I am so excited – in about three years I will be making apple and peach pies from the fruit off my new urban orchard! I can hardly wait!
That’s right – I planted the apple and peach trees in my front yard yesterday. I now am the proud momma of 2 Anna and 1 Dorset Golden apple and 2 Mid-Pride and 1 Florida Prince peach trees.
I planted them in two mini orchards with the apples in one large hole and the peaches in another. Thank goodness I had the help of a neighbor to dig the holes. I spent almost an hour on one hole before he showed up – and I wasn’t even done. And my soil was fairly moist and easy to dig! The apples are in the top right of the photo - they look like sticks! I also planted Iris bulbs under the apple trees to start my apple guild.
Here’s a photo of the peach trees all snug in their holes. They are just in front of the trellis with the Lady Banks Rose. The stepping stones lead up to them between the new vegetable bed and the desert tree mulch pit.
As we were planting them, I caught myself calling them my "babies" and "he" or "she" – I am pretty sure Art thought I was losing it from too much sun!
I pruned them myself after they were in the ground. I made sure the grafting node faced northeast (protects it from too much sun) and carefully cut off the broken branches and any that would eventually be in the path or which pointed in the wrong direction. (If a branch either points straight out or down, it will probably break under the weight of fruit).
I was hesitant to prune too much so I chose a light pruning. I will keep the trees height at about 8 feet so I can harvest them easily. There will be more opportunities to prune over the next few years.
My front yard is finally beginning to look like an edible yard. I am having gutters installed in about a week. One section will channel the water from the roof into the lowered garden bed where the apple trees live, providing them with rain water, which will supplement (and sometimes replace) the municipal water needed.
So I do feel like it is coming together, yet I still have several things to do before it gets too hot – plant a desert tree in the mulch pit, upgrade the irrigation system, build a shade structure for the first few summers and lay the bricks for the patio. Whew – sure feels like a lot – but I know it will all be worth it when it is done.