Orchard

Orchard

Currently under construction, this area will simulate backyard areas combining fruit trees  with  grass areas, shrubs, raised beds with  vegetables, herbs and flowers. There will also be a demonstration area with several different grass trials to show how homeowners can incorporate lawns in their landscape.

Peach Tree Pruning:

A Texstar peach tree in the Agrilife Orchard Demonstration Garden was pruned on 2/13/19.  This tree is starting its third year in the ground.  The “before” picture shows that the tree is fairly dense and definitely too tall.

As usual, the first pruning was to remove dead, diseased or damaged branches; this pruning can be done any time of the year.  After this, we look for crossing branches, which will rub each other, opening the bark to disease.  When removing a crossing branch, you have to decide which one of the two to remove.  For peach trees in our area, Agrilife recommends that the interior branches be removed so that the tree looks like an empty vase or wine glass.  This allows better air flow in the tree reducing the incidence of fungus.  This open area also allows more sun on new growth, which has the fruiting buds for next year’s crop.  Remove a crossing branch that contributes to the open vase.  After the crossing branches are removed, we take out any branchs facing into the center to the “vase.”

If some branches have grown so much that a ladder is needed to reach any fruit or to spray, we remove the tall branches.  Peach trees that have been pruned according to Agrilife recommendation are vigorous growers, so pruning for height should be done as needed between February and October.  The Southeast Peach Growing Guide by the University of Georgia says peach trees live longer if they are not pruned from October 1 to February 1 (http://extension.uga.edu/publications/detail.html?number=B1171).  It is best to prune a tall branch back to the main limb, if practical.  If not practical, prune a tall branch back to eye level or so, cutting the branch just above an outward facing bud.  Hopefully this bud will produce a new branch that will not fill in the vase.  The “after” view of the pruned tree and the cuttings are shown below shown.  The flowering branches are good for display in your home.

Peach tree before pruning

Peach tree after pruning

Peach tree limbs and branches after pruning

Pruning Grapevines:

Master Gardener: About time to prune grape vines

 Published 

https://www.yourconroenews.com/neighborhood/moco/events/article/Master-Gardener-About-time-to-prune-grape-vines-13562021.php

 

Peaches:

Master Gardener: Too many peaches can be bad for the tree

 Published 

https://www.yourconroenews.com/neighborhood/moco/events/article/Master-Gardener-Too-many-peaches-can-be-bad-for-13017136.php

 

Radio Show Appearance:

Montgomery County Extension Agent – Family and Community Health Amy Ressler was joined by Montgomery County Master Gardener Association’s Gary Tannahill and Scott Darnell. Gary and Scott discussed the Master Gardener Fruit & Nut Tree Sale, held on Saturday, January 26, 2019.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lfF37rtAXt8&t=110s

 

Kiwi Vines in Bloom

Part of the Orchard/Turf Demonstration Garden is the Kiwi Arbor.  Two vines were planted last year: a male and a female.  The male started blooming recently as shown in these photos.  The female vine has not started blooming yet.  Growing these in Montgomery County is a unknown, since the variety in the garden requires 600 “chill” hours, nominally the number of hours between 45 F and 32 F.  If successful, these vines will produce Golden Kiwis.

Kiwi vines in MCMGA orchard 

Blooms on male Kiwi vine

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