Thursday, April 10, 2008

Fruits for our Labors

Yesterday's project du jour was to add six new fruit trees to our garden area. If all goes well, in another couple of years we will be harvesting home grown peaches and apples from these trees. We purchased 3 each of peaches and apples, making sure to purchase varieties that pollinate each other by producing blooms at the same time in the spring.

In our garden area, we decided to locate the new trees along the northern edge of the garden area. That way when the trees get bigger, they will not be shading the garden beds. In this picture, the end of the white fence at the far left is the northeast corner of our property. We planned the row of fruit trees to run just inside the northern edge of our property on a line that runs east-to-west.

For each tree we dug a deep enough hole so that we could fill the bottom with well rotted mule manure and then a shallow layer of dirt. On top of that we set the root ball so that the graft line of the tree was going to be about 3 inches above ground level. Once the height was adjusted properly, dirt was filled in around the root ball.

Once the trees were set in place, a layer of mulch was placed around the tree base and ridged up around the perimeter to form a bowl shape. This will help retain and direct water towards the tree base. This shot is looking due north.

This shot is taken from the western edge of the property and looking due east. Around the perimeter of the tree row we put up temporary deer fencing to discourage them from browsing our brand new trees. The deer fencing uses extra long metal T-posts around the perimeter with electric polytape at four different heights from top to bottom. We have portable charger hooked up to charge the lines in excess of 5,000 volts. Hopefully that will discourage the deer from further investigating what is beyond the fence wires. On the list of near term farm projects is permanent deer fencing around the entire perimeter of the garden area, so hopefully this temporary deer fencing will keep them at bay until the permanent fencing is complete.

This shot is looking to the west up the line of newly planted fruit trees. From east-to-west, or front-to-back as you look at this picture are a Fuji, Gala, and Granny Smith apple tree, followed by two Elberta and a Hale-haven peach tree. From the time we got the trees home to the completion of the project was about 4 hours of planting and fence construction time with two people.

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