Saturday, February 25, 2017

Planting Fruit Trees at the Homestead

Several weeks ago we picked up some fruit trees from a local nursery and produce shop. We bought 4 apples, two pears and a plum. We plan to get a few more apples and plums, some nectarines, and a cherry or two.

Ideally we would have planted these earlier in the winter, but since the livestock fence on our property was just recently constructed we wanted to wait until it was complete to plant the fruit trees and keep them safe from trampling.

Now the fence is up and we are ready to begin planting our home orchard!  Previously on this blog I discussed choosing which fruit trees we wanted to plant in our home orchard, and you can read about that here.  We are trying to purchase our fruit from local sources as much as possible. I feel like they will be better suited and adapted to our climate that way.....and I really just like supporting local businesses :)

Here is a homestead site plant that I sketched out last year showing where the orchard will be:

Last weekend while my husband's family was here we planted the first of the trees into the ground, in a spot that receives full sun and is slightly sloping to the south.

We planted the trees in two rows spaced 20 feet apart and followed the recommendations for planting for our area according to our local university's home orchard planting advice.

To summarize, we dug a hole twice the size of the root ball or root stock, in order that the grafting intersection at the bottom of the tree would sit up about 2 inches above the soil line. Then we put a little bit of bone meal into the soil along with rocks for drainage and we surrounded the root of the tree with topsoil once it was placed in the hole. We covered the top of the root with topsoil and made sure it was well-watered.

Next we will make sure to water them regularly and then we will stake the trees, prune, and cover the base of the trees with mulch.

The house is progressing quickly! We have the foundation footings dug and poured (shown in the picture below) and now the foundation is really starting to take shape.

The masons have even faced one entire side of the foundation with our brick we picked out. Can't wait to share some updated photos with you soon!

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