Author Topic: Homestead Mini-Orchard  (Read 5887 times)

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Offline rick91351

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Homestead Mini-Orchard
« on: June 27, 2011, 02:36:20 PM »
Last year I posted a few pictures of a orchard we put in up at our place.  Several people PMed and others posted showing an interest in growing fruit trees at their cabins.  This sparked this homestead mini-orchard experiment.  Comments ran from if things get tough and we have to move to the cabin a few fruit trees would sure be nice to have.  (I can not agree more.)  Some people really wanted to homestead but certainly did not want to invest as we have and I can certainly understand that.  Yet it takes time to grow a tree.  If you wait until times are bad they really are not going to help you a heck of a lot.

The orchard below has required a huge outlay of time, money, and materials.  And a heck of a lot of learning.  An orchard such as this needs an eight foot fence to keep the deer and elk out.  No guarantee on bears and humans while you are gone.  It takes some research as to root stocks that will work where you are located and verities. 

Besides the cost of the fruit trees and shipping.  Our orchard has corner posts, brace posts and gate posts that are pressure treated 8X8's 11'.  Wooden line posts are pressure treated 6X6's 11'  The posts go down a minimum of two and a half feet to three foot.  Tee posts are 10 foot that they make for orchards.  The wire we used was 4' field fence, some we had, some was given to us, and some of course we had to buy.  Being so we had to go two runs high to make the 8' it was double or triple the work.  Stretching field fence or netting wire is easy if you have done it a lot and know how it is going to act and react. But adding another dimension of an additional four feet and ladder time wow it turned into another world.  When we were done and the trees were planted and are now getting established, I must say it is one of the most rewarding things we have done.



So I got to wondering what I would do if I just want to plant a few fruit trees.  (A mini-orchard if you will)  So I ordered this year eight extra trees.  (I hope this was our last order.)  Four extra pears and four extra peaches to do an experiment with.  I wanted to see if I could make a mini orchard that would not require a huge out lay and use stuff we had around.  Or stuff that will not break the bank and should be available everywhere.

I first came up with this idea because it was quick and they turned the cows into where my experiment was going to be done.  Basically three tee posts, some old tree stakes a bunch of rebar tie wire and just wrapped barb wire around the tee posts.  Not really pretty but it did work very well.  The cattle actually left it alone very well.  I took it down after the cattle had been in there over a month and the tree looked good.  Two were left unprotected.  They suffered bad damage and most likely will not recover.       



Next I found a few 6 inch eight foot posts and some field fence that was used but reusable.  I sort of knew where this experiment was going to go but trying to be cheep and fair....  I measured 5' 6" from the base of the tree and dug a post hole and set the first post.  Then measured ten foot in a triangle.   I dug and set those posts.  I used the old wire and did not really stretch it tight because I just wanted to see what it might look with someone with just fencing 101 at best.  The wire did exactly as I knew it would it pulled the posts all out of alignment.  So I found some boards at a very good price at the local sawmill.  Returned and straightened the posts up and nailed on the boards.



Then the rest of the experiment was more the way it should be.  With this design using semi-dwarf trees, is six foot tall and with the ten foot board and post spacing I think they will mature there very safely.  Fourteen or sixteen feet would be better but in the interest of space and cabin lots I thought the ten foot would work good.  Eight foot posts allows with a two foot hole allows six foot in the air.  I really doubt that a deer would attempt to jump over something such as that.  I do need to now design a gate or passage way inside as you do need to still get in there and prune, train, fertilize, and we do use root guards on the winter time and remove them in the spring.  Fruit trees do need about five gallons of water per week if there has not be sufficient rain.  This would have to be carried in or if you have a hose and pressure cuts down on the in and out.   



This is from the shop down to where our someday house or cabin or small cottage will be built, if we can ever figure that out and get started.



Mini-orchard going up to the big orchard.



If you have any ideas or improvements let me know and I will see if I can work them in.  This is sort of an experiment for all of us that might want to grow a few fruit trees.  I am just seeing it as one person.  I do know I need to provide an access point.  But right now the cattle and the deer are fenced out.  That is most important!

Wow I am starting to feel a little like Johnny Appleseed  :)       

                     








 

 
Proverbs 24:3-5 Through wisdom is an house builded; an by understanding it is established.  4 And by knowledge shall the chambers be filled with all precious and pleasant riches.  5 A wise man is strong; yea, a man of knowledge increaseth strength.

