Happy Spring – it’s Planting Time!

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Parlee Farms Apple Trellis System

Finally, the growing season is underway at Parlee Farms! We are so excited to be getting ready for our 32nd season of growing. Our field crew did a phenomenal job this winter hand pruning 19 acres of apples, 10 acres of blueberries, and almost 5 acres of peaches, nectarines and cherries.

Pruning is critical to having healthy trees that can produce a good crop. It seems like the crop is being reduced by pruning off so many branches, but in pruning a tree or bush correctly, you allow more sunlight and air circulation into the tree. Good pruning also results in larger fruit this year and a good return crop for next year.

Once the weather started to cooperate, Farmer Mark and the crew began planting 19,000 strawberry plants. About half of these plants will produce fruit later this summer for our fall crop of strawberries. The remainder of the strawberries are “June bearers” which will be ready for picking in June 2020. As for the strawberries for picking this June, the hay was removed from them in late March and they came through the winter looking great. We estimate that they will be ready for picking in mid-June.   We will keep you posted!

Newly Planted Corn under Row Cover at Parlee Farms

The next major planting was 2,000 apple trees, including more Honey Crisp and a new variety for us, Ambrosia from Western Canada.   After the trees were planted, the trellising system of posts and wires was built to support and guide their growth.  The rows were then seeded with grass.

These apple trees were ordered two years ago, it will be two more years before we begin to allow fruit to be set on them, and three more years after that until we consider them to be in full production. It takes planning and patience to produce those delicious apples!

When we do open later on this month, we will have also planted 10 acres of sweet corn, 13 acres of pumpkins and three acres of flowers. Spring is a busy time of year at the farm!

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This post was written by Parlee Farms