Saturday, February 9, 2008

Fruity gardener

I just ordered all the fruit trees we are going to plant in the yard this spring. I had so much fun looking through my favorite catalogs (Raintree Nursery and One Green World) to choose the varieties. At the farm, we did plant some new fruit trees, but most of the 30 odd trees in the orchard were planted many years ago by previous owners so I had no hand in choosing the varieties. My goal for the mini-orchard at our new place is to have something producing fruit for the entire growing season. The strawberries and blueberries and some black raspberries were put in last year, but this April will be filled with some heavy diggin' and lots and lots of promise for fruitful summers to come.

Being an organic gardener, disease resistance was a major draw, as was old-time flavor and decent production. I spent a lot of time making sure varieties were compatible for cross-pollination and that they would bear fruit at different times - I want apples in early August and early October! The 4-6 foot bareroot grafted semi-dwarf trees are due to arrive the first week in April from Raintree Nursery (I've been extremely pleased with them in the past). Here's what we're planting:

Apples - 'William's Pride' and 'Liberty'
Pears - -'Ubileen' and 'Conference'
Plums - 'Golden Transparent' and 'Early Laxton'
Cherry - 'Lapins'
Peach - 'Avalon Pride'

From One Green World Nursery we'll be planting:
Red Raspberries - 'Canby Thornless' and 'Heritage'
Honeyberries - 'Blue Bird' and 'Blue Lightning' - can't wait to try these!

Plans for future years include a persimmon tree and some Asian pears, as well as some Sea berries (I hear they are amazing) and maybe some gooseberries. I want my son to be able to climb fruit trees, pick raspberries, and help me make strawberry jam someday - I wish all kids could have those experiences!

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