Offline Ajax

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Re: Homestead Mini-Orchard
« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2011, 08:07:55 AM »


Your backyard is a little more scenic then mine
    








« Last Edit: June 29, 2011, 07:40:03 AM by Ajax »
Ajax .... What an ass.
muldoon

Offline OlJarhead

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Re: Homestead Mini-Orchard
« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2011, 10:27:41 AM »
I'm looking at doing something similar and have planted 7 Red Oaks along the North West side of where I want to put the Fruit Trees.  I hope to have the site prepped before Fall so I can do a fall planting.

My plan is to fence in a dozen trees or so, and provide them water.  I plan to use 6 foot fences to start (for deer) with horse fence and barbed wire.  I'll have to put in some heavy posts to stop the cows probably -- and then some electric fencing outside of that.

With luck, in a few years we will have a small crop :)

Offline Sassy

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Re: Homestead Mini-Orchard
« Reply #3 on: June 28, 2011, 12:12:41 PM »
We have around 30 fruit trees, 6 trees close by the house (peach, 2 apricot, pluot, fig & walnut) and then Glenn made 2 long terraces below the house w/all kinds of fruit & 2 walnuts.  Our 3 pomegranate trees started producing the 1st year they were planted.  Glenn puts up white plastic twine (actually thicker than twine) at around 7 ft high & criss-crosses it & lets it hang down to form "gates" which fools the deer.  We also have lots of barbed wire fencing now to keep the cows in so I think that deters the deer even though they were eating my strawberry plants that are on the roof of part of the shop  >:(

Nice job on your orchard!  Looking forward to seeing how your individual trees for the smaller planting does.  You've done a lot of work.  Bet you are anxious to get to building your cabin & being able to stay up there.
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Offline rick91351

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Re: Homestead Mini-Orchard
« Reply #4 on: June 29, 2011, 04:30:55 AM »
I'm looking at doing something similar and have planted 7 Red Oaks along the North West side of where I want to put the Fruit Trees.  I hope to have the site prepped before Fall so I can do a fall planting.

My plan is to fence in a dozen trees or so, and provide them water.  I plan to use 6 foot fences to start (for deer) with horse fence and barbed wire.  I'll have to put in some heavy posts to stop the cows probably -- and then some electric fencing outside of that.

With luck, in a few years we will have a small crop :)

If you are planing a orchard planting where deer can jump the fence, figure eight foot.  You can do six but run an additional two foot higher some how.  As Sassy says Glenn has had luck with heavy twine.  This seem to work.  We put in a blue berry plot of 100 blue berry bushes and a 6 foot fence and as I have stated somewhere I never knew they had tape measures because they leap the six foot fence.  I am going to have to try Glenns approach there.  I am going to have to on my wood posts nail on some raisers and staple on some heavy twine to fool them.

Fall plantings work well in some cases and we have wanted to do some of that.  But the nurseries we have bought from will not ship then.  As of late we get all our trees bare root from Adams County Nursery http://www.acnursery.com/       

As far as apples just passing this on - EMLA 7 and EMLA 111 rootstocks work well up there.  We pretty much will not plant anything not anchored to them.  And I would think they would as well up there in the Okanogan Country as well.  That would be a start, however I do not know anything about your soil.  Root stock was a key in finding apples that would grow well.  For your area find a couple verities that bloom mid-season to late because of frosts.  A crab apple in some cases works well for a pollinator so I have read.

Sweet cherries - let someone else do those and save your money.  We have tried and tried and none are hearty enough to find two to cross pollinate.  Montmorency pie cherries are very hearty and pollinate themselves. 

There are a few real hearty peaches, and the pears we have tried.  The orchard and nursery people up there in the Okanogan Country would most likely steer you well.  We did not have that luxury here, everyone we talked to was tuned into the Boise Valley.  Not short growing seasons and 5000' and lots of snow.  Lots of snow helps protect the roots by the way, or so I understand. 

There is another thing we did last year and this year as well.  Around the inside of the orchard fence we planted raspberries and blackberries.  We will use wooden  fence posts and wire to trellis too.  More trying to just see what we can do with what we have and how we can stretch it out to get the maximum usage.  If we move up there full time my wife wants to run some chickens in the orchard as well.  This would certainly keep the bugs down but it might keep the red tailed hawks fat.   >:(       
         



 
Proverbs 24:3-5 Through wisdom is an house builded; an by understanding it is established.  4 And by knowledge shall the chambers be filled with all precious and pleasant riches.  5 A wise man is strong; yea, a man of knowledge increaseth strength.

Offline OlJarhead

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Re: Homestead Mini-Orchard
« Reply #5 on: June 30, 2011, 02:37:35 PM »
Thanks.

I found a place to get pretty much any apple with Russian rootstock Antonovka and they list them by type of apple and various other features (when they bloom, hardiness etc). so I pan to go that route with Apples.

