Part 3 was almost exactly a year ago and it took a year to figure out that we needed to sort of start again. Actually, we pretty much knew by the winter, but we didn't get to put the plan in place of how to adjust for our backyard orchard until this spring. We uprooted the handful of trees that survived, put them in 15 gal pots in the meantime, awaiting their move to their final destination (hopefully). We learned our soil wasn't draining like it's supposed to, so too much water was collecting at the base of the roots and essentially, suffocating them to death. After having a specialist come out, help diagnose the problem and offer solutions, we decided it would be best to lift the roots of the trees up higher and put them in raised beds. Can you tell we're quite serious about our gardening?
In the photo above, the trees will go against the wall at back left and in the beds at far right with the trellis system on the right with the wood posts (where we will train pears and apples into espaliers). Immediately in front and left of these beds was where the trees once were; in their place, we now have three, 3 x 13 ft cor-ten steel raised beds and this is where all the seasonal vegetables will be planted (in the photo above, you can see where Ben has already started another trellis system for our tomatoes).
Every year we get better at gardening and learn from our mistakes (make more and learn from those too!). Some have been costly mistakes and some we're glad we made, because things have turned out better. We research as much as we can, Ben especially, and talk to as many experts we can, but these things still happen. I'm excited about how everything is situated now and things already look so much better from just a couple months ago. It feels good to finally be moving forward with our garden. There were a few months where we just weren't quite sure how to troubleshoot problems, but things are looking much better now, and hopefully everything keeps flourishing.
I wrote a post about our cor-ten steel beds here and I will have an updated post about how that side is coming along. Cor-ten steel beds are a bit of an investment, but putting money into our garden and house is important to us, and we hope one day to be able to have fruits and vegetables coming out the wazoo in our own backyard. We've done pretty good with vegetables in the past, so we can only get better, right?!