Thursday, March 6, 2014

It's coming...

*Cue theme music from Jaws*

 dum dum

Dum dum

Dum Dum




My new orchard!!

It's so big I couldn't fit it all in one picture.

I'm SO excited!  Can you tell?!!!!  Did all the exclamation points give it away?!!!

I've been dreaming about doing this for years, and this year was the year.  I had a blank spot that needed an orchard and a video game console I didn't really need.  Michael Ford, a coworker and friend and landscaper, had a need for a video game console and the know-how to plant an orchard.  Weren't we a pair.

Michael did a great job, too.  I wasn't sure where to put each one, so with his advice I made up my mind.  I kinda' helped a bit with the placement, but he did the final spacing and shifted things so it looks nicer (See those diagonal lines?  That was his idea and I really like it.  A lot.).  After I hemmed and hawed and finally made up my mind, Michael went to work.  He mowed the dead weeds down and started digging.  I'd put a half yard of cow manure compost in my little Toy truck, so he backed that right out there to amend the soil in each hole.  He also put a couple inches on top of the ground around each tree to sweeten the soil outwards and encourage roots to grow out to get it.  I like that, too.  But most importantly, he planted them at the correct level, all with their root flares showing, just like they're supposed to be. 

So there are thirteen trees out there - two plums, two peaches, three apples, two pears, and four figs.  Here's the map:

I have two Gala Apples because I didn't realize I already had one at home in a pot, and I have two Florida Crest Peaches because someone put one in the TexKing Peach bin when I bought them (and I didn't double-check the tags before buying them. *slaps forehead* Live and learn...).  Oh, well ... let's say those will be my best producers!  Yeah!  That's it!

I have lots of room off to the right of the map for expansion to the east.  Just need to remove a fence over there and cut down some scrub hackberries.  I hope I'll have that done by next year.  I want more peaches, some more apples, maybe a couple more pears, some persimmons, a few more figs, a couple-or-four pomegranates.  I'll put in some apricots, too, even though they don't reliably produce - I love them, and I've got the room to spare.  And some citrus, too!  I'm thinking satsumas, Meyer's lemons, and whatever else is hardy.

It's so nice to dream.  But it's even nicer when those dreams become reality.



  1. Very nice, I've always dreamed of having an orchard. Love the layout.

    1. Thanks, Angie! I'm pretty pumped. I really like the layout, too. That was pure Michael. He's artistic that way. He really did a great job.

      I can't wait for citrus to come in now!

  2. How exciting! It looks great. When do the bees arrive?

    1. Hopefully this summer, Laura. I have a Langstroth hive some friends gave me last year (it's that white box in the third picture, over to the left behind that post). I just need to set it up out under that big pecan tree and get some bees!

      Not sure if I'm going to get a swarm or buy some. Daddy kept bees when I was small. I can't wait to do it again.

      Thanks for the kind words, Laura! :)

  3. Awesomeness! Those will be some very happy bees in the springtime!

    I am jealous of your nice open area. We live in the woods and I can't stand the idea of clearing any more, so I have to cram things in where I can. That didn't stop me from going tree crazy this year, though. :) 3 apples, 1 peach, 1 cherry, 4 pears, 1 plum, 1 pluot, 2 pecans and 3 jujubes. I might have a problem...

    1. Yep, they will be, Kari! Gotta' keep those girls happy.

      I'm jealous that you can plant cherries! Where do you live? Those and blueberries are two of my very favorite fruit, but we can't grow either of them here, at least not well. Cherries are almost out, though a coworker is trialing a very-low-chill-hour variety. And blueberries don't like our alkalinity, but I have four plants on my porch right now that are going in an old galvanized horse trough that I'll just have to keep acidifying. One of my favorite gardening sayings: "I consider everything hardy until I've killed it myself." Ha!

      Lastly, no you don't have a problem. Think of it this way: gardening's a cheaper hobby than a hot rod.

    2. haha! I am going to use your hardiness expression on my husband. He always asks silly things like, "Will that really grow here?" and "Where are you going to plant that?"

      I'm near Tyler and Bob Wells Nursery assured me that the cherry I bought has done well here (it is Lapins, which is described as a "self-fertile Bing"). If I can get it to produce, I will buy a second one, since they are my absolute favorite fruit. As for blueberries, I planted 4 a few years back. They were a little slow to get going, but last year was the first year we really had a good harvest. We had enough for fresh eating, several pies and a gallon of blueberry wine.

      Now I'm looking at more apples varieties for making hard cider. I'm glad you convinced me that I don't have a problem! ;)

    3. Since you're more north than us, so more chill hours, it might do okay. Bob Wells is a good nursery from what I understand. If I'm remembering right, they're one of our suppliers at the Natural Gardener (I'll double check that when they buyer comes back in Monday). Let me know how it does! I'm crossing my fingers for bushels and bushels for you.

      Of course you don't have a problem!! Now go! Buy more apples!

  4. Very cool! Soon you will be baking and making preserves! Mmmm

    Emailed you on Raverly ...

    1. Karen! How did you know I've been thinking about you a lot lately? Seriously. I even have a half-started message on Ravelry for you - started it Saturday night and haven't gotten back to it.

      Yes, preserves and cobblers and pies and breads and jellies and ... and ... BAKING ALL THE THINGS! There's a pie out there in that orchard with your name on it.


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