I also want to plant various berries but all of it will have to wait until I have time! 

Time is my biggest issue!  I just can't seem to find enough of it.

Speaking of fence height, I believe my parents found that a 6 foot fence will work provided there is no room between it that the deer can jump into. Meaning that they put the fence close to the tree but far enough away that you can't reach the branches by putting front hooves on the fence and then eating.  So basically a channel of fence on either side of the row of trees with no room in the middle for the deer to jump into.

I'll have to double check but it seems that deters them from jumping the fence because perhaps, it confuses them.

Offline MushCreek

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Re: Homestead Mini-Orchard
« Reply #6 on: July 02, 2011, 09:47:24 AM »
I like your triangular corrals. I don't think deer will jump into something that small- there's no where to land. I've also heard that either a double fence, or one that slopes outward will stop them because they're afraid of the distance rather than the height. Of course, if you neglect to explain these 'rules' to the deer, they may go ahead and jump in anyway! I was planning to grow my blueberries between two 6' fences to discourage deer, and then it will support netting to keep the birds out when the berries ripen
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Offline rick91351

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Re: Homestead Mini-Orchard
« Reply #7 on: July 02, 2011, 01:06:56 PM »
I like your triangular corrals. I don't think deer will jump into something that small- there's no where to land. I've also heard that either a double fence, or one that slopes outward will stop them because they're afraid of the distance rather than the height. Of course, if you neglect to explain these 'rules' to the deer, they may go ahead and jump in anyway! I was planning to grow my blueberries between two 6' fences to discourage deer, and then it will support netting to keep the birds out when the berries ripen

I like your idea of the six foot fences in the blue berries.  Our soil very clay based so it is not the best for blueberries, we are having to add a lot of sulfur and humas to get them to do anything.  I am wondering if it was a good idea to try that venture.  But then on the other side of the coin, it is to late we have like 100 plants in.  So we have to give it our best shot.      

When I was a kid there were a lot of these small homesteads that were scattered around the country.  Many raised a few fruit trees and I can remember something like those triangle corrals back then.  They seemed to be more in the 14' 16' foot range however.  That would require another post per side but they were also corralling full sized fruit trees. The triangle shapes sure take a lot less materials.

One reason I went that way was most of the stuff could be sawed with a chain saw mill out of stuff on the ground, or a person might just have enough 6" stuff laying around or might find some thing here and there.  The 10 foot 6 inch stuff like I say I found over at the local sawmill in a mix of pine and fir.  The owner gave me a heck of a deal on them.  Another reason I decided to do the 10 foot triangles was in a homestead setting this would allow a little more foraging for the farm animals and not corralling them out of a large area.  The reason for growing soft fruit in those 10 foot triangles rather than apples was from what I have noted; the deer are not really drawn to the fruit trees until the fruit starts ripening in the fall.  The soft fruit is off and gone way before the apples start.  (Other than pears.)  Four of these are pear trees so we will have to wait and see if they are drawn to pears as they are apples.        

The double fences work well from what I have read.  But I hate digging that many post holes if I can get away from it.  (I am sixty this year and was raised on farms and have been around ranches and livestock all my life.)  Got any idea how many post holes I have dug by hand?  Wonder if it is like a whole basement of post holes....  

The Idaho Fish and Game at one time suggested two fences.  This is still on the books as far as I can tell.   The outside fence tilted out at about like 75 degrees.  (The outside fence could be a four foot fence.)  The inside fence was six foot.  You guyed the tilted out four foot fence to the six foot inside fence.  No thanks.  Their next suggestion was the simple 8 foot fence.  The main thing I wanted to do there was to go with what the Fish and Game wanted or required.  We have never found a deer track in the orchard.....  And I sort of figure that is what the Fish and Game is good at, knowing the behavior of deer and elk.

Thanks.

I found a place to get pretty much any apple with Russian rootstock Antonovka and they list them by type of apple and various other features (when they bloom, hardiness etc). so I pan to go that route with Apples.



I did find this for your info... a little cut and paste from Garden Web.....  At any rate thanks for your post and will keep that in my memory bank and might ever try a few.  

Antonovka is not (at least at this point) a single cultivar but rather a collection of related types, sometimes even including seedlings. Most are produced vegetatively, but to identify a specific cultivar, you'd have to have a more specific name. Examples of Antonovka cultivars include 'Antonovka Kamenichka', 'Antonovka Obyknovennaja', 'Antonovka Polutorafuntonaja', and 'Antonovka Zheltinaja'.

Antonovka is my favorite apple, but I am from Eastern Europe and Antonovaka is VERY popular apple there. When fully ripe it is good for fresh eating and axel is right that it is very good for processing. In fact I believe that apple pie with Antonovka is far superior to any other. It has a very special flavor and certain acidity that compliments sweetness. When not fully ripe it can be sour, it has to be yellow, not green for fresh eating.  I never tried to grow it here in MD climate, but I did grow many of them in the past and I miss them a lot. To me Antonovka is the simbol of good apple.
Olga


Like Olga, i am from Eastern Europe where Antonavka is considered as one of great apples. Smell of ripe Antonovka fruits in October is unforgatable.
But i have tried here an apple from a tree that was supposed to be a rootstock and i did not like it. Possible cultivar of that rootstock was not the same as we had in Eastern Europe.
Proverbs 24:3-5 Through wisdom is an house builded; an by understanding it is established.  4 And by knowledge shall the chambers be filled with all precious and pleasant riches.  5 A wise man is strong; yea, a man of knowledge increaseth strength.

Offline MushCreek

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Re: Homestead Mini-Orchard
« Reply #8 on: July 03, 2011, 01:46:25 PM »
It depends on the local deer. My nephew in upstate NY put up 8', and the deer got in! He had to add another 4'. BIG deer up that way.
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Offline rick91351

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Re: Homestead Mini-Orchard
« Reply #9 on: July 03, 2011, 04:26:45 PM »
It depends on the local deer. My nephew in upstate NY put up 8', and the deer got in! He had to add another 4'. BIG deer up that way.

That is why I followed the Idaho Fish and Games instructions to a Tee!  One phone call - one shot. ;)
Proverbs 24:3-5 Through wisdom is an house builded; an by understanding it is established.  4 And by knowledge shall the chambers be filled with all precious and pleasant riches.  5 A wise man is strong; yea, a man of knowledge increaseth strength.

Offline OlJarhead

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Re: Homestead Mini-Orchard
« Reply #10 on: July 10, 2011, 08:53:25 AM »
http://www.sln.potsdam.ny.us/apples.html
That's the site I found.

$150 for ten trees and I'm thinking of doing 20 trees for $300 if the well goes in as planned and produces at least enough water to provide 5 gals a week per tree :)

I plan on putting a solar panel and timer on the well and having it pump directly off the panel (and controller) with timed pumping to provide the right amount of water each week.

I also plan on putting in at least 4-6 more red oaks (if they survive the transplanting which I'm hopeful they will!) as well as some maples.

Though our maples are silver maples it sounds like they would be fine for producing syrup and I'll try to find sugar maples too but we have silver saplings growing from seeds dropped from our own trees -- so free! :)  Love that.

Offline rick91351

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Re: Homestead Mini-Orchard
« Reply #11 on: July 10, 2011, 10:35:44 AM »
Thanks, I did find that nursery before.  I never have contacted them but would be interested in a planting of old world apples I think.  Ma Ellen most likely would kill me. ;)

Wow!!  Twenty if well taken care of would really be a lot.  Plenty for juicing, canning, and drying.  Or most people's favorite just eating.  They could certainly be given or bartered away as well.  I would love to set up a stand or just out of the back of the pick up, and sell to hunters and fisherman as well as tourists who are looking at the fall foliage.  Lots of time for that, as this is the first year that we are letting some of our trees produce.     

They like most produce are best when homegrown, and picked just at that peak.  At least you get to control that aspect not some commercial growers governed by a head office...Well never mind that... whole other story.  Also some of the verities they breed for longer storage life, this seems to be detrimental as it is in tomatoes and peppers.  They seem content sacrificing taste and aroma for storage and shelf life.  :(   
 
I do want to plant some maples up there.  Oaks with our short growing season unless they were free are sort of a chance.  Does any one have a lead on sugar maples?  I know try the internet...       
Proverbs 24:3-5 Through wisdom is an house builded; an by understanding it is established.  4 And by knowledge shall the chambers be filled with all precious and pleasant riches.  5 A wise man is strong; yea, a man of knowledge increaseth strength.

Offline OlJarhead

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Re: Homestead Mini-Orchard
« Reply #12 on: July 10, 2011, 04:52:11 PM »
Thanks, I did find that nursery before.  I never have contacted them but would be interested in a planting of old world apples I think.  Ma Ellen most likely would kill me. ;)

Wow!!  Twenty if well taken care of would really be a lot.  Plenty for juicing, canning, and drying.  Or most people's favorite just eating.  They could certainly be given or bartered away as well.  I would love to set up a stand or just out of the back of the pick up, and sell to hunters and fisherman as well as tourists who are looking at the fall foliage.  Lots of time for that, as this is the first year that we are letting some of our trees produce.     

