Dreaming and planning for the spring comes easy when you are sitting in your easy chair in front of the fire.

We’ve had plenty of cold, snowy winter days this year!  Some of you might have been cooped up in the house during the blizzards.  In Michigan, we were hit pretty hard!

When Grandpa works outside in the cold all day long and comes into the warm house, he never has a chance to do much thinking. After a good dinner from Grandma, and maybe a beer or two, he’s snoozing in his easy chair. No chance to do any planning for the spring.

But, don’t let his problem stop you. Most of the gardening magazines are all focusing on spring planning and planting. Take the time to browse through them and get new ideas and learn about new varieties of fruit and vegetables. Winter is a good time to look back on last year. Make a list of what you did right and wrong last year, and how successful your orchard was. Was your crop too thin or too heavy? Did the trees grow well, or were they too vigorous from over-fertilizing and/or over-trimming, or conversely not vigorous enough from under-fertilizing and/or under pruning. Did you go fishing, when you should have sprayed for scab?

Look back and make a list of things you did right and wrong, and use it to plan ahead for this spring. Everyone makes a fruit growing mistake now and then, but it’s the real dumb (and broke) fruit grower who keeps making the same mistakes over and over!