Monday, May 11, 2009

Starting an Orchard

It was a lovely day last Thursday and I had the day off, so my goal was to plant some fruit trees for our future orchard. I envisioned the orchard on the sunny knoll on the southeast corner of our property - doing double duty as a future screen for the possible future high-traffic road. I believe that a couple apple trees may have once stood on this hill (Farmer?)so it seemed like the right spot.

I planted all semi-dwarf treees---a Kiefer pear, two varieties of cherries, a Mount Royal (self-pollinating) plum, one Honeycrisp Apple, one Redwell, one Honeygold, one Haralson and two Prairie Spy. The Prairie Spy were a real find--they are an older variety almost impossible to find, but one of my very favorite apples. I finally found a source via Craiglist in LaCrosse, WI, from a fellow who grafted them and the Redwell. They are only sticks about 3 feet tall now, but they only cost $5. I hope they catch up in a few years.

I was warned by John, the orchard expert at Sargents Garden Center where I am working, to watch out for deer nibbling them. I don't know if deer will be nearly as big a problem as our darn cows, who seem to be irresistably drawn to these trees and have devoured a few leaves.


Anonymous said...

So cool! I can't wait to see how it all turns out. Honeycrisp apples are on of my favorites!

Anonymous said...

Love the new look of your layout/background. I've heard of Northern Spy (from a midwesterner) but never Prairie Spy. My parents have a mini orchard (70 dwarf trees) in suburban Seattle. They battle coddling moth with pheremone traps and apple maggots with nylon "footies" (i.e. pantyhose). Do you guys have to watch out for those critters too? Good luck, orchards are the best! - Karen