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The Orchard project inches closer to the first plantings

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The Orchard project inches closer to the first plantings

Post by 12acrehome on Sun Mar 02, 2014 7:57 am

I've posted several times about "the orchard project", and I'm sure this won't be the last posting. I've wanted fruit trees for longer than I've had a place to put them. The past several weeks we have had a few warm days between snow and ice and sub-zero temps. During these days I would walk around with stakes and a hammer, placing and moving each "tree" before actually digging a hole and really planting a tree. Two weekends ago I finally came up with a layout that I have not wanted to change. So today I was able to pre-dig the holes. I took 3 pictures, one of three different holes, to show what I am up to. I dug 7 of these holes, and they will be adjusted as needed to fit the roots when the trees arrive.








These holes are about 26 inches deep and 20 inches across


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Re: The Orchard project inches closer to the first plantings

Post by PATRICE IN IL on Sun Mar 02, 2014 8:30 am

When you run out of holes to dig at your place swing by and dig mine, the ground might be thawed out by then. Wink LOL

Seriously though, looking good so far. I have an idea where I want to put my new trees but need to decide exactly how many I'm going to order.
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Re: The Orchard project inches closer to the first plantings

Post by dizzy on Sun Mar 02, 2014 8:40 am

I can't even think about planting trees unless I can get my asparagus moved. And I can't do that as long as the ground is frozen.

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Re: The Orchard project inches closer to the first plantings

Post by 12acrehome on Sun Mar 02, 2014 8:43 am

I just caught a lucky break with the ground thawed and dried enough, and the weather not brutal.

If we lived closer, Patrice, I would certainly lend a hand with the digging. The lord blessed me with a reasonably strong back, and a good shovel. Wink

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Re: The Orchard project inches closer to the first plantings

Post by PATRICE IN IL on Sun Mar 02, 2014 1:37 pm

Thanks Keith Wink

The teenager that lives here will be digging those holes once the ground thaws. They are saying our frost line is between 18-24 inches deep at this point, so no digging any time soon here.
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Re: The Orchard project inches closer to the first plantings

Post by 12acrehome on Sun Mar 02, 2014 11:25 pm

Woke up to freezing rain (with thunder Sad ) this morning. We are supposed to have up to 1/2 inch of ice. Hopefully this will help loosen the soil in the holes and create a better environment for root growth.

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Re: The Orchard project inches closer to the first plantings

Post by 12acrehome on Wed Mar 05, 2014 9:22 am

My pre dug holes are having water freeze and thaw in them. So far they are all holding water, so I may need to dig out more to further loosen the soil before planting my trees...








Here's a shot of where the Goji Berry plants are going



I'm looking forward to the warmer temps coming the next few days. Tonight is supposed to be our last night with temps in the teens.

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Re: The Orchard project inches closer to the first plantings

Post by PATRICE IN IL on Wed Mar 05, 2014 10:21 am

I wish we'd warm up already. I looked out back by the garden area today, the snow is still drifted 4 feet deep. I'm going to have to wait to spray the trees until next week when it's supposed to get up to 42°F.
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Re: The Orchard project inches closer to the first plantings

Post by 12acrehome on Wed Mar 05, 2014 10:49 am

we may break 40 tomorrow, a few days ago they were saying tomorrow would be in the 50's

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Re: The Orchard project inches closer to the first plantings

Post by dizzy on Wed Mar 05, 2014 6:59 pm

We're supposed to be in the 40s today, but back down to 32 tomorrow, but it is supposed to start warming up after that.

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Re: The Orchard project inches closer to the first plantings

Post by 12acrehome on Wed Mar 05, 2014 7:15 pm

hmm, it did not get nearly as cold as they said it would. "Officially" it is 25 outside, but my thermometer says 30. A far cry from the 12 to 14 degrees they were calling for. We do have "freezing fog" though.