They like most produce are best when homegrown, and picked just at that peak.  At least you get to control that aspect not some commercial growers governed by a head office...Well never mind that... whole other story.  Also some of the verities they breed for longer storage life, this seems to be detrimental as it is in tomatoes and peppers.  They seem content sacrificing taste and aroma for storage and shelf life.  :(   
 
I do want to plant some maples up there.  Oaks with our short growing season unless they were free are sort of a chance.  Does any one have a lead on sugar maples?  I know try the internet...       

Hard to say how many I'd get and I have come to my senses and decided NOT to get 20 apples!  *chuckle* I tend to get over zealous sometimes!  I'll likely get 5-10 and make them a mix that gives early to late season production as well as some long lasting stuff for the root cellar :)  And I'll add several other fruit trees and nut trees.

I figure what we don't eat the deer, bears, turkey etc can have ;)

Offline OlJarhead

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Re: Homestead Mini-Orchard
« Reply #13 on: July 12, 2011, 10:19:39 AM »
St Lawrence Nursery's have Silver and Sugar Maples and show Silver Maples as excellent sap for Syrup! :D  That's AWESOME since I think it is what I have now.

Their saplings are nicely priced too at $6.50 ea.


Offline OlJarhead

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Re: Homestead Mini-Orchard
« Reply #14 on: July 12, 2011, 10:20:41 AM »
I should add that I've smacked myself around a little, talked to my bro and came back to my senses!  I am looking at 3-4 apples now *whiles brow* as 10-20 would just be way too many....but was so tempting!

Offline rick91351

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Re: Homestead Mini-Orchard
« Reply #15 on: June 22, 2012, 11:39:08 PM »
The cattle have been in where my mini orchard is no for almost a month.

This peach tree last year I did not protect from the cattle as a test to prove the damage they occur by not protecting them.  It was quite dead.  I build the enclose around it last year and by fall it had new growth above the bud union so we protected it.  This year it has grown this much.  The dead tree is from last years experiment.



This is a nice pear tree starting to build growth and has not had any problems in the enclosure.  Myself; I still need to build into them a door way or way to enter them a couple times a year for pruning, fertilizing and attaching and removing the rodent guard. 

   


I am trying two new to me ideas.  And they seem to be working well.  One uses concrete reinforcing wire, and three steel tee posts.  Set the wire over the tree, mark where you want the inside tee post to go.  Then mark the other two.  This way you can unwire the reinforcing wire from the tee posts and side it back if you need to. 

This is around and American Chestnut.



This is how it looks pulled up and wired off.  It has worked.  However if you had a couple range type bulls started fighting around them I doubt they would fair very well...



This works as a understanding it is easier to keep critters out than in.  I built this fence out of mostly used recycled stuff we have stockpiled for a rainy day.  It has worked well.  This has Balli Cherries, and grapes and a bee hive.  The boards are just 1 bys.

   

Proverbs 24:3-5 Through wisdom is an house builded; an by understanding it is established.  4 And by knowledge shall the chambers be filled with all precious and pleasant riches.  5 A wise man is strong; yea, a man of knowledge increaseth strength.

Offline rick91351

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Re: Homestead Mini-Orchard
« Reply #16 on: May 28, 2013, 11:49:57 PM »
After having almost given up on peach trees I have found two that seem to work in our climate here in Idaho.

This is a photo of the same little tree we experimented with and the cows and I wrote it off as a loss.  It snapped back the new growth is all above the union. 

 

The pears are also doing well in the three cornered cages.....



My plantings in the round cages made of concrete reinforcing wire seem to be working well.  Last years planting of Bali Cherries wintered very well. 

Last winter was very hard and they all 'rode it out' well!!


Proverbs 24:3-5 Through wisdom is an house builded; an by understanding it is established.  4 And by knowledge shall the chambers be filled with all precious and pleasant riches.  5 A wise man is strong; yea, a man of knowledge increaseth strength.

Offline OlJarhead

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Re: Homestead Mini-Orchard
« Reply #17 on: May 29, 2013, 05:22:49 AM »
Good to hear!  Ours are doing well also.  Where did you get the peaches?  What kind?  I'm looking for a peach that will do well in our area also.

Offline rick91351

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Re: Homestead Mini-Orchard
« Reply #18 on: May 29, 2013, 09:28:39 AM »
Good to hear!  Ours are doing well also.  Where did you get the peaches?  What kind?  I'm looking for a peach that will do well in our area also.

Those peaches are from Adams County Nursery.  We tried and failed so many times.  They finely suggested Canadian Harmony and Reliance.  Great sales people to work with.

