Posts Tagged ‘fruit trees’
As if the gorgeous sunshine and warmer (74′) weather aren’t enough to make me super excited that Spring is finally here, the peach and plum trees are in bloom and the birds are singing away.
There is so much to do in the garden, but I have to admit that it has been hard accomplishing anything because I just want to BE in the garden, absorbing all the things coming back to life after such a long, cold winter.
The yard help came and went and did such a fantastic job (I’ll post pictures later of their work) that I can take time to enjoy the garden. It is fun to see things coming up that I had forgotten were there. In the Fall I usually put in more perennials (mainly because they are on sale then) and so it’s a surprise to see the new plants emerge.
The Aprium trees were in full bloom when temperatures dropped down to the mid 20’s so I’m not hopeful of getting many, or any, of them this year. The Apricots and Cherry buds were beginning to open and so this may be a bad year for them too. If we don’t get a lot of fruit, at least the trees will have a year to rest and get stronger.
Now we just have to wait another month before planting the rest of the garden, the annuals and vegetables. Gardening teaches us patience.
After a very cold, snow laden winter and a very chilly, wet spring (since March 21, the official beginning of spring), we finally have some sunny and warmer weather. What a beautiful day it is and even though the yard looks pretty bad still with all the winter debris still lying about, there is beginning to be some growth and even a few flowers.
The fruit trees are in bloom and the tulips are doing their thing, which is being gorgeous.
I look forward to a all that’s coming in the garden, perennials coming back up, blooms beginning to pop everywhere, little tiny fruit beginning to form on the apricot, apple, plum, peach and cherry trees. I guess most of all I look forward to just being in the garden, whether working or relaxing, just being there, instead of shut up in the house.
Speaking of house, this week all the plants that had to winter over inside get to go back out and the house will return to normal. It is kind of nice have them around us when the winter is raging outside, but enough is enough and the house always seems so much larger after they are all returned to their outdoor places. They’ll be happier and we will too.
It’s so fun to watch as the fruit on the trees begins to grow and the strawberries start turning pink. This year, besides the peaches, apples, apricots and assorted berries, we also have current bushes (with currents) and the Kiwi are finally blooming. This is their 4th summer and the first time we’ve actually seen blossoms. So we’re hoping to finally get Kiwi fruit. These are the hardy Kiwi and the fruit is smooth and small. It doesn’t need to be peeled and it is said to be very sweet. Can’t wait to try them.
Also, as the plant (a vine that can grow 40-50 feet) matures, the leaves begin to get pink and cream colorations on them, making it look like the vines are full of blooms. See this post from Cornell for more information: http://www.fruit.cornell.edu/mfruit/kiwifruit.html
We have a male and a female (yes, you need both) vine and they should cover one end of our grape arbor.
So looking forward to eating our very first Kiwi.
Newly planted fruit trees tend to want to grow with the limbs going straight up. To create good scaffolding and to open up the center so that sunlight can get in, the tree must be trained. There are many methods of doing this, such as hanging 2 liter bottles, that contain a little water, from the limb. This pulls it away from the vertical growth and away from the other limbs.
An easier way are by the use of long plastic sticks with notched ends so that it is easy to wedge between the limbs. These can be ordered online (I got mine from Starke Bro) and they come in different lengths for different sized limbs. It is also possible to use long wooden sticks that you can just cut notches into.
The idea though, is to create a good shape to the tree, with good support so that later, when it is loaded with fruit it will be able to withstand the weight without having the limbs break.
During the winter months is a really good time to take stock of your yard to see what changes you might like to make. It doesn’t hurt to think big. If you have a plan, say for a patio to be built in a certain area, then you can begin to plant the right plants (the right height etc.) in the right place. We had to do that. We staked off where the deck would eventually go, and planted a row of peonies along that line. Behind the peonies we planted some tall shrub roses, and other things, but these plants had time to grow before the deck was built 2 years later.
If you have a bird’s eye view of your property, being able to see the house, yard, driveway, walkways, deck, patio etc., it is much easier to decide where you can have flower beds or fruit trees or raised beds for vegetables.
You can create the bird’s eye view with a simple drawing.
Using graph paper makes it a little easier and probably more accurate, but you don’t even have to do that. Try to get the
house, garage drive etc. somewhat in perspective. I used a poster board with graph line on it. You can determine how much each square represents, 6″, 1′, 5′ etc. It just depends on the size of our property. I do an outline in pencil but when I’m pretty sure of the measurements, colored pencils help to make it all a little clearer.
Winter is a great time to scour magazines and catalogs (and garden blogs) for ideas of what kinds of plants to use. It’s important to find out the needs of plants you like and want to use. Do they need full sun? Do they like to be dry or moist? How tall will they get and will they shade neighboring plants? I make lists of the ones that appeal to me, learn as much about them as I can, then try to figure out where in the yard I can use them.
In the first sketch, I just block in areas for “flower bed” and don’t try to plan where every plant will go. Later, when I’m sure of the size of the bed, then I can start planning what plants to put in and how to place them.
Tall plants such as shrubs or hollyhocks should be place at the back of a border. It’s important to pay attention to where the sun will cast a shadow in the summer (which is different from the winter) so that tall plants won’t shade plants that are sun lovers.
Medium plants should be planted in front of the taller plants with low growing plants placed in front of the medium ones.
Decide on a color scheme for your garden.
Do you like warm, hot colors like yellow, red and orange? Then choose plants that will mix these colors throughout your garden. Maybe you like the cooler colors such as blue, pink, lavender and white. Another way to use color is to use complimentary colors, colors opposite each other on the color wheel, like yellow and purple, or blue and orange. Some like to use just one color, all blue or all red, even all white. A garden with a color scheme in mind is much more pleasing than a hodge-podge of color all jumbled up. Also, plant in groupings of color, instead of scrambled all together for a more effective look. But ultimately, it’s your garden, so you get to plant what you like, where you like.
Just one more thought on the subject…
Every plant doesn’t have to bloom. A garden with foliage in a variety of textures and shades of greens and other colors, is beautiful as is, even without flowers.
Finding a place for everything.
It’s good to list the things you’d really like to have in your yard. We did that when we bought our home 3 years ago. Even though our property is only 1/4 acre, our list was long. The property already had the house, a garage, a potting shed, a wide driveway and sidewalks around the property on 2 sides (it’s a corner lot). We wanted a deck, a large grape arbor, raised beds for growing vegetables, an asparagus bed, fruit trees and a berry patch. All of this plus as many flower beds as we could squeeze in.
Because we drew it all out, we were able to fit everything in. We had to move things around (on paper) to make it work, but we were able to settled on a plan. By doing that, we knew what plants we were in the market for, and we knew approximately where they would go.
We were able to have a 50′ x 10′ grape arbor (planted with 2 kiwi vines and 11 grape vines), a large deck (33′ x 16′), 4 raised beds (16′ x 4′ each) for vegetables, 20 assorted fruit trees placed throughout the yard, an asparagus bed (8′ x 5′), a berry patch with raspberries (20′ x 4′) and a berry patch with strawberries and blackberries (12′ x 6′). There are flower beds, large and small, tucked everywhere else. It wouldn’t have been possible to include all we wanted to have without a plan.
Have some fun this winter. Plan a garden.
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Buying bare-root rose bushes and fruit trees is a lot less expensive than buying them already potted up. In many cases, you get a better plant when you buy bare-root.
This is an article that will help with planting bare-root rose bushes and fruit trees.
You can find it at: