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Spring Cleaning at the Orchard

April 1, 2017 Leave a comment

I visited the orchard this week.  Spring is definitely here and the weeds are already getting a head start on me.

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Spent some time clearing off last year’s kudzu of all the trees.

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Then I spent some time mowing down the weeds.

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Some trees are just starting to bloom while others, such as plums, have already set their fruits.

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Then there are other trees like the apples and cherries which are still bare and without leaves.

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Found a bird’s nest in one of the loquat trees.

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A dead possum turned up during my mowing.

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Categories: Cherry, Loquat, Orchard, Plums

Orchard Update – Spring 2013

April 28, 2013 2 comments

On my way back from Lowe’s today, I decided to swing by the orchard to see how things were doing there. All the trees in the orchard were just planted last year between late fall and mid summer. So imagine my surprise when I was greeted with tree after tree bearing an abundance of fruits.

The Asian pear trees surprised me last year by fruiting just months after I planted them. However, there were only one or two pears from each tree. This year there are plenty of fruits forming on each of the Asian pear trees:

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The fig trees also produced last year just months after their planting. It looks like I will continue to get figs this year since both the Black Mission and Brown Turkey variations have fruits forming:

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All five of the peach trees are filled with clusters of peaches:

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The two Medley plum trees have not formed any fruits but the Santa Rosa plum trees are fruiting just as abundantly as the peaches:

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The persimmon trees have just started sprouting leaves and no fruits have appeared. The loquat trees are full of leaves but no fruits.

Last year, I planted watermelon and cantaloupe in my backyard garden. They ended up taking up half of the garden. This year, I’ve planted them at the orchard where they will have plenty of room to spread.

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Another surprise that greeted me were several large leeks which were growing naturally under the pecan tree:

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Needless to say, I am extremely pleased at the progress of my year old garden.

In the next couple of weeks, I will be adding another 16 trees to the orchard by introducing apricots, nectarines, cherries, and Fuji apples.

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.

Orchard Plum Tree Planting

May 21, 2012 Leave a comment

I brought 5 plum trees over to the orchard today and managed to get them planted before the evening rain started. The plum trees are the third row of trees being planted at the orchard. The first row of trees is made up of 3 Asian pear trees spaced 30 feet apart. The second row of trees was spaced 20 feet from the first row This second row of trees is made up of 5 persimmon trees spaced 20 feet apart. The plum trees planted today make up the third row of trees. Originally, I had planned to space all the rows 20 feet apart. Since then, I have decided that I will be pruning the trees to keep their height and width manageable. As such, going forward I plan on having 15 feet of spacing, rather than 20 feet of spacing, between rows of trees. Today’s row of plums were thus spaced 15 feet from the previous row of persimmon trees. With today’s planting, the total tree count at the orchard is now 13!

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