jmc1987 wrote: So here comes little ol' me, the newbie at home fruit tree grower again, lol. ;)
This post concerns my Dwarf "5 in 1" fruit cocktail tree, basically all stone fruit type varieties grafted onto one dwarf stock.
I will say that this thing did pretty great towards the start of the year (in the first photo). Although i only had 2 grafts to take, the others remained dormant.
Growth continued to progress well as summer pressed on. (in the second photo). as you can see i planted it in the middle of my small garden bed, where there's a little bit of everything growing. That corn is on the northern side of the tree, so no light blockage. I circled the tree to help you pick it out since everything is so green. :) Although i will be moving my entire garden in the spring to another location and just leave the peach tree where it is, so that will give it more room later on.
THEN we went into a really wet part of the year, where it rained, and rained, and rained some more (did i mention it rained a lot?). and im sure that this is where the problems started. I began noticing a thin sooty type of covering on the smaller graft (appears to be peach maybe), and little black speckles all over, reminds me of ground black pepper flakes. It seems to be easily wiped off, but only to come back slowly over time. (the third photo). Now that i think of it this same stuff was on the underside of my watermelons where they were sitting on the ground.
After the freakish monsoon season, we went into a crazy hot and dry spell, and that lead to spider mites infesting the darned tree, of course by the time i discovered it the damage had been done, i did give it a dose of horticultural soap anyways, it seemed to wipe the mites out at least. a few days ago we had a really heavy thunderstorm to come through, i mean REALLY heavy rain and huge rain drops. and that lead to the defoliation of quite a good portion of the leaves (the last photo).
So now that i have revealed how novice i am at this (and how long winded i am, lol), i would love some advice from you guys about how to keep this from happening again next year. Im pretty sure that the stress it went through this year will set my wait time until fruiting back by a couple years.