Some 'expert', on the subject of growing cherries, wrote:Growing tips: to be frank, cherries aren't that easy to grow as a backyard fruit tree. As well as needing the correct cool climate, they need pruning when young, and regular feeding, spraying and other maintenance.
Now the climate part is valid enough, and I'm not sure if I would qualify where I am, but the other stuff?! Is this just flat out bullshit, or does it really mean something like "you are less likely to get cherries you'll enjoy, in the sort of time you think you will, so if you're impatient, you'd better go with growing something else"? As far as I knew, I thought maize/corn was the only crop that we'd managed to screw up to the point where it actually can't reproduce without human intervention?
I'm in Toronto, Canada, and although the variety is sour, there is a cherry tree that has been neglected for the 20 years that my family has been here. You're right, this is bunk. This thing fruits every year, and the birds love the things. I think I'm going to harvest the tree this year (my neighbours don't care if I prune it or cut it down) and turn it all into cherry sherry (see what I did there? Wasn't that clever? ). If anything, as long as the winters get cold enough (I hear there are fruit tree species that require this, though I originally thought it only applied to germinating seed), all sun or heat sensitivity would mean is a particular well-suitedness for the understory of a food forest.
It gets pretty cold here in winter (0C / 32F fairly regularly) but it also gets plenty hot in summer. We had two days last week where it topped 36C (97F), and multiple days over 40C (105F) is fairly common.
I want to plant plenty of fruit trees, and there's only so many apples you can eat (or, in my case, make cider from)
It looks like stonefruit generally might struggle with Gippsland humidity. Is it humid where you are? Golden queen and blackboy peaches can handle quite humid climates.
Remember figs! Best figs I ever had were in Melbourne.
1) Set up a vineyard
Most folks seem to be a little hazy about step 2.
Anyway, I wouldn't say it was real humid here - we're a good 50km inland, and there's a "mountain range" (again, Australian terms - nothing anyone else would call mountains) between us and the ocean.
As well as apples, I do have pears, lemons, grapefruit, and (as I seem to recall we've discussed before) feijoas!
Recipes and such:
I think of 'em as sort of like a cross between a banana and a kiwifruit. I have two trees that are very productive, although I don't really know what to do with the fruit, so we give away what we can and then the rest just falls and rots (sorry Leila!)
As to small greenhouses, I agree completely with Paul. The smaller the greenhouse, the more you are directly responsible for maintaining the needs of whatever you imprison there. As soon as you have a greenhouse large enough to shelter trees, even if dwarf-varieties are the largest you can manage, you have the room to put together a self-sustaining ecosystem, more or less. You'd be stuck watering, either from tap, or from rainbarrels (I'd choose the latter), but as long as you can keep those solitary, ground-dwelling bees and wasps alive in there, they take care of your pollination, and as long as you've lined up everything else, you have a chance in hell that you can keep on top of things. Personally, the reason I would have one (and it would be ground-sheltered on three sides and designed as a four-season hothouse) would be to keep that food forest, so I would have some place to keep my layers (chickens) in good light and heat and foraging all year long.
Might depend where you are, they would be near impossible here - being tropical. But then again, growing bananas / citrus in Rochester is near impossible. (outside of a greenhouse, etc.)
I personally believe in scientific neglect. I grow what grows easily and enjoy the other fruits when I travel. We tend to co-ordinate our trips up north to coincide with fruit harvests.
I must admit, before I found Permies.com, I thought that greenhouses were the be-all and end-all. Of course, that was when my idea of a cash crop was one that you grew in your bedroom closet or in the basement, and so a four-season hothouse was the epitome of cool .
As I mentioned, the only reason I could see for me to go that route now would be, apart from sneaking in a pot plant or five, to provide a warm, well-lit set of chicken paddocks during the winter, to see if I could keep their laying rates up. If I can get my hands on some nice arabica cultivars, I'd try my hand at coffee, as well as some citrus, but other than that, just a set of chicken paddocks that I'd seed as they clear them to speed up regrowth.
I actually have to plan some fruit harvest-related trips hereabouts.
In our OLD (destroyed when we had our housefire) food forest gardens we had cherry trees that bore beautifully and we are in zone 4/5. since I have planted baby cherry trees, I have wild cherry trees in the area as well as bush and ornamental cherries but also I planted 2 sour cherries and 2 sweet cherries. I expect the sour cherrie sto bear this year and the sweet cherries to bear next year. Have another cherry tree on order, it is kinda a cross betwen sweet and sour and is a bush. I do admit I have less success with the bush cherries though..probably cause the fruit is closer to the critters.
i also know of one wild seedling cherry tree that is HUGE and produces excellent fruit.
and now that i think of it, it seems like cherry trees would be able to grow the best without pruning compared to apples or pears. ive never seed one grow so dense it was hurting itself. they are wide open trees from the way the branches naturally grow.
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