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Natural thinning

Baby peach

Breaking off tomato suckerThis is the time of year when I usually thin tree fruits so the full-size apples and peaches won't touch each other.  Thinning prevents disease, results in larger fruits, keeps limbs from breaking, and bypasses biennial-fruiting.

But in a year like this one, there's a grand total of only about a dozen baby fruits on all of our trees.  So instead of taking fruits away, I'm using my thinning energy to tell the trees to hang onto the few fruits they have left!  (No, this doesn't actually have any effect on the tree, but it makes me feel better.)

While you're in the garden thinning (if you need to), don't forget to pluck tomato suckers, to start summer pruning and training fruit trees, to break off strawberry runners, and to keep an eye out for the first insect infestations.  I saw the first cabbage white butterfly over the weekend, so bug patrol will begin this week.

Baby apple

(Here's a bonus baby apple photo.  When you've only got a few of them, they all seem to deserve baby pictures!)

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