Tuesday, March 7, 2017

FRUIT TREES PLANTED IN RAISED BED ORCHARD

Saturday my only goal was to get the fruit trees in their raised beds...


...but as you can see, I was fighting against the elements.  This was the sky when I first got there.  A race against time, ha.  


The first thing I noticed, and should have remembered would happen, was that the soil I put in over the last few weekends had settled.  But no problem, I had a plan.  I started by turning the soil and digging a bit of a hole.


Then I pulled each tree out of the plastic container it had been in and fluffed up the roots.  I set the root ball down into the hole.  This is where I had to improvise a plan.  Because of the settling of the soil, I did not plant the trees all the way down to the ground level underneath the raised bed because it would put the graft line of the tree below the current soil line and the sides of the bed.  So I had to kneel down and look to see that the graft would be as close as possible to above the eventual soil level.


Then I mounded up the soil around it, pulling soil from the sides of the bed.  It's hard to tell in this photo but the soil mound in the middle is as high as the sides...now I'll just have to add soil around each tree, level it off and the bed will be full again, giving the roots as much room as possible to "do their thing".


Raised bed with fruit tree
I got them all planted in between light rain showers. Lastly, I put some screws on each side to be able to temporarily tie them off so they don't blow over in any storms this week when the soil is not as full as it should be.  I need to find a more permanent way to do this that is safer for the tree
(don't want the twine to dig into the bark).  

Any suggestions?

Raised beds with fruit trees
This was the best picture I could get of them before the rain hit, not to mention, an overcast day never lets you take the best pictures.

We now have eight fruit trees:

Two Apple - Dorsett Golden and Ein Shemer
Two Peach - Florida King and Rio Grande 
Two Plum - Bruce and Methley
Two Pear - Kieffer and Orient


It was raining pretty steadily and I had to get to the car to get the camera and other items put up so they wouldn't get wet.  Then I packed up and left for the day.  I wanted to do some other things in the garden as well, but really my only goal was the orchard.  

It's funny, we feel weird calling it an "orchard", but we figure that's the best way to refer to it when identifying something by location on the property.  

Now we wait...


27 comments:

  1. Your fruit tree garden / orchard is going to be great in a few years.
    Link on what materials to use in staking trees.
    http://www.myminnesotawoods.umn.edu/2008/12/staking-and-guying-trees-best-materials-and-technique/

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    1. using old garden hose that may at one time got run over by a mower also works great for staked trees. Old rags cut into strips, ladies panty hose if you know of someone who wears them now days; old tire tubes. Anything that is smooth and won't cut into the bark of the tree.

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    2. Thanks for the link and the ideas! We have an old hose that I ran over with the mower (does that happen to everyone? Ha). Thanks!!!

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  2. Looks great! We use wire with rubber on it to stake with. We then run a few inches (about 6 or 7) of plastic tubing through the wire, where it will wrap around the tree.

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    1. Awesome!!! Thanks for this! I only did the twine as a temp fix since storms were coming this week and the soil wasn't as high as I had hoped. This is a great idea.

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  3. I second the old rubber hose suggestion. All you need is a 1' section of hose - which is the part that goes around the tree - and you run the twine through the hose and stake it to the ground. In addition, the hose/twine would be less likely to damage the tree and would provide better support if it were further down, perhaps 12" from the 1st set of branches, and run parallel to the ground, attached to a stake.

    I would also suggest not staking it too tightly as you want the tree to be able to sway a bit in the breeze in order to develop it's strength, otherwise it will be weak once the stakes are removed and more susceptible to damage.

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    1. Thank you, we have some old hose I can use. Great info about staking it tightly, I didn't realize that. Will make adjustments soon!!! Thanks again!

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  4. You did good dear. Remember, the first year after planting to water often, especially in a raised bed. After the first year, you don't have to water as much. You can cut of a 12" or so piece of an old water hose and thread the tie through so nothing will cut into the bark. We had a lulu of a storm last night, but we really needed it.

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    1. Thanks for this!! Great info. I will remember that about watering. And I love that everyone mentions the old water hose, I have one and will absolutely do that!

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  5. Looking good. And I am so envious of your rain.