After all our loses they are our last hope and after two hard winters with lots of cold and little snow I see very little cold weather damage.  Reliance is a 9 out of 9 on cold hardy.  Canadian Harmony is a 8.  They bloomed and froze this year as well.  It just got too nice too early up here.     
Proverbs 24:3-5 Through wisdom is an house builded; an by understanding it is established.  4 And by knowledge shall the chambers be filled with all precious and pleasant riches.  5 A wise man is strong; yea, a man of knowledge increaseth strength.

Offline rick91351

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Re: Homestead Mini-Orchard
« Reply #19 on: June 24, 2013, 06:06:47 PM »
I was watering in the mini orchard today found that one of the peach blossoms pollinated.   [cool]

Tree is way to young to produce so I pinched it.   :(



I really think these two verities are going to work up here; but the question will be are they eatable? 
Proverbs 24:3-5 Through wisdom is an house builded; an by understanding it is established.  4 And by knowledge shall the chambers be filled with all precious and pleasant riches.  5 A wise man is strong; yea, a man of knowledge increaseth strength.

Offline fluffybunnypuff

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Re: Homestead Mini-Orchard
« Reply #20 on: July 26, 2013, 11:56:10 PM »
great job [cool] beautiful natural scenery.
those hills would be great utilized to put a underground house into one of those hills-if thats what you want.
it depends on the hardiness zone for what plants grow in the area. look at the usda plant hardiness zone map if you want.
 
drip irrigation with cheap very small plastic toob is something to consider. they also make tree water bags you can put around the tree, tho i think just the plastic toob is good enough. the toob range about .05-.10cents /foot unless u can find a cheaper one. the toob can just be set on top, its flexable, or u can burry it if u want.
they have automatic drip irrigation, u can get one with a smal solar panel to power it, and a rain/mositure sensor, so it does it all automatically. this might range $24-100
trees are only about $10-15 a peice, its not too bad, especially if they do well you get a huge return on investment in the long term.
u can get about any tree in self-fruitful types and now a days thats mostly all anyone sells, meaning you dont need 2 trees of the same type to pollenate, they pollenate themself and self-fruit.

haveing the tress in a slight concave/dip in the ground/slightly sunken beds, can help keep them hydrated especially in dryer areas.

i recomed you make it as diverse as you can, getting all the types of trees that will grow there and all the types of berry bushes. there are varities of blueberrys that do well in higher ph so you can get that type of blueberry plant and not worry about its ph. all the other plants you dont have to worry about the ph unless you really wana get technical and precise.
*make sure all the trees/bushes you are get self-fruitful. and strongly recomend organic non-gmo no pesticide herbicide or fungicide-otherwise you kill the bees(nessicary pollenators) and eat posion..not good for you, its also not good for birds who eat it, and birds are good for eating bugs.

to prevent mold and pests: as long as the plants arnt overcrowded, spaced properly, not too close to the forest trees(as bugs are most likley to come to your plants if they are close to eachother)not overhead watered, and are in full sun, are diversified(important to help protect agianst pests/disease), get propery nutirents(organinc composted manure and food works) and water(preferably purified from all toxins as toxins weaken its immune system)

red wiggler worms are great for makeing your soil more nutrious and airgateing the soil and looseing it so water can better get in there.

white clover can also be grown as its reportedly nitrogen fixing, so what you do is you grow it, then you throw your compost on top of it, then it dies and releases nitrogen, (this step is unnessicary u can try it if you want.)-since as long as u have composted manure u should have enough nitrogen from that, tho some farmers still do this and put the manure on top of the clover.

to keep weeds out: organic mulch makeing sure the trunk is never mulched and is always open to the air(exsept maybe if your covering for winter), and mulch shuold only be about 1inch thick, not more than 2inches thick, or you can use moss under the trees if its shady enough, you can also use short ground cover that is perenial, drought and heavy foot traffic tollerant, and perferably no taller than 3"max height, its a lawn/path alternative-however it isnt as tough as lawn

think abuot large trees, dwarfs are great for small spaces, tho your area seems pretty big, and since large trees take care of themself and dont need to be watered, plus great for shade and blocking wind and helping to prevent floods, while also shadeing soil to help keep mositure in the soil in dry times, i'd consider them.
i prefer large trees if space allows for them, tho in small spaces i prefer dwarfs so i can have varity.

