Next year’s fruit bowl

Planting trees in the sun: it’s cold but I am shedding layers as I work. The soil is soft and rather full of worms: digging is a delight. But it has taken all day. Mind you to give a whole day to plant an orchard of nine fruit trees is no bad investment. Lots of truging long distances up to get wire cutters for the deer proof fencing, or more water, or trowels.

So here is the orchard on the terrace below the pool:

* Apricot – Fereley
* Nectarine – St Julien
* Peach – Avalon Pride
* Apple – Discovery
* Apple – James Grieve
* Apple – Falstaff

The Avalon Pride peach is apparently able to withstand peach leaf curl. We shall see, and I chose the apples so that in theory they will ripen at different times. If all goes well the Discovery will be ready to pick at the end of August, the James Grieve September and the Falstaff Octber. But then again we may get a late frost or the bees won’t pollinate and I will just have pretty trees and no fruit. But you have to be optimistic and plan for next year’s fruit bowl.

And on the lower terraces surrounding the established apples:

Apple Court Pendu Plat
Apple Blenheim Orange
Apple Winstone

These are the bigger trees on MM106 rootstock, so need more space to grow. The hardest work was to get the mulch and the watering done. And the wretched deer proof cages. I am not sure how they are going to withstand a strong wind. At the moment they are propped up with stones. But if I can get some sturdy pegs that would be better. And I’m determined to get the weedproof fabric on now as I am sure to be busy in spring and then forget. And these fruit trees need to be weed-free for as long as possible. No doubt they willl suffer drought – it’s a long walk down to the lower terraces with a heavy bucket of water.

On one of my trips to the mulch supply I saw a mole digging as I walked past. It was quite a treat as the soil was flying out of an established mole hill. I didn’t see him/ her but had a bit of a dig down into the pile just in case. Goodness only knows what I would have done with it if I managed to see it. But it was diverting.