Start Your List Of Trees To Prune Now To Ensure A Successful Next Season

PHOTO: Rowena McDermott

Summer's Bounty: Cherries and flowers abound at Moonstruck Ranch.  Be sure to pick some up at the Phelan and Wrightwood Farmers Markets.

We are just approaching summer temperatures here, but I have Fall/Winter chores on my mind already, watching our fruit crop this year. I am making a note of all the pruning that needs to be done, and there is a lot of sucker growth that we missed this year due to the Winter we experienced. The suckers on your fruit trees will not only hamper their growth, but if they get out of control, they will take over, and you will lose the original tree. All suckers (branches growing from the bottom of the tree underneath the graft or knot on the trunk) must be removed. Most trees need a pruning of dead or weak branches each year to remain a healthy, vigorous tree. You can mark them now to make it easier to do this Winter and don’t forget your stone fruit (peaches, apricots, nectarine) trees require the most pruning of all for a successful crop the next year.

Besides making notes of all the pruning, we are starting to bring in the first of the fruit for the season, which are our cherries. Thanks to the wonderful temperatures, they are slowly ripening, providing beautiful sweet cherries. The lilies are just starting to bloom, and the other early summer flowers are slowly showing their beauty, including the canterbury bells and feverfew. Peonies are done for the season, and we will leave the foliage until the Winter when they die back and then remove the foliage to prevent any disease issues. We are continuing our “landscaping” of the farm and enjoying the results, with my favorite being the phenomenal lavender and poppies together in the herb bed…the orange and purple are amazing together!

The markets are enjoying summer’s bounty! Phelan had corn on the cob this week, and ripe red tomatoes and peppers are not far behind!! The strawberries are red and juicy and perfect for breakfast bowls or your favorite dessert! Fresh-baked bread, produce, great coffee, and more abound at the markets! Join the crowd on Mondays from 2 pm to 6 pm at the Phelan Certified Farmers Market at 4128 Warbler Road in Phelan, and don’t forget Phelan accepts EBT and, in addition, has the Market Match grant gifting up to $10 in FREE FRUITS AND VEGETABLES each Monday for EBT customers spending a minimum of $10 at the market. In addition, Senior Certificates are due to be distributed in July. Please watch the Facebook or Instagram pages for updates. The Wrightwood Farmers Market is now on summer hours of 4 pm to 7 pm inside the Wrightwood Community Center Parking lot each Friday.

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