Michael’s Apples Releases September 2012 Fruit Tree Care Newsletter


Bumper crops of fruit across northern Nevada are ripening. Honey harvest is in.

Here’s the newsletter:


The University of Nevada Cooperative Extension is again giving fall gardening seminars/classes. The Grow Your Own series schedule and registration info is attached. It will be available via video conference to many northern Nevada cooperative extension offices (see lower right, page 2). The eight (8) class series are Wednesdays from 6 to 8 pm and begin on September 5 through October 24. I’ll be teaching a class on September 26 on Pruning and Restoring Old and Neglected Fruit Trees.

On Sunday, September 30, 1:00 pm to 2:30 pm, I’ll be doing a pruning demonstration/class on some of the older trees at River School in Reno. Fall is the time of the year to prune older (>10 yrs), established apple and pear trees to manage height and crown volume. The class will be $20 per person in advance and $25 for walk-ins the day of the class. Send me an email to reserve and a check for $20 to Michael Janik, 901 Gordon Avenue, Reno, NV, 89509. You can also register and pay Monique at River School. We will limit the class to 15 people.

Although I had no pome or stone fruits this year in Paradise Valley, we have a good crop of Raspberries—Heritage and Autumn Bliss are our best producers so far.

I moved my bee hives to Paradise Valley this past spring. I put the hives in several locations on the local ranches where they had access to the natural hay meadows and riparian areas. The busy little bees made over 500 lbs of honey most of which is now bottled and for sale out of our house in Reno and PV. If you are interested, I have 1, 2, and 3 lb bottles for $8, $12, and $22 respectively. Give me a call 722-6303 and we can set a time for you to pick it up. We will also be at Winnemucca Community Garden’s farmers market on Sept 22 and at the Paradise Valley Fall Harvest fest on Oct 6.

Other sources of local honey are:

  • Dharma Honey at Reno Homebrewer
  • Hidden Valley Honey at Raleys
  • Joy Honey Ranch at farmers’ markets and at Rail City Garden Center.

Since it’s been a few years since we’ve had a good harvest in northern NV, we should remember few basic cultural practices. For anyone with apples and other fruit, remember, fruit that has lain on the ground or in the grass for more than 24 hours may contain bacteria in and on it. Windfall fruit is not safe to eat raw (especially for young children) or to make cider.

Unusable, fallen fruit should be picked up and disposed of as it may (will) contain the codling moth larvae. The best way to limit future codling moth damage is to remove fallen, damaged apples a soon as possible after they fall. So, rake up those fallen apples a couple of times a week and dispose of or compost them.

If you are looking for U-pick locally, Agape Organics in Washoe Valley will be starting their harvest season later in September. Al and Delane have several different varieties and their trees are on dwarf rootstocks and hence are kid friendly. Their schedule and information can be found at: http://www.agapeorganics.com.

For those of you who would like to taste many different varieties of apples and other fruits, you might want to plan a trip over the hill to Placerville or Sebastopol. The Sebastopol area has several orchards and roadside stands with Gravensteins (the area specialty) and several other varieties of apples. The Sebastopol crop ripens early but should still have apples now; try www.kozlowskifarms.com for more info. The town also hosts a cider maker www.acecider.com.

In September and October, join the crowd (hordes on weekends) at Apple Hillnear Placerville. Numerous orchards have pies, cider (fresh juice), lunches, and many varieties of apples. The larger places stand out, but try some of the smaller growers on the back roads. If you’re able to get away on a weekday, you will avoid the crowds, but Apple Hill is a worthwhile trip even on a Saturday or Sunday. For more info, go to www.applehill.com.

Check your soil moisture; cooler temperatures mean less evaporation and transpiration, so adjust watering time/volume accordingly.

For those readers who have lawns, fertilize in mid September to help grass promote root growth for the winter.

The rest of our garden is doing well. My hoop cover saved the tomatoes and peppers from the June freeze and I have a good crop this year; and thanks to the Nevada Gold compost, the pepper plants are 5’ tall and the tomato vines are up to the eaves of our house! If you need compost this fall, contact Dale at hildelowe@rtci.net.

Hope you are enjoying the good weather. Good harvest.

Michael                                                                                  revised 9/7/12