Archive for April, 2012

One Month In…

My apples were planted exactly one month ago today.  Some of them are flourishing, while others have yet to bud.  The Northern Spy has not budded yet, and it is beginning to worry me.  Every other tree has buds popping through and some have leaves (or are in the middle of forming leaves).  The White Pearmain is doing very well with the most leaves.  I had to clip a branch from the Ashmead’s Kernel, it was broken during shipping and I tried to let it slide.  It was not doing anything, so I clipped it to let the rest of the tree get the nutrients that were being send to that very small and broken branch.  It is going to be slightly different from I wanted it to be, but what can I do?

I was able to visit with Terry Moore from Moore Orchards last weekend.  He is a very nice gentleman.  Terry told me about some of the big mistakes he’s made over the years, but he’s learned from them and is willing to share his knowledge with other people.  Terry told me a story about when he was starting out and how some of the people helped him while others would not.  He said if he was ever in that situation, he would help the newcomers.  I think he may teach me how to graft this winter.  That would be awesome.  It’s a dying art that was once more common knowledge for farmers.

I believe that the Cottrells are going to plant a mini garden in the middle of my mini orchard this year.  It will need to be fenced in to keep the deer out, but it should be helpful in getting decaying plants into the soil.

Here is a picture of the Blair White just a few days before it’s one month planted birthday.

New Friends, New Horizions

Well, I got that mulch around the trees, but I need to pull it up.  It’s not the right kind.  What I needed to get was ramial mulch (mostly deciduous trees less than 2 inches in diameter that has been chipped).  It took a few hours of searching the internet and calling around, I believe I found some.  The guy I talked to called it “economy” mulch.  It’s pretty much exactly what I’m looking for.  Although it has some pine in it (which is a bit more acidic than regular deciduous), it should be just what I’m wanting.  It wasn’t too bad either, $12.?? per cubic yard, tax included.  The guy from Afterhours Topsoil told me the price, but I missed it.  I figure I will get a cubic yard for each tree (six trees).  This mulch will be great because it breaks down a bit faster than regular mulch and will give the nutrients back to the soil that I’m hoping to get.  Due to the fact that it’s smaller branches, the research says that it still has more nutrients than stem wood.  That’s what I’ve read at least.  Even some of the gardeners I’ve talked to had no idea about it.  They thought it sounded pretty good though.

This weekend, I’m hoping to visit with Terry Moore of Moore Orchards in Midland.  He has a large orchard with many varieties.  Terry has been working on his orchard for about 25 years.  I need a place to transition the information I read about into actual work experience.  It’s my hope that he will allow me to come and work with him on his orchard to learn about the nuances of growing apple trees.

The Hauer Pippin tree is beginning to bud as is the Cox’s Orange Pippin and the Ashmead’s Kernal.  We did have snow yesterday (no accumulation, but there were flurries) and the weather has been in a constant state of flux.  The strong spring winds are also here.  My White Pearmain has a few leaves on it!  I’m very excited to see what this growing season will bring!