Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Mini Orchard - Year One

When the alarm chimed yesterday at 5:30 AM, I wished it were raining so I wouldn't have to walk the dog or water the fruit trees. Imagine my surprise when I opened the back door to let the dog out and discovered that it was raining. My wish came true!

The fruit trees that need(ed) water are my Stark© Scarlet, Crimson, Emerald, and Ultra Spire© Colonade© apple trees, and Stark© HoneyGloTM miniature nectarine tree and Stark© SensationTM miniature peach tree (all from Stark Bros, natch). These trees are an experiment, one of many I started this year. I planted them in big plastic pots using a sandy top soil mixed with homemade compost and positioned them around the yard in mostly sunny locations. I guess they did okay, as they are still alive.

I chose these fruit trees for a couple of reasons, one being that I don't need all that much fruit, so I'm thinking mini trees will provide enough but not too much. Also, my landscape is in constant flux, and I can move the mini trees with the changes. And if I relocate, I can take them with me!

One problem I have noticed already is the soil in the pots has settled quite a bit, but one cannot simply add more soil because of the root stock grafts. Also, it is easy to forget to keep them watered.

I planted thyme in the pots of two of the apple trees, as I read that it will attract more pollinating bees. We'll see. I expect more top growth next summer, then maybe harvest the first fruit the year after that.

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