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Archive for July, 2012

Summer Garden – 2 Week Update

July 31, 2012 Leave a comment

It has been two weeks since I planted my summer garden. We have had little to no rain in the past two weeks. I have refrained from watering because I want to see if the plants can make it on their own with the thick layer of mulch I’ve laid out.

The results have been mixed. I’ve lost the following:
1 red bell pepper
1 orange bell pepper
2 hybrid cherry tomato
1 watermelon

Aside from that, the other plants are doing fine. The squash and the cantaloupe have made the most progress. I’ve noticed a couple of baby eggplants developing, as well.

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Shinko Asian Pear First Harvest. Yum!

July 16, 2012 Leave a comment

Today, I sampled my first Asian pear from the orchard. This pear picked from one of the Shinko Asian pear trees. The pears are about the size of a racquetball now. Not knowing whether the fruits will get bigger, I decided to sample one to see if it was ripe. Not only was the pear ripe, it was the sweetest Asian pear that I have ever tasted. If this is the homegrown difference then I can’t wait til all the trees in the orchard are in full production!

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Categories: Asian Pear, Orchard Tags: ,

Loquat Trees Planted

July 15, 2012 Leave a comment

Five loquat trees have been sitting in the sideyard at my house for the past month. Today, I finally found time to get them planted at the orchard. Despite the 90 degree heat, I managed to get the row planted and mulched in just a couple of hours.

Here’s a view of the new row of loquat trees.

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The completion of this row brings the orchard to half completion. So far six rows of 27 trees have been planted in an approximately 100 feet x 100 feet space. Based on the current state, once completed, the orchard will have approximately 60 trees.

A diagram of the current status of the orchard:

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Categories: Loquat, Orchard Tags: ,

Plum and Peach Trees Planted

July 14, 2012 Leave a comment

I had bought my plum and cherry trees a couple of months ago in somewhat of a panic. Fruit trees were getting increasingly harder to find at Home Depot and Lowe’s had put all their fruit trees on clearance. Afraid that I would not be able to find any more fruit trees to plant into the ground at the orchard this year, I bought and planted five plum trees and five cherry trees that Lowe’s had on clearance. While the price was good ($10 each), I was not impressed by their health or size.

This weekend I came cross a large number of fruit trees at the Home Depot in Dunwoody. Their plum and peach trees were good size and looked healthy. To compare, I also went by Pike’s Nursery and also found some nice plum trees there. I ended up picking up three Santa Rosa plum trees and five peach trees from Home Depot and two Medley semi-dwarf plum trees from Pike’s Nursery.

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The plum and cherry trees that I bought from Lowe’s were pulled out of the ground, returned to the store, and replaced with the new trees.

Here’s a comparison of the old plum trees with the new Santa Rosa plum trees.

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Here’s a comparison of the old cherry trees with the new peach trees.

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A view of the row of peach trees after planting.

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A view of the row of plum trees after planting.

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Here’s a diagram on the current layout of the orchard:

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Categories: Cherry, Orchard, Peach Tags: , ,

Summer Garden

July 14, 2012 Leave a comment

About a month ago, I started a Back to Eden garden in my backyard by laying down newspaper and 5 inches of mulch over a 40 feet x 20 feet area of my backyard lawn. Today, I planted the following in the mulch:

3 hybrid cherry tomato
2 Super 100 tomato
2 Ichiban eggplant
1 white eggplant
2 eggplant
2 orange bell pepper
2 red bell pepper
2 sweet basil
1 thai basil
5 watermelon
3 cantaloupe
2 crooked neck squash

Orchard Reclaimed!

July 11, 2012 Leave a comment

After much initial work earlier this year, I had managed to clear all the kudzu and weeds that have been growing on the orchard lot for the past several decades. Unfortunately, in the past couple of months a large portion of the orchard lot has returned back to its previous chaotic state with kudzu running rampant and weeds on steroids towering over 6 feet tall.

Two weekends ago, I rented a BillyGoat Outback Brushcutter from Sunbelt Rentals. This mower-like machine is able to take down saplings up to 1 inch in diameter. For $150 a day, this tool enabled me to mow down the approximately 1/3 of acre that was covered by kudzu and weeds in about 3 hours.

 

Then this past weekend, I rented a Terex PT-50 Compact Track Loader from Home Depot. For $350 a day, this equipment allowed me to spread approximately 12 truckloads of mulch in about 8 hours.  I used up all 12 truckloads and covered about half of the orchard lot with a thick layer of mulch ranging from 6 to 12 inches.

After the recent two weekends of work, along with recent plantings of plums, cherries, and figs, the orchard has been reclaimed and is once again much more pleasing to the eyes.

Here is a view of the orchard lot from the southern border of the lot.

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The three Asian pear trees that I planted back in April are already fruiting!  One tree has five fruits while the other two have one each.  The fruits have now exceeded the size of a golf ball.  Two of the trees are Shinko asian pear trees.

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One of the Asian pear trees is a 20th Century Asian pear tree.  The fruit looks distinctively different from the Shinko variety.

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Here is the row of fig trees that I planted on the Fourth of July.  I picked these up from Pike’s Nursery.  While they were more expensive than those at Home Depot, the quality was much better.  Not only that, they came bearing many fruits.

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Two of the fig trees are 5 foot tall Black Mission Figs.  I’ve already picked four of these and they were yummy.

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The other two fig trees are Brown Turkey Figs.  One is 5 feet tall and the other is about 3 feet tall.  Both of these are also already fruiting.  I am still waiting for one of these to ripen so I can taste the difference between these and the Black Mission Figs.

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The five persimmon trees planted in April are now tall, lanky, and well-leafed.

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The row of five persimmon trees is neighbored by a row of five Medley and Santa Rosa semi-dwarf plum trees.

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I recently came across another tree company working in the neighborhood and they will be dumping their truckloads of mulch at my orchard as their job progresses.   As soon as I have enough to cover another 20 ft x 100 ft section, I am going to plant the five loquat trees currently sitting in pots at my house.