here is a list of some if not all trees that grow or reportedly grow in at least zone 5, or warmer, and in some cases cooler but i didnt write down all that information since i studied it to find out what worked in my zone.-u can do a quick search for yourself and find out the zones of the trees pretty fast.: mulberry, grape, apple apricot pear peach plum fig kiwi almond english-walnut hazelnut pecan maple

this may be to expensive for u i dont know: consider dwarf tropical trees that u can bring in for the winter in a greenhouse, or w grow lights, heated pots.

growing mushrooms and annual garden.

rubarb and mint are perenials, and their great.

here's my design:
house interior 7x8wide, 7tall
http://www.flickr.com/photos/99405731@N05/9371779389/sizes/l/in/photostream/

sml house interior 6x8wide,3.5tall
http://www.flickr.com/photos/99405731@N05/9374561476/sizes/l/in/photostream/

house garden
http://www.flickr.com/photos/99405731@N05/9374544392/sizes/l/in/photostream/

tell me if the links work

thanks, send me questions or comments thanks ;D





Offline rick91351

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Re: Homestead Mini-Orchard
« Reply #21 on: July 27, 2013, 10:51:35 AM »
Thanks for your interest in the the mini orchard.  It is an experiment for cabin owners or small homestead / farmstead owner operators that might not have the means to erect a eight foot deer fence around a larger plot. 

Our main orchard here is also posted on Country Plans and how we have worked it over the several years it has been in.  It also discusses the problems with blue berries.  I also try to encourage people not to run out and buy trees that the root stocks might not work.  Here your fore-mentioned $10 to $15 trees do not work unless they are on EMLA 7 root stock.  Then recently Jarhead another member here guided me to another nursery.  We have planted for the last two years some of their super cold hardy apples.  Some of their cold hardy crab apples.

We went through several hundred dollars worth of nectarines and several hundred dollars worth of peaches to find the grouping that we now use.  They are still young juvenal trees so I can not expect to much out of them.  The big question is are they going to produce a usable eatable peach?  You mention about dwarf trees.  Here they are a waste of money, time and orchard space.  They will not produce, they will not fill out.  They are just a tree in the orchard.  We have tried them before I really decided to make a study and an education out of cold hardy, higher altitude fruit trees.  We are mid range here at 5000 ft.  The USDA zone maps here is about as useful as the Holy Bible in a Mosque.  Or a Koran in a meeting of Independent Baptists.  Either way it is just going to get you in trouble.                   

http://countryplans.com/smf/index.php?topic=11346.msg145745#msg145745

As far as drip lines and such the only way I would suggest them being used especially on fruit trees if you are unable to water them once a week.  Fruit trees until they are producing good only require five gallons of water per week.  Unless UNLESS it is extremely hot and windy then I do bump it up to ten gallons per week five gallon and then three or four days latter another five gallons.  Just common sense....

The only time I will admit drip lines are good is if your cabin plot is a far distance and you can not attend to them on a regular weekly bases.  Why you might ask?  Drip lines used on trees do not encourage deep anchoring root growth.  Reason number two it is hard too judge how much you are watering and if it is going to be stable.  Plaque, scale and sand tend to clog up your drip lines over time.  So what you set in June very well might not be what is being delivered in August .  Drip line however are my favorite on our 100 and some feet of raspberries. 

As far as your warning about bees and systemics ..... The jury is still out on bees and systemics as far as I am concerned.  I do not use systemics however but there is no real evidence as to CCD or Collapsed Colony Disorder and systemics.  When we had our place in town I / we had close to 75 English Roses.  I poured the systemics to them.  Then I / we went organic.  We did see a raise in beneficial insects but also seen a huge increase in Rose Bores.  So I scaled back on the amount of systemics and were sort of able to keep the rose bores in check without killing of the beneficial insects.  Now get a hold of your key board but I myself I would like to see them start spraying again with 24D.  Not wholesale as they did but target areas of infestation of pine beetles and bores with better timing and pin pointing areas.  Also where winds carry the bores and beetles.  My bee guru buddy has a lot more hives than I.  I have known him 35 years and he always has had hives.  He has some up here right now.  I value his opinion without measure on the bees.  He blames CCD on GMOs and the bees not being able to digest GMO pollen and nectar.  I ask for proof and he has none.  The closest I can arrive at with CCD is the tiny Vampire Mite or Varroa Mite.  But that is a gut feeling not based on science.  Just as my bee guru buddy and his conclusion. 

