I have a dozen fruit trees in an area where we tend to have late frosts. There is commercial fruit production with in 10 miles of here, but not right here. We are at 2700 ft elevation (Nampa ID). Pollination seems to be the main problem here, in that we can have some cold, windy weather when the trees are in bloom. This year I bought some Mason bees (aka blue orchard bees) in hopes of doing a little better. Has anyone had any experience with them, and is there some "must-do" practice involved with using them?
The other question(s) involves grapes and sugar content. Last year I let too much fruit hang and the grapes didn't taste as sweet, and didn't have the varietal flavor. I also didn't fertilize because I always get a terrific amount of vegetative growth with shoots sometimes running 20 ft in a single season, and I thought I'd slow em down a little.The questions are, are sugar content and flavor necessarily inversly proportional to yield? and as an aside, would using more P and K fertilizer and just holding the N have improved the sugar while restraining the vegetative growth? Any suggestions for a general fertilizer mixture for grapes and fruit? Would 10-20-20 be better than 16-16-16? I know I know, that was a lot more than 2 questions! Thank You!