So, What’s Happening In The Orchard?
Welcome to a chilly 2018! According to state weather data we haven’t seen these types of cold temperatures since 1961. Extended forecasts say that we will soon be back into a more typical Nebraska weather pattern to finish off the winter of 2017/2018.
So, what does go on in the orchard this time of year? Well, primarily pruning. Every single tree or vine is visited and pruned. We prune to remove any damage that may have occurred through the previous growing season. Pruning also eliminates excessive growth to open the tree up for better sunlight penetration and to increase air movement through the tree. Pruning improves both the overall health of the tree and the quality of the fruit produced.
One important activity for us here at the orchard and anyone else that planted trees during the last season is watering, whether they are fruit trees or ornamentals. The Fall and Winter of 2017/2018 has seen very little precipitation. Even with the snow we have had the ground is still dry. When conditions are warmer, which will thaw the ground, we will be watering all newly planted trees. I encourage anyone else to do the same. According to the extended forecast for the rest of January and into February it seems we will have an opportunity for this to happen.
Thank-you to everyone that attended our pruning workshop in December. We all had a wonderful time, and everyone went away knowing quite a bit more about pruning all types of fruit, from apples to blackberries. Kimmel Orchard and Vineyard will continue our Orchard Training Series in March with a Vineyard Development—from site selection to harvest and everything in between. In May we will cover Fruit Tree Establishment, August—Small Fruits and then finish the season with a Pruning session in December again. More information about these classes will soon follow on our Facebook page and website www.kimmelorchard.org .
To stay on top of everything going on at Kimmel Orchard and Vineyard follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat or visit us at www.kimmelorchard.org .
Vaughn Hammond –Orchard Operations and Education Team Leader