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Aug 032012
 

Please note: Plums and prunes are quarantined by the Idaho Department of Agriculture to prevent the introduction of diseases. Except for the fruit, no plant parts can be imported into Idaho unless they have been grown in a disease-free area and are accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate. Homeowners should purchase their peach and plum stocks at nurseries in Idaho.

Prunes are simply plums that develop high enough sugar concentrations in the fruit to allow the fruit to be dried without spoiling. The trees grow 10 to 20 feet tall and bear fruit three to five years after planting. Cultivars are budded onto rootstocks.

Both European and Japanese cultivars are available. Nearly all Japanese cultivars require cross pollination, as do many European cultivars. As a general rule, plant two or more cultivars close together. Plums are less hardy than apples. Japanese plums are injured at temperatures between -10 and -15 F. European plums are injured at temperatures between -15 and -20 F. Although adaptable to a wide range of soil conditions, the trees perform best on deep, well drained soil.

 August 3, 2012
Aug 032012
 

Please note: peaches and nectarines are quarantined by the Idaho Department of Agriculture to prevent the introduction of diseases. Except for the fruit, no plant parts can be imported into Idaho from certain places in the united States unless they have been grown in a disease-free area and are accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate. Homeowners should purchase their peach and nectarine trees at nurseries in Idaho.

Nectarines are simply fuzzless peach varieties. Mature trees grow to about 20 feet tall, but can be kept smaller with pruning and training. The trees bear fruit three to four years after planting. Peaches and nectarines are generally poorly adapted to northern, central, and eastern Idaho growing conditions. The trees are sensitive to freezing injury and can be injured or killed at temperatures around -10 to -15°F. Peaches and nectarines also bloom very early in the spring and the flowers are easily damaged by frost.

Varieties of both crops are usually grafted onto seeding rootstocks. Special rootstocks are available, but seldom necessary in Idaho. The trees are naturally small and you can control the size by careful pruning. Peaches and nectarines require well drained, light-textured soil that is neutral to slightly acid. Neither crop tolerates poorly-drained soils well and iron chlorosis develops quickly on soils with pH above 7.0.

Peaches are self-fruitful, as are most nectarines, so you only need to plant one tree or cultivar.

 August 3, 2012
Aug 032012
 

Please note: Apricots are quarantined by the Idaho Department of Agriculture to prevent the introduction of diseases. Except for the fruit, no plant parts can be imported into Idaho from certain parts of the United States unless they have been grown in a disease-free area and are accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate. Home gardeners should generally purchase their apricot trees from nurseries in Idaho.

The hardiest apricot varieties available in the United States are, reportedly, cold hardy to between -20 and -30°F and are often recommended for USDA Zones 5-8. Varieties developed from Siberian or Mongolian parents are sometimes rated to zones 3 or 4. The trees bloom very early in the spring, making them susceptible to frost injury. Gardeners usually find it difficult to grow apricots in most parts of northern, central, and southeastern Idaho because of frequent frost injury to blossoms and occasional winter kill. Apricots have been grown commercially with limited success around Malad in southeastern Idaho and the crop does well in most parts of southwestern Idaho and around Lewiston.

Apricots are generally self-fruitful, but most experts recommend planting two varieties close together to ensure good fruit set. Varieties are commonly grafted onto apricot or ‘Lovell’ peach seedling rootstocks. The trees grow to about 20 feet tall and should bear their first crop in three to four years. Plant on well drained, light to medium-textured soil that is neutral to slightly acidic. Place the trees on slopes away from frost pockets.

 August 3, 2012