Monday, April 20, 2009
The Beginnings of an Orchard
We decided on a different spot for our orchard. Instead of being in a grassy area that had dead trees, it's going on a slope that was an alfalfa field. It was at the suggestion of the person who hays that field, so it was an acceptable section to take. It will make the trees very visible to our house, which will be lovely when they flower. It will also soften the look of our house and yard to have a collection of small trees on a side of the house that was bare. And it was a spot we could get to work on right now.
My husband spent a muscle-punishing day digging large holes in hard, dry clay. I helped him plant the trees in the holes and fill the holes with rich, loose black dirt mixed with well-rotted cow manure. We got our first batch of trees so early that we couldn't plant them at first (darn Gurney's). Then we heeled them in to try to keep them alive until we had our site prepared. Now we hold our breath until we see if they survived. At least our apple trees haven't arrived yet, so they'll have better odds.
This one is a cherry tree:
Some of them look like sticks (I think this is a pear):
But we planted bare-root sticks before at our old house, and they did grow:
Even the largest tree you see in that last picture was a tiny, limbless stick when we got it, just like the pear tree above.