backyard orchard culture: part 3

June 6, 2013

backyard orchard culture: part 3backyard orchard culture: part 3backyard orchard culture: part 3backyard orchard culture: part 3backyard orchard culture: part 3backyard orchard culture: part 3backyard orchard culture: part 3backyard orchard culture: part 3backyard orchard culture: part 3backyard orchard culture: part 3So I’m a little behind in continuing the sharing of our backyard orchard, but don’t worry, you’ll get them. Here, we actually get to planting our trees (well, this is back in December). After we heeled the trees in while we were spacing things out on the dirt, it was finally time to plant the trees. Ben marked the center of the hole with a short rebar segment, then with a string, he made his own protractor of sorts and created a 36″ diameter circle (by the way, he said, not needed, he’s just anal!). He used this as a guide to dig out his hole. Mind you, there were going to be multiple trees planted in one hole.

He dug out the hole to the depth of each of the individual the root systems and all the way around the circle he created. He grouped fruits together that would be most compatible with one another and that would also allow for successive ripening. I know, it’s a whole new language. Honestly, I don’t even understand it all. He tells me and I just nod and say, “Uh huh, uh huh, yeah.” (He spends a lot of time researching this; says he gets MOST of his guidance from the fine folks at Dave Wilson Nursery, their site and their “how-to videos“).

Then, he covered up the bare roots with more dirt and then chopped off the tree up to the height of his knee. It’s feels like a daring thing to do and the trees end up looking just like sticks in the ground, but that’s what you’re supposed to do, so that’s what we did.

We have 4 groupings of fruit trees, which means 4 holes, planted this way: fig trees with 4 varieties, nectarine trees with 4 varieties, cherry trees with 2 varieties, and pluot/peach with 4 varieties. Now, it’s about six months later from when these were done and they look a little bit more than just sticks in the ground now (sticks with some baby branches)… we even starting to see figs growing! We’re totally not pros and while Ben does most of the research that goes into planning this, we both love working in our backyard together!

Go back and see part 2 here

8 comments on “backyard orchard culture: part 3”

  • How exciting! I have always wanted fruit trees in my backyard, you make it look so easy 🙂

    Chase Miller
    The Smell of Summer – A Boutique Lifestyle Blog

  • BAH! That is so cool! Sounds like he is really into it!

    xo Lisa
    Making Life’s Lemons

  • tinajo says:

    Just lovely!

  • Anne says:

    I live in a neighborhood that used to be orchards, so we were left with a meyer lemon tree and a fig tree. Honestly don’t know what to do with the figs but hoping to do some research this summer as to how to cook them as they are not good off the tree. We do love our lemon tree though! We also have a giant olive tree and I’m hoping to learn how to brine them for next year instead of just having a million olives falling everywhere.
    Can’t wait to see the your fruit trees in bloom. Are they ready to fruit right away, or will it take a few years?

  • Hayley says:

    Awesome! Curious about the four trees to one small hole, is this method have a special name? And why do you cut them down to “sticks”? I’m feeling inspired to replant using your method along our driveway!

    • rubyellen says:

      Yes, this is called backyard orchard culture. The idea is the ability to plant lots of trees in a small space. If you search through the links in the post, you will get a better idea of how and why this method is done! We learn a lot of it from Dave Wilson.

  • Andria says:

    This is really quite fascinating. I feel like an armchair gardener looking at these pictures of all your hard work!

Comments are closed.

Design by Blog Milk