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    1. I wish I could send some your way. I'll do a rain dance for you!!! And don't be too envious yet, we'll have monsoons soon and then too much rain. If we could just spread it around...

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  6. The trees can have too much support, so the suggestion of not so tight and not tied too high are exactly right. My friend said she and a neighbor planted identical trees. He kept his tied too tightly and for too long. The tree never could stand on its own. It also never thrived and was much smaller, not a usual disparity in size that can occur with two trees.

    With the chance you might call it hoarding, do not throw away at least one hose. Once, I had a guy stop and rescue a hose in someone's trash. It is the only hose I ever brought home and it has been chopped up for use around the yard. Unfortunately, my hose bought 25 years ago won't die! Well, someone left it with a kink for a summer causing a leak. However, I got one of those hose repair kits and solved that problem.

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    1. Thank you for this info. I never knew that about trees being too tight or too loose. The only reason I did this like this now was because of the lesser soil and some storms we had this week but, weather permitting, I'll get some more soil this weekend and loosen them up. And use hose. I have an old hose I ran over with the mower and 2nd Man is always saying I should throw it away. Now I'm vindicated!! Ha. Thanks!!!

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  7. yep...old hose is the way to go. it's what i use!

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    1. Old hose? Garden hose or pantyhose? LOL!

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  8. Orchard has a nice ring to it!!! Our garden is a real mess, we have three identical plumtrees, four apple trees, one pear tree, one cherry tree that the ants totally devoured and one that I forgot the name on. None of these trees get properly pruned, we rent the house and our landlord wants to do that important cutting himself. Only he has at least four other properties and a forest so the last real good pruning was 11 years ago... so we will soon have a canopy over our little haven. I agree with your friends here, not too tight and lots of water. Water doesn't seem to be a problem right now, huh?? Good luck with the orchard!!!!

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    1. Thanks!~. Sorry about your trees. That is too bad the landlord doesn't just let you take care of them as needed. If he's not taking care of them it would make sense to let you do it. Sigh. Maybe you'll get a bit of fruit here and there. Thank you for the kind words, fingers crossed!

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  9. PANTYHOSE will tie those trees up nicely without digging into the bark!! They're soft, easy to work with, have a little 'give' & eventually degrade over time unless you cut them off. Panyhose also ties up tomatoes nicely too.

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    1. Thanks, I will ask the ladies I work with. Wouldn't hurt to have some for anything in the garden, right? Thank you!!!

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  10. Companion planting is really good for trees and helps the soil from drying out, especially with raised beds. We planted lemongrass and chamomile all around the base of our apple trees, garlic and basil are great under our peach tree, lavendar, thyme and rosemary are under our plum trees. (great for keeping aphids and snails away).

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    1. WOW! I never thought about that. Do you think it could be done first year? Or would it be better the second year to let the roots of the trees take priority? I love that idea and I'll have to research what works best for each tree like you said. Actually, you mentioned apple, peach, and plum. I just need to see about pears! Thank you!

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  11. I'm very envious of your orchard! I would love to have fruit trees, but we can't even think of any permanent or perennial planting yet since we'll be moving in a few years! I hope you have lots of success!! I'm looking forward to seeing the progress!

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    1. Hi there!! Thank you for the kind words. Yeah, I would wait too, unless you want to give the next residents fruit, ha. Of course if it was a few years you might have a year or two of your own harvest? Thanks!!!

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  12. Looking good! They will make a reallly pretty view from your back windows.
    Where did you plant your citrus trees?

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    1. You know what we planned it we hoped it would be a nice view out the two bedroom (and bathroom) windows and it will be, it fit perfectly along the length of the house. Actually even the dining room window. Blossoms will be pretty.

      Haven't planted the citrus yet. Planning that next. I wasn't sure if we should wait and just keep them in container until next Fall. I'll have to build three more raised beds and bring in more soil. I think we might just keep them in large containers for now. SO much to do, ha.

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  13. Sections of old garden hose, slit lengthwise to slide in the wire or string works to protect the bark ... and can still be done after the fact.

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    1. Now THANK YOU for that, I didn't even think about that, that will save me from undoing all the twine. Thanks!!

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