Developing fruits garden update

We have had lots of rain and lots of sunshine and the garden is growing by leaps and bounds.  All the plants are getting big, big big.  Everything is loaded with blossoms.  Like the tomatoes.

tomato blossomsI even found some developing fruits on the tomatoes that were trying to hide.

baby tomato fruitsSquash blossom buds.

Tiny zuchini blossomsTomatillo blossoms.

groundcherry flowersTiny ground cherries.

developing ground cherryIn the orchard things are looking good too.  This first year pear has developing pear fruits.  I would have been happy for this tree to pollinate the existing pear tree.

Crab apple babies.

baby crab applesAnd tint apples developing.

developing applesOn the flower front, these marigolds are just vibrant.

bright orange marigoldBright yellow pansies.

yellow pansies in potThe Shasta daisies that we planted at Daisies are starting to get bigger.

shasta daisy sproutsI started some lettuce seedlings to fill out the deck planters.  The deck rail planters are getting pretty decimated by the amount of salad that we have been eating.

lettuce seedlingsRemember the gooseberry bushes that our neighbors gave us about a month ago?  Me thinks they might actually be currants.  they are bright red and too small to be Gooseberries.

gooseberry or currant bushI can’t wait to start harvesting some of this tasty stuff.  I know that we are going to be lousy with produce around here real soon.


How to plant a fruit tree orchard

There is a luxury to being able to pick fruit from your own backyard.  Spring is the best time to plant fruit trees.  This allows them to get established and gain strength before the winter.

potted fruit trees

The first step is to select the tree and location.  You will want to make sure that the tree will be in a sunny location and that there are no nearby trees that will grow up and shade it over time.  Your tree will probably come with information on its mature width and planting distance between other fruit trees.  This orchard is being laid out for three cherry trees, two peaches, two plums, two apricots and two nectarines.  These instructions for how to plant a fruit tree orchard apply to apple and pear trees, as well.


Next you will want to mark the location of each tree you are planting.  Use a measuring tape to mark the distance between trees.  Place stakes or flags in the ground as you go.  Take note of the mature canopy widths of each tree and measure accordingly.  If you are planting two trees will be 12 feet in diameter at maturity, they will need to be a little bit more than12 feet from each other to accommodate each of their canopies.  The photo below shows pink flags and then the pots were placed along side the.

mark tree placement for orchard

Once you have your layout complete, start digging the hole.

start digging the hole for a fruit tree

Make sure that it is wide enough to accommodate the root ball or the bare roots and as deep as the root ball.

remove soil

This can be checked by setting the pot right into the hole.

Check the root ball depth for a fruit tree

Gently remove the tree from its pot and loosen some of the soil around the root ball.  Check depth of the graft union (the graft union is the knee like knot in the trunk of the tree where the variety of fruit is grafted onto the rootstock).  In the photo below it is just above the shovel laid level across the hole.

check graft union depth for a fruit tree

Replace soil back into the hole, breaking up any clumps.

loosen root ball and plant fruit tree

Gently firm the soil on top by stepping in the soil around the tree.

gently step in tree soil

Keep all the roots covered and add more soil as necessary.

Last, give each tree a good, deep watering.  Check them daily in dry weather and keep them watered well.  This will encourage the roots to grow strong and deep.

how to plant a fruit tree