Tuesday, March 21, 2017

RAISED BED ORCHARD

I was able to work this weekend and get the initial finishing touches on them.  We are very happy with how they came out.

Backyard raised bed orchard
Here they are, freshly mowed and edged around.  Don't they look neat and tidy?  The mowing was so easy, I planned it so that the mower fits easily between them all with just a couple of passes.  The best part is, since they are 12" tall, it turns out that is just the right height to keep out the grass clippings as I mow around them.  That's what I call a win win!

Fruit trees in raised beds
They also have their soil topped off.  I brought out eight more bags, 2 cu ft each, of raised bed soil, one bag for each bed.  

I put some slack in the twine as well but we are thinking of removing it completely next weekend.  We don't think it's needed,  With all the soil in place, the trees are pretty firm and not in danger of tipping over. 

We'd like to do some companion planting in them but from what I've read, it seems like we should let them spread their roots and develop that without competing for soil space right now.  Need to read up some more on that.

Mini raised bed orchard
Here is an angle I don't think I've posted before.  This is from the other side of the yard looking back toward where I stood to take the other two pictures at the top of this post.  We have eight fruit trees, 2 varieties each of apple, pear, peach and plum.  It's SUCH a relief now that it's all done to see them looking like we imagined they would when we planned it all out almost two years ago!

And now...we wait...


22 comments:

jaz@octoberfarm said...

this is very exciting and they look great!

Colleen said...

Neat and tidy and looking GR-R-R-EAT

Anonymous said...

Check with your County Extension agent, but I would leave on the twine for a year, so that the trees don't rock back and forth in high winds, which can damage their newly developing root systems. You can get tree staking systems at box stores, or make our own by cutting old hoses to loop around the tree trunk, and then running ropes through the hoses as guy "wires." The wider hoses will have less of a tendency to cut into new bark than the twine. Thinking of the upcoming hurricane season...

donna baker said...

Do you hire out?

MargaretP said...

Well done they look wonderful, could your climate grow Lemons and Avocados? They are always very handy to have for a good supply .

Elephant's Child said...

They are looking great. Like Anon above I would leave their ties for a while. They are in soft ground at the moment and prone to shift in winds.

Practical Parsimony said...

Agreed, leave them tied right now. I had a tree that fell over after a year. I finally tied it to the fence, shored it up. In the end as it lay on the ground, perfectly content to grow horizontal, I had someone cut it down!

becky jean said...

Wow, you did something that looks magazine worthy, ha. Looking nice. Can't wait to see it grow.

Texas Rose said...

These look great! You did a lot of work and it's all going to bear fruit in a few years. So much fun to go out in your yard and pick your own fruit! Are you going to plant a Meyer lemon in the future?

ladyhawthorne said...

I have been reading up on fruit trees as I want to try some espalier trees. I've lost 2 peach trees to borers. Everything I have read says to plant either onions, garlic, or chives beneath stone fruit trees like peaches or plums to help keep the borers away. I'll be trying it out!

1st Man said...

Thank you! We're very excited. We hope the hard labor part is over and now we just watch and prune and care for them. Then hopefully the next manual labor is picking fruit in a few years. :-)

1st Man said...

Thank you!!!!!!!

1st Man said...

You know, I didn't think of that, we do have some windstorms. It might make sense for a year or so until those roots ARE established. Thanks! I was going to say in the post but forgot, we tried the rubber garden hose idea but the trees are too skinny for that to work. We need a different, smaller type of hose for now.

1st Man said...

LOL! You are too kind. Hey, I barely had it in me to do it once, ha.

1st Man said...

Yes, we can grow them (though they have to be protected in the Winter). And we do have a lemon, a lime and an orange (a satsuma orange they grow better here). I have to build their beds and get them in the ground and going to try to get to that soon. If it gets too late, we may just keep them in a container until next Fall or next Spring.

Oh and how I love LOVE avocados!!!

1st Man said...

Great point I didn't think about future wind storms (which could happen here in a couple of months when hurricane season comes around). Thanks!!!~

1st Man said...

Thanks for this, another vote for leaving it alone for now. I will work on that. Need to figure out something other than the hose though, that didn't work it's too big around and wouldn't work trying to be in a circle around such a small trunk. So I'll do some research and see what I can find.

1st Man said...

Aww, I don't know about that but thank you!!! I do enjoy seeing it "clean", ha. And we can't wait for growing too!!!

1st Man said...

Thank you! Yes, we have a Meyer lemon, a Persian lime and a Satsuma orange, in containers and I want to get them in the ground just like these. Have to build the beds and then fill them just like these. The problem is time (might be too late since it would take a few weekends of building to get them done) and location. We want them behind the garden, perfect spot for three and it would be nice to have the citrus together (and be pretty behind the garden). They'd be close to water but no electricity if we needed to put lights on them for heat in winter. So we may keep them close to the house but maybe on another side away from these so they are still close to the house.

1st Man said...

OOH. Thanks for this!! I want to do some companion planting but I know how quick herbs and such grow and develop roots and I'm afraid they may crowd the new roots spreading around these beds (while working down into the clay ground beneath). So we'll probably do that next Spring. Keep us informed on your progress!

Sandy said...

1st Man,

Your Orchid looks amazing and well done my friend. I'm Donna Baker above.....we need help planting trees in a couple of weeks.....:-)

1st Man said...

Thank you! Hey, I think you said you were getting BIG trees brought in? I'm not sure I could handle that, these were enough, ha. But you'll have a head start on growth. ;-)