Grow Together Tuesday

This post is part of a seasonal community sharing series, Grow Together Tuesday. You’ll find posts from myself, and award winning gardener Monika Thiessen, of Prairie Girl Pottery.  I love seeing what others are doing in their gardens, and since most of us aren’t neighbors, let’s peek over each other’s virtual fences, be inspired, and learn from one another!  Post a link to your weekly garden notes, updates, photos, and more in the comments – any time this week!

 

Summer Pruning
Monika Thiessen

After what started out as beautifully hot growing weather following intense rains it suddenly cooled off again. Thankfully the possibility of hail didn’t touch us, hopefully your gardens were spared too. The hot weather really did get things growing though, some a little too much! Our young cherry trees were starting to block our sidewalk along the side of our house and I thought it was only going . I don’t have much pruning experience and I didn’t want to damage the trees, so a little research was in order.

crazy nanking growth

 

Pruning back the cherry tree

Apparently you can trim back up to 25% of new growth from stone fruits (it differs somewhat depending on what you’re working on) during the summer without harming the tree. This pruning encourages the tree to put more energy into its fruit and slow down its (branch) growth. Perfect!

Cherry pruning

So I trimmed back our Romance Series Cherries, one of our Nanking Cherries and our little plum tree.

sidewalk

We can now walk down our sidewalk without brushing past all those young, whippy, cherry branches.

Perhaps it’s just that time of year, but I think all that trimming helped with ripening 🙂

ripe nanking cherries!

Mike did a great job of trimming the tomato plants last year, so I left that job to the pro. You want to make sure you cut out the middle growth to encourage good fruit growth.

IMG_3302

Before pruning

tomato prune 2 tomato pruning  tomatoes

As far as grapes go, this is a good time of year to expose the bunches to some sunlight. This is as simple as tearing a couple of leaves around the bunches off. You want to leave a little coverage so they don’t get baked by the sun, but you want to remove enough to allow for good air circulation. If you see the little extra tendrils with grapes, cut those off too so the main bunch will get bigger and sweeter. Mike and I spent a season on a little family owned vineyard in New Zealand years ago…I don’t think there’s a better place to learn.

grapes

And just because I’m excited for fresh, garden zucchini and bergamot blooms, I had to throw in a couple of extra photos.

zucchinibergamot blooms

 

Monika Head Shot
Monika Thiessen is a potter, permaculture designer, urban homesteader and all around prairie plant girl. She’s happiest with the sun on her back and her hands in the soil.  To check out Monika’s pottery, visit Prairie Girl Pottery

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