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Re: The Orchard project inches closer to the first plantings

Post by 12acrehome on Sat Mar 08, 2014 12:14 pm

The down side of heavy clay "soil"











No really heavy clay is a blessing during a drought, but a curse when too wet

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Re: The Orchard project inches closer to the first plantings

Post by PATRICE IN IL on Sat Mar 08, 2014 2:42 pm

I've got the same thing here and it's a pain to deal with when planting things such as trees and shrubs.
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Re: The Orchard project inches closer to the first plantings

Post by dizzy on Sat Mar 08, 2014 8:04 pm

I know the soil at the farm is more of a clay soil, but don't have a clue as to how it compares to yours. That's the one good thing about where I live, the soil is much sandier, so it drains fairly quickly.

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Re: The Orchard project inches closer to the first plantings

Post by 12acrehome on Sat Mar 08, 2014 11:11 pm

From what the neighbors tell us, the entire area was an old farm (since sometime in the late 1800's) Sometime around 1960 our little patch was placed in the hands of someone who used it for tobacco, and only tobacco. In the 1990's the ground was abandoned because it had become non-productive. When we bought it it had been fallow since being about 1995. It grows woody stemmed weeds really well, is heavily compacted from the over use of heavy equipment, and improper use of a plow. Improper plowing also eroded all but a 1/4 inch of top soil.
In this picture you can see a shallow layer of darker soil, that is all the top soil I have to work with. Very challenging



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Re: The Orchard project inches closer to the first plantings

Post by dizzy on Sun Mar 09, 2014 2:06 am

That would make it rough. At least there's a good couple of inches or more of top soil out at the farm.

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Re: The Orchard project inches closer to the first plantings

Post by 12acrehome on Sun Mar 09, 2014 6:21 am

I think it was this discovery that really set me on the road to building top soils

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Re: The Orchard project inches closer to the first plantings

Post by 12acrehome on Thu Mar 27, 2014 6:20 pm

Very Happy

My Goji berry bushes arrived yesterday, and this morning I have a shipping notice that the rest of the trees are on the way!!

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Re: The Orchard project inches closer to the first plantings

Post by dizzy on Thu Mar 27, 2014 6:48 pm

Has your ground thawed out?

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Re: The Orchard project inches closer to the first plantings

Post by PATRICE IN IL on Thu Mar 27, 2014 8:28 pm

Thawed or not at least he'll have them in his possession in case a SHTF situation happens. Wink
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Re: The Orchard project inches closer to the first plantings

Post by Farmfresh on Fri Mar 28, 2014 1:23 am

My fall bearing raspberries got here too.  I just put them into a big half barrel container.  My ground is now where near ready to plant.
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Re: The Orchard project inches closer to the first plantings

Post by 12acrehome on Fri Mar 28, 2014 7:38 am

Yes my ground had thawed. It is too cold to plant the Goji berries, they arrived potted, and fresh from a greenhouse, so they will need to be hardened off anyway. So they are on the seed starting table, catching the morning sun through a window.

Yup Patrice, between the gardens and the orchard I can now grow 75 to maybe 85 percent of our food right here. So let the kaka strike the oscillator Wink

Yay you got your berry plants  cheers 

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Re: The Orchard project inches closer to the first plantings

Post by 12acrehome on Fri Mar 28, 2014 8:32 am

umm, here's an idea of how well thawed out my ground is







These were taken about 30 seconds apart, one with the flash, one without

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Re: The Orchard project inches closer to the first plantings

Post by PATRICE IN IL on Fri Mar 28, 2014 11:43 am

Your daffodils are very pretty. I'm jealous that you have flowers popping up already! All I have is frozen ground and wind/rain today. It's so bad here the robins are eating bread I tossed out for the birds. I saw one sitting on the ground for a good 5 minutes, all puffed out not moving, I thought it was frozen but then it moved over and started eating a biscuit. Poor things are freezing and starving. I set out a dog dish that I used for watering my chickens so they would have some water. I don't know if it's still there with the crazy winds we are having today.
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Re: The Orchard project inches closer to the first plantings

Post by Farmfresh on Fri Mar 28, 2014 12:41 pm

All I have here are a few green tops of the earliest ones.  Snowdrops and crocus are blooming at the old house now. 

I have said for years that the money I spent on those two flowers is worth way more than it cost.  Seeing those snowdrops often gives me hope when other than that I think winter will last forever.
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