Your suggestion on clover and worms is very beneficial I agree.  However that is not a one size fits all thing...  We could plant clover till the cows come home and with our harsh conditions up here would be a waste of time and money.  Typically our growing season starts up here last of April for hardy grasses and cold crops, our last bad frost here is however usually last of May.  The first part of June this year we had one night down in the low twenties.  Rare but it was there and the orchard was in bloom and we still had some  blossoms survive!!!  Our growing season goes to the first hard frost of September or October.  That is great!  I agree however but we do not receive any rain here from early July to the fall rains of  late September or October.  This year is the tenth driest in history a whopping 4.46 inches of  moisture in Boise, Idaho.  Up here in the mountains above Boise we start our measurement in October  our usual high 20 some inches  is high 13 low 14 inches this year.  So worms and clover fixes just do not work up here.  The worms go very deep in these dry times.  Clover and 'green manure' inputs here work but very limited in scope.  You also need a plot to do them in.  We are okay that direction but most people up here with small five acre acreages are on a hill side and no place to plant and no water to irrigate.   This year our irrigation water is none existent.  We are lucky to have enough creek water to water the livestock right now.  Springs and wells are drying up at a rate I have not seem since 1966.

As far as your question of your plan – I am sort of the opinion if you like it that is all that matters.  For us it just would never work.  Plus I am not a fan of small houses and cabins for us.  I found this site a long time ago when looking for a guest house or small cabin for up here at the ranch or homestead.  That plan went away in favor of a 2,200 sq ft house.  We will hopefully start on soon.  That said this forum has sort of just fit well. 

A word of guidance however do not shotgun blast a posting as you did.  It just turns the most members off from ever reading anything you post.  But please do not take me as being a guru of the forum.
Proverbs 24:3-5 Through wisdom is an house builded; an by understanding it is established.  4 And by knowledge shall the chambers be filled with all precious and pleasant riches.  5 A wise man is strong; yea, a man of knowledge increaseth strength.

Offline fluffybunnypuff

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Re: Homestead Mini-Orchard
« Reply #22 on: July 27, 2013, 02:38:41 PM »
thanks for your reply :). your doing a great job w your orchard.
pesticide kills bugs, bees are a bug too. almost all gmo/pesticide farmers and applyers admit it kills bees, thats why some of them have to literally rent out or order organic bees to pollenate their stuff from around the country.
pesticide manufactures will tel you on the warning label it kills pests/bugs, and its bad for people and animals and not to consume and many time tells you to wear gloves when you use it.
sytematically eating toxins over time ususally ends with bad health and earlier death (ex cigerates, pollution, alcohol, radon, radiation...)

i recomend looking into predator bugs/animals to eat any bug problem you have.
there is usually a sepecific bug that will eat a specific bug.
lady bugs are popular to help control certian type of small bugs(some people complain that too many are bad. some are very good). and there are other types of predator bugs you can get to eat different types of bugs. i recomened you consider catching or buying, and maybe breeding, some predator bugs to eat whatever pest bug you have.

birds are good for eating larger bugs. you can attract more birds with a clean water bath, houses(must be cleaned if become dirty to prevent disease), and a little seed to help attract them more(this step probably isnt nessicary). chickens or larger birds also good for eating bugs.

also i recomend you try a hot pepper wax, its meant to be applyed before the leaves form, you can spray it on anytime, and on the ground around the plant too, its saopse to deter animals and bugs. they say it doesnt alter the taste or damage the plants ether-as long as you dont spray it on the fruit part too soon before you eat it-or maybe if you did u can just rinse it off.
they also use it in africa too by covering their fences with it too keep the elepants out of their yard,(i think they might use ghost peppers-really spicy)
you can make your own altohugh u might have to look up how to.

keeping the grass mowed real short in that whole area around the tress can help reduce bugs-you could maybe try to use livestock/animals to keep it mowed-as long as they wont damage the trees.

sometimes there is certian types of attractive traps you can set out to control certian types of pest bugs-normally you want to place these traps at least 100foot away from the crops that you want them to stay away from.

if you do spray pestide(witch i hope u can find an alternative that will work just as good or better)-at least only spray before the flower buds form, because the bees ate the pollen from the flowers-as to help reduce contact w the bees.

i knew you probably wouldnt like the size of my plan, i thought u might like the over all idea besides the size, it could be made bigger.
i didnt mean to offend anyone, i dont undestand what shot gun blasting post means. what did i do wrong?

Offline MountainDon

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Re: Homestead Mini-Orchard
« Reply #23 on: July 27, 2013, 02:45:59 PM »
Quote
...i dont undestand what shot gun blasting...

Posting the same information in a number of different topics especially when some are not directly related to the topic at hand.
Just because something has been done and has not failed, doesn’t mean it is good design.

If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time and money to fix it?

Offline fluffybunnypuff

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Re: Homestead Mini-Orchard
« Reply #24 on: July 27, 2013, 03:38:31 PM »
thanks :) im sorry, im new i didnt know how this worked, i wont do it agian