Friday, April 4, 2014

First mulberries of 2014!

My daughter made a discovery today - our first mulberries of the season!

Fresh-picked mulberries!

These are off our "Illinois Everbearing" tree. My pair of standard black mulberries still seem to be weeks away from ripening any fruit... and the Pakistan "long mulberry" is behind them.

This is good, since it means our complete mulberry season should last for months rather than weeks.

If you don't have a mulberry tree, I highly recommend you plant one. They're delicious, productive and easy-to-grow; plus they usually produce their first crop within a year of planting.

I'll post a full survival plant profile on the mulberry before too long. I'm waiting for the main harvest to come in so I can post photos of overflowing baskets and purple fingers.

Oh yeah.


At April 4, 2014 at 7:57 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Help! What do I do about squirrels getting the berries before I do?

At April 4, 2014 at 9:53 AM , Blogger David The Good said...

On its face, this is a simple question... but it's not usually a "one easy solution" query.

I've found the squirrel pressure is highest when you only have a couple of fruit trees. They seem to home in on them and strip everything. I had this happen back when I only had two peach trees. On the day before they were totally ripe the tree rats would take everything.

Since I've now added a wide variety of plants and trees to the yard, the squirrels aren't as big a deal. I'm sure they take some, but I haven't had them take too much from any given tree. If you have one tree surrounded by lawn, it seems to become a target... but if you have a bunch of trees together, they seem to be less so.

One option for direct control: set up a bird/squirrel feeder and keep it full. They'll find it and start eating there regularly. Once they're nice and fat and happy with their new eating establishment, start picking them off with a .22. Then you can eat the squirrels. And bake a mulberry pie for dessert.

At April 4, 2014 at 10:58 AM , Blogger Dr. Mom said...

Nice! My Mulberries are months away from producing!

At April 4, 2014 at 10:59 AM , Blogger David The Good said...

There's a reason I left TN... ;)

At April 4, 2014 at 2:10 PM , Blogger jean said...

I find your solution to be true. We find that with all the fruit trees around, when they produce together, the birds and rats are overwhelmed with too much food. So we end up with most of it anyway. Good idea with the full feeder. And uh, do squirrels taste good?

At April 4, 2014 at 9:19 PM , Blogger Mamma Bear said...

Here in NW Florida our weather was so screwed up. My Mulberry trees started leafing out and then another freeze hit. I don't see any life trying to start again. Probably no berries this year.

At April 4, 2014 at 9:43 PM , Blogger Unknown said...

In central Florida I have had a few mulberries a day from my everbearing for about 2 weeks. I just took a bunch of cuttings to make more trees because I absolutely love mulberries. Do you prune yours? Mine is right next to some blueberries so I prune the mulberry to keep it off the bluebrry and easy picking height.

At April 5, 2014 at 10:19 AM , Blogger David The Good said...

I started planting multiple varieties for that very reason... some are slow to leaf out, others spring in early. I hope you at least get something, though.

At April 5, 2014 at 10:19 AM , Blogger David The Good said...

I don't generally prune them, though if they get too tall I might. I've seen where a fellow chopped his all the way to the ground every three years to keep the berries harvestable.

At April 5, 2014 at 10:20 AM , Blogger David The Good said...

Heh. Squirrel is okay. Not great, but still a lot healthier than any of the US factory-farmed meat.

At April 5, 2014 at 6:54 PM , Blogger Unknown said...

I am more of a 'little off the top' pruner.

At April 5, 2014 at 7:21 PM , Blogger David The Good said...

Yes. If I prune, it's usually to clear out crossing branches or to encourage bushing out. I'm going to experiment with the mulberries at some point to see how small they can be kept... but for right now, I'm having too much fun watching the trees shoot for the sky.


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