|This little tree is a bit backward on the seasons.|
One mistake that we’ve made at each of our previous homesteads was not planting fruit trees soon enough after moving in. Eventually, we’d commit to the cost and work of putting in an orchard, only to end up moving right as the trees started producing fruit. Determined not to have that happen again, one of the first projects we’ve completed at our New Harmony home is buying, planting, and tending our budding orchard.
Since most of the plant nurseries have stock on sale at the end of the season, we got our fruit trees at a pretty good bargain. The gamble is whether or not our trees will make it through the winter without a prolonged growing season to put down roots. That doesn’t stop Jack from trying his best to give the trees their best start.
|Claire is on fertilizer duty.|
We knew we wanted to put our orchard and garden toward the front of the house, where it was easily accessible from the house and away from naughty animals who might otherwise raid the fruits and veggies without permission (we’d share if they’d just ask!), so we lined up the three apples, three peaches, three cherries, and two pears into a neat grid. If nothing else, they look orderly.
Each ball of roots was soaked, the ground was fertilized, and the tree was lovingly planted. Literally. Jack loves plants and planting.
As with every project, the kids all have their assigned chores. Claire scooped out the decomposing manure out of the tractor and took it to each hole, Evelyn was in charge of running the hose, Kate helped soak the trees, Henry stayed out of trouble, and Zoey patiently watched from her stroller.
We picked the perfect time to plant, too. Up until a few weeks ago, our trees were living in our pond, waiting for the fall rains to arrive after a rather long, hot, dry end to the summer.
|Easiest way to water trees by far! No hoses, no hauling water!|
I know a lot of people dread the cool, dreary, damp days of autumn but I was especially grateful for them this year. It meant less work for me, dragging hoses back and forth and watering trees. I’m notoriously bad with plants and prefer to let Jack and Mother Nature take the lead when it comes to them.