The Making of an Orchard

Finally, all of the snow has melted on the road and accessing the homestead is no longer a hazardous journey. I have been getting ready for spring by doing outside yard work as well as prepping for the finishing work inside my soon to be home sweet home! Luke and I spent last weekend cleaning up the property and planting several more fruit trees. We also went ahead and pruned  the established fruit trees.

The growing orchard included a new granny smith apple, two pluot trees (a delicious apricot plum cross) as well as two more peach trees. We found perfect homes for all of the trees so that they are near their pollinators and receive enough sunlight for optimal growth. These 5 new trees are joining the current plum, two apricots, two cherry and two honey crisp apple trees. After all of the trees were planted we placed fertilizer steaks along all of the trees drip lines and then planted iris’ around the new trees and closed off the flower beds with rocks.

Then Luke and I went to town with the pruners trimming out the dead growth and opening up some of the current fruit trees canopies. We also removed any of the small or poor angled branches that could break this coming year when fruit begins to weigh them down. The idea is to keep the trees healthy and happy for optimum production. I also plan to pinch some of the buds as they come in so the tree can focus on growing larger fruit instead of numerous small ones like I had seen last season. It has obviously been many years since those trees had been taken care of.

pluot flowerbed

After the new trees were planted we went ahead and cleaned up some of the old flower beds around the property. There was plenty of old vegetation concealing new growth. I also planted some discounted tulip and hyacinth bulbs that were already in full bloom around the chicken coop as well as driveway. Luke thinks they are boring since they are all just plain white but as they propagate I will divide them and mix them up along the other flower beds. This property will offer plenty of never ending projects to keep me out of trouble, that is for sure! Chicken coup flower beds

If you remember this last winter I used a pick ax to dig into the frozen earth and plant daffodils and other bulbs for this spring. I am happy to announce some of them are already making an appearance by the outhouse and in front of the chicken coup! Those bulbs will be a mix of daffodils and blue and pink hyacinth. I can not wait to watch everything start to bloom, as the saying goes April showers bring the May flowers. I am already seeing the proof after almost ten days of spring rains. We expect our bees to arrive this coming weekend (they were delayed due to the rain) and I know they will appreciate the new growth and nectar flows. I do expect to have to supplement their feeding though as the flowers are growing at an agonizingly slow pace.

tack-shed-flower-bed.jpg

After much raking and pulling up plenty of dead plant matter I finally finished all the flower beds I could tackle for the weekend. I went ahead and used some weed killer for the walking trails as grass was beginning to sprout and last year it was taking over the driveway and walk ways; I want to get a jump start on it this year. So anyway I know it doesn’t look like much as it was mostly spring cleaning but later this Spring I will share plenty of beautiful photos! Below is Ares in front of some sprouting daffodils. Isn’t he handsome? daffodils and Ares.jpg

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