Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The orchard has landed!

Yaaaayyyyy! The fruit trees I've been holding in pots for two years since I bought them bare-root, are now in the ground! The weather has been really gardener-friendly the last couple mornings, and yesterday I went out and took another whack at the weeds. This morning it was 59ยบ and thickly overcast, even had a little breeze, so I went down early with my tools and started digging out the holes I laid out last fall. I had to cut out a few roots left over from the since-departed cherry trees in almost all the holes, but the dirt wasn't really that bad, so I got all five trees planted in an hour and a half. In addition to the Shinseiki asian pear in the foreground, there are now a Liberty apple (with 3 little apples on it), a Chinese apricot, an Italian plum, a Bartlett pear, and a Montmorency cherry. They're all semi-dwarf, and I'll be keeping them all pruned pretty low, so there won't be any need for ladders. The ground is sloped enough that ladders would be a pain.

I'm really happy this is all done because this was a project four years in the making, from the time I first started wishing the big cherry trees could go away. All the potted trees had nice solid root balls except the apricot, which turned out to be sharing its pot with an ant colony. I expect they'll be leaving now that there's going to be a lot more water around. I hope so anyway. I would really like the apricot to be happy and healthy. And make me some apricots some day.

Five of my young cardoons are big enough that I'm pretty sure they'll make it. I'm keeping them sort of rabbit protected till they really get spikey and nasty, another month or so. They didn't do much of anything till a couple weeks ago when the temps started creeping up.

My potatoes grew another 2" this week! All of the plants are bigger, even the Rose Finn Apples, which shot up and are finally starting to look happy. I thought everybody had topped out last week when the first flowers appeared, so I have to wonder just how big these guys are going to get.

Two more pieces of good news—I have 6 healthy fennels and two runts, and my snow peas are blooming! So I should get a few pods soon. This warmer weather—and soil—are really making a difference.

Happy 4th of July, and happy gardening!

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