Saturday, 6 February 2016

I'm worried.



It's only the first week in February, and our beautiful weather has already brought the Plum trees into flower.

I live in an area where frosts can destroy fruit crops right up until mid May. Four months of keeping fingers crossed, and praying to St Fiacre. 

We judge our frost period by Les Saints de Glace; the risk of being caught by frost continues up until the 11th (St Mamert), 12th (St Pancrace), and 13th (St Servais) of May.

No wise gardener would plant-out anything in his garden until this risk is over. I usually ignore this rule, and all has been fine in recent years, although I have had everything nipped off several times in the past.

So, with my plums already in flower, I am beginning to fear for my crop later in the year.



30 comments:

  1. It will be a terrible shame if you lose your plums. We've had such an abnormally warm winter here that I've heard that the peach crop might be endangered. Apparently the trees need a certain number of below freezing days each winter. I'm going to be sad if there are no peaches this year. They're my favorite summer fruit.

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    Replies
    1. The problem is that you have to wait another whole year before you have another chance of fruit. It's a long time to wait.

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  2. We all seem to be commenting on the abnormal weather conditions. It's been mild here in Spain, during the day, but the lack of any appreciable rain is a problem, as we live on the borders of one of the main fruit growing areas.

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    1. We're promised about a week's rain next week.... just when I have guests arriving.

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  3. It's unusually mild in the UK. The heating companies must be wringing their hands. It's going to be an uncolourful spring with the plants so confused.

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    Replies
    1. Our Daffs are still not flowering, but I suspect they won't be long.

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    2. Our daffs are just starting to come out in the garden.

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  4. Same here Cro....
    We haven't any fruit blossom out...yet...but the ground is totally unworkable..... still....and we cannot get anything into the ground.
    And we've only got snowdrops and some non-native grape hyacinths out at the moment...but there was a pipistrelle out hunting a couple of days back...and lizards sunning themselves on the wall....and one of the big black carpenter bees buzzing along the wall looking at suitable nest holes....
    all way too early!!
    As you say...
    Worrying!!

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    Replies
    1. Yes, we've had lizards, and snowdrops too, but I haven't seen any bats or big bees yet. Beautiful sunny day again today.

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  5. When the farmer came in yesterday for his lunch he informed me that the plum blossom was out on our plum tree. So yes, same here Cro - but sadly we can't do much about it short of going out every night and covering it with a blanket.

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    Replies
    1. A wish and a prayer I think, Weave.

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  6. Seems far too early for blossom. I shall be so disappointed if I don't get my peaches, plums and cherries this year.

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    Replies
    1. I think it can go down to about -5C before we really have to worry, and we haven't seen that yet. Keep rubbing your lucky rabbit's foot.

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    2. It wasn't lucky for the rabbit!

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  7. It was warm here till the beginning of January and all of a sudden, our spring trees started to blossom with leaves and flowers. The news person that I was watching told us not to worry, the trees would bloom again in the spring. I choose to believe her, but I never gave thought to the fruit. I only have decorative trees, but look forward to getting fresh fruit from my local Farmer's Market and hope that the price will not be affected by that burst of spring we had in December.

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    Replies
    1. Maybe certain trees repair themselves. I know that whatever nature throws at our grape vines and figs, they always fruit.

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    2. We can't plant here earlier than mid April and even that is a crap shoot, yet, yesterday, my blueberry buds are swelling and the elm tree buds are covering the trees in a rust color. I say Yay!

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  8. I see also France, like Italy, go by Saints.
    There is a beautiful mimosa tree, in our condominium garden, which blossoms in March. I noticed today that the tree is already in bloom. I don't think mimosa flowers suffer frost bite though, so I think that's a different story to plum trees blossoming at this time of year. Greetings Maria x

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    Replies
    1. We do love our Ice Saints. Mimosa is beautiful, my neighbours had one, but it seems to have disappeared.

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  9. Oh, but what a joyful photo to see compared to the utterly miserable view of wind and rain seen from my windows. Not a glimpse of blossom on any of our fruit trees, they are having all on just to hang on to their branches!

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    Replies
    1. Lovely day again today; sunshine and 18C, with quite strong breeze.

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    2. It's exactly the same here, Cro.

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  10. I'll keep my fingers crossed for your trees Cro. It would be a shame to lose your crop for the year.

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    Replies
    1. All we can do is hope. We have several different varieties of plum, so at least one should be OK.

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  11. Will there be any bees about to pollinate these early flowering trees etc.?

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    Replies
    1. Gosh; I do hope so. I'll have to have a look.

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  12. St Fiacre, right. Patron saint of gardeners, (as well as cab-drivers and florists), thank you Google. My neighbour's plum tree is loaded with delicious ripe fruit at the moment and I have been the lucky recipient of many of them. The summer here this year is scorching, hottest in years and no sign of cooling down.

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    Replies
    1. 25C is my perfect temperature; too much above that and I start to melt. You'll have to put extra ice in your G and T's.

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  13. Oddly way up north on the Outer Hebrides we are having a similar problem although not relating to food crops of course. The winter has been very mild though very very wet and when I left plants were well ahead of usual.

    As for praying Cro you just hadn't struck me as the praying type.

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