Next on the agenda was planting fruit trees in our fruit orchard. We chose Cauley, Honey Crisp, Blushing Delight, and Wolf River apple varieties. For the fig we decided upon Celeste and may get another variety in the future. Fall is a good time for planting fruit trees so we decided to get a soil test and dive right in. The soil is clay and was in need of lime to raise the pH which is often the case with clay soil types. It is a drastic change from the sandy soil I dealt with in Florida. It is hard to decide which is worse - soil that hardens like a brick or sandy soil that doesn’t hold moisture well and dries out too quickly. I have to say though that clay soil can be teaming with worms and good “bugs".” It also is very nutritious. If handled properly with