Fruit Trees

We went to Lowe’s today to grab some supplies for our sprinkler system in the veggie garden and came back home with two fruit trees.  Funny how that works, huh?

The three of us eat a lot of fruit – they make great snacks, smoothies, and dessert!  We already have an orange tree in our backyard, so we bought an avocado tree and a tree with 4 types of pluots grafted onto it.  My parents are skeptical of the last one, but it looks like 3/4 branches are showing the beginnings of fruit.  The 4th has some blurb about cross-pollination with Japanese plums.  D’oh well.

First though, we had two trees in our yard we intended to get rid of.

Honey, you have to pull the tree out.  I'm taking photos for my blog.

Honey, you have to pull the tree out. I'm taking photos for my blog.

The first was this prickly evergreen.  I hate it.  Its needles go through my gardening gloves, and it looks dumb by itself.  We planted the avocado here ($25 at Lowe’s).

Much better!

Much better!

We get high winds here, so it’s very important to support the tree.  The next tree to get the bucket (ha ha ha) was the willow tree.  Our neighbor gave it to us, so we planted it…but the more we looked at it the less we liked it.  We’re considering a heist-like maneuver and planting the tree out by the river when no one’s looking.

I think he can see into our yard too...here's hoping he doesn't notice!

I think he can see into our yard too...here's hoping he doesn't notice!

We planted the pluot tree here ($60, ouch ouch ouch!  But the kid loves pluots, and so do we…).

I hope it eventually provides shade for the quail hutch

I hope it eventually provides shade for the quail hutch

We also moved our compost bin from next to the quail hutch over to our garden.  Devin used to pick things out of it and chew on them (why, oh why, are dogs so gross?).  Since our garden is gated off, she won’t be able to reach it.  Plus, it’s a lot closer to the kitchen.

We'll be able to use some of this with the garden very soon

We'll be able to use some of this with the garden very soon

We’re going to get a few more trees for our yard – probably almond, dwarf cherry, and lemon.  Most trees come with instructions on how often they should be fertilized, how to care for them, and how to plant them.  If you can, buy plant-specific fertilizer.  I learned from my mom that the orange tree needed citrus fertilizer.  We were using an all-purpose fertilizer before, and it wasn’t working.

LEARN FROM MY MISTAKE: Shop around, and fork out a little extra $$ for the larger saplings.  Our orange tree was $15 and is about hip-height.  Pretty pathetic, huh?  We’re too cheap to replace it, but I would have much rather spent $10-20 extra to have something that is producing fruit now, instead of having to wait a couple of years.

INITIAL TIME INVESTMENT: 1-4 hours.  It took us 4 because of the rocks and tarp we have, plus our soil is hard-as-rock clay.  We mixed in a lot of planting soil.

DAILY TIME INVESTMENT: 2-10 minutes.  It takes only a couple minutes to water (less if you have automatic watering set up), and a little more time 1/month or so to go grab the fertilizer and fertilize them.  When fruit is produced, you’ll want to spend some time picking them so they don’t fall to the ground and rot.  I’ve learned the hard way that rotting fruit is a welcome invitation for a fruit fly infestation in your home.

For this weekend, I hope to post an introduction to keeping quail, as well as keeping a compost heap and how you may be able to get a compost bin for free (depending on where you live)!

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One thought on “Fruit Trees

  1. Pingback: Composting « Suburban Sustainability

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