Thursday, February 16, 2012

Apples, and Peaches, and Pears, OH MY!

Spring has arrived in my little corner of the desert, and that means that it's time to plant trees.

Last fall, I put in an order at a local nursery for some fruit trees.  They're here. Scott and I spent last Saturday getting them planted.  We have:

An "Anna" apple tree, already in bloom.

A "Dorsett" apple tree, tall and many branched.

An "Earligrande" peach tree.

A "Kefir" pear tree, beginning to bud.

A "Sugar" pear tree.

I learned a lot about fruit trees in the desert, but some of the information was universal. For example, did you know that when planting fruit trees, you need to make sure that the node of the graft is ALWAYS facing north? If you don't, the tree will try to twist itself around to make it so, and will die. Also, you shouldn't allow the trees to fruit for the first two years -- you must let them flower, but not fruit. This helps to ensure a healthy root system, and a trunk that is sturdy enough to support the weight of the fruit. 

One final thing I learned is that dogs find the branches of apple trees to be a sweet treat, so you have to watch them closely, and keep your pruning shears close by.

In other news, the rest of the garden that I planted in the fall didn't do very well. I have only 2 sickly looking spinach plants, 
 3 midget pea plants, 

some red and romaine lettuce,

 one cabbage,

  two strawberry plants, 
 and one rhubarb plant. 
I'd thought that the rhubarb had died, as all the leaves wilted and came off, however, a couple of weeks ago they started growing again, and seem to be doing quite well.
All in all, I'm a bit disappointed with the way things have gone, but I've learned a lot and hope that will enable me to do better this spring.

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