It's February 2 -- Where are Your Buds?

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Eva's Pride Peach Tree In Bloom-Bird Back 40
My dearest friends and neighbors -- on this day -- the day of the WEED BOWL (aka "Stoner Bowl") -- I give you BUDS. Not just any buds mind you -- but real, actual, true BUDS. No -- this isn't some Bill Bird lunatic posting about Bud Light. Though that isn't a half bad idea, mind you. This is about BUDS.

But -- eh -- it may not be the type of buds that some people in the states of Washington and Colorado have become accustomed to purchasing lately.

Eva's Pride Peach in February Bloom
The buds I offer are a tad better in my fair opinion. Those buds -- pictured above -- are blooms from the Eva's Pride Peach tree -- part of a Dave Wilson Nursery Multi-budded classic. Why are these buds so special? What makes them so much better than the buds in Colorado or Washington?

They are unique in that they really shouldn't be here yet. It's a might too early for peach bud season in California -- and early for any other type of bud for that matter. But if there's one thing I've learned in my short experience of growing multiple fruit trees in the Bird Back 40, it's this: You can't tell a fruit tree what to do or when to bud. Because it's going to do it whether you like it or not.

Eva's Pride Peach-Courtesy Dave Wilson Nursery
I'd like to tell you that's Eva's Pride is an "early" peach. And that might be the truth. But, I've never tasted an Eva's Pride peach to be honest, and if these February buds actually result in true fruit formation, I'll probably be pulling most of them off. I prefer this tree focus on GROWTH this year rather than PRODUCTION. Why? Simple! Bill Bird is a GLUTTON for fresh, tree-ripened peaches. Bigger trees equal more peaches! That's just fine for a glutton like me.

The fine print tells me that Eva's Pride ripens a good three weeks before July Elberta, one of the finest tasting peaches on the planet. Since the July Elberta normally ripens toward the end of July and a bit into August, my thought is the Eva's Pride probably ripens in late June or early July. This is the normal ripening time for another variety that is growing in the Bird Back 40 -- and growing well mind you -- the June Pride.

Katy Apricot Early Bloom
This means -- one day -- Bill Bird and the wife that is Venus will celebrate a glut of peaches. Bring it on!

But as the wife that is Venus flitted about with the hummingbirds in the Bird Back 40 yesterday, she discovered that the Eva's Pride isn't the only fruit variety to be going through an early bloom stage. Nope, a close look at another Dave Wilson Multi-Studded (also known as "fruit cocktail) variety, revealed that the Katy Apricot is also unfurling blooms a tad early.

Again -- this is strange. Most fruit trees are in a deep slumber during this time of year, which is know as "bare root season." This is the best time to transplant fruit trees into your backyard, for a couple of reasons. First, area nurseries are STOCKED to the gills with every variety of fruit tree under the sun. Secondly, transplanting a fruit tree that is still technically celebrating a winter's nap is the best way to reduce or avoid transplant shock.

Bartlett Pear (Not in Bloom)
So -- to get blooms from one tree in February is rare indeed. Blooms from a second tree? This is somewhat worrisome. The calendar on the office wall tells me that winter ain't quite done yet. We haven't had nearly enough rain or snow yet to quench California's thirst -- nor are we out of frost danger just quite yet. A cold snap or heavy rain then could knock those blooms into next year. Know what that means? No peaches for you!

And that's a sad development to be sure.

So, this may be one reason why the wife that is Venus rose a tad early this morning to attend Catholic services. This is a special day for Catholics. For, on this day, they celebrate the feast of St. Blaise (pronounced: BLAZE).

Peach and apricot buds on a day when Catholics celebrate St. Blaise? On the day of the long awaited Weed Bowl? You can't make this stuff up, people.

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