January 17, 2012
During the winter stone fruit trees are not blossoming and robust with juicy treasures. And while I wouldn’t trade the summer bounty for this colder season, I do love the sculptural look of the naked branches.
Most stone fruit trees produce fruit on new branches that have grown the previous year, thus the importance of pruning back your beloved peaches/plumbs/nectarine trees. If you neglect to prune, you will have an unwieldy and tall tree— too big to pick from and it generally won’t produce as much fruit. I experienced this sad story first hand, when a couple years back we accidentally missed pruning season and my plum tarts suffered. If you have a gardener helping you with your landscape, be sure to check-in about trimming back those stone fruit branches now to maximize your summer yield.
This year, I am excited for pruning season because I want to try out using the branches for trellises in the vegetable garden. I’m sounding a little too Martha right now, I know—but stick with me. When shopping for trellises I tend to love those that are natural and organic looking, really gorgeous and ridiculously expensive. So, I thought I would make my own this year from the pruned branches of my stone fruit trees and twine. I didn’t think of this organic chic idea myself, the credit goes to my friend who is the executive director at the Casa del Herrero Estate, who built these resourceful trellises in their beautiful and historical garden. I’ve reserved my longest branches from our recent pruning, stored high on a shelf in the garage to dry out. When summer planting comes along in mid-March, the plan it to use them in a teepee form and secure with garden twine in my garden. Wish me luck!