekend.

The "young" pear orchard (planted in 1999) is at the very back of the farm. It takes up about 2/3 acre. There are about 120 trees, made up of 7 different varieties of pears.

This small patch of ground - separated from the rest of the farm by another drainage ditch - has always been a problem spot.
When my father bought the farm in 1947, this area had only just been cleared of the original forest. The stumps of the trees were still lying in a windrow along the property line. Dad buried the stumps at the lower part of the field - and nothing has ever grown very well here (we've tried peaches several times, and dwarf pears) until this pear orchard now, some 50 years later. It is a beautiful block of pear trees and we are proud of it.

Along with the pruning, I have started seeding vegetables in the greenhouse - tomatoes, broccoli, leeks, onions - and herbs - lemon balm, salad burnet, sage, oregano, sorrell, angelica, chervil, parsley, chives and catnip. The vegetables will be planted outside later. The herbs will be potted and sold at market in spring.
The first seedlings are up already - always an exciting time!


  1. Glad the tomatoes are up...too bad i don't have to pick them this year! :)

  2. What will we do without you!

  3. you can always come pick next door:)