I am so excited- the orchard is in!
One of the things I love about my husband is that when he sets his mind to do something, he does it. I was only mildly surprised that the other morning when he was ready to do the orchard, we headed to the nursery first thing in the morning and by noon, all the trees had been planted. Bada-bing, bada-boom. Done.
Hardy Chicago Fig
Arctic Glow Nectarine
Harrow Delight Pear
Honey Crisp Apple
Santa Rosa Plum
The space behind our vegetable garden was a perfect place for the orchard (we hope). It’s located on a south facing slope that gets the first morning sun and had deep, well-drained soil. We made sure to use gopher baskets because these gophers aren’t shy!
My husband built a fence around it with deer netting and barbed wire, and one side of it is bordered by the chicken run. We had a hungry bear come through here the year before last that pushed down our old garden fence, so here’s to hoping the barbed wire will deter any more that come along. He also built a gate from the chicken run into the orchard so that the chickens can have access. They had already eaten all of the greens in the run and the center vegetable garden. Who knew ten chickens could eat so much?
Most of the trees are self-fertile (except for the pear trees) but fruit trees do better overall when there is another variety of tree to cross pollinate. We only put in one plum, because I don’t really want too many, and there was a mix-up at the nursery so we have three pear trees. I call that a happy accident.
We will be removing any fruits that try to grow this year to encourage the trees to develop their root systems. The nursery told us we might have a small crop the following year, and that the crops should increase in size after that. It’s going to be a long wait!
Here is what we can expect to harvest and when:
There is room for a few more trees, and I’d like to find some early season apples to put in. And we’re going to do some nut trees next year when the bare-root trees are available again at the nursery