My little orchard is really starting to thrive, but when you have six mature apple trees, there is a lot of thinning involved in the spring!
My dear departed friend, Steve Smith, who was an expert on all things apple tree, told me that I should thin the apples to no more than ONE every five inches. Yikes, I have a big job ahead of me, as that involves removing about 95% of all the blossoms.
I found the perfect tool for removing blossoms/baby apples - the tiniest Fiskar scissors are perfect for the task. They are very sharp and I can work with precision. I used to pinch them off, and my thumbs would be sore for days. I have about 10 hours into my thinning program and am pretty much done - once again, hoping that I have thinned them too severely. I worry about that every year, but always have a huge apple crop, so it's getting easier.
Ron helped me pressure wash all the decks, which were a combination of green and brown after a very wet winter.
When we built the house, we tight-lined the gutters under the front slab and into a French drain. However, we left way too many trees so the tree debris plugged up the drain, and our gutters were overflowing every time it rained no matter how many times Ron cleaned them. So he decided to make an open ditch from the porch down the hill away from the house. That looked so awful that we decided to tight-line it and cover it.
So both drain pipes are tight-lined, the yard is a muddy mess, but the problem with overflowing gutters should be solved.
In the meantime, my greenhouse is flourishing - I have really nice looking tomato plants, pumpkin and squash that are ready to go into the main garden, and all kinds of flowers growing. In spite of another wet month, the corn, beans, onions, carrots, kohlrabi, peas, and potatoes are all up and growing in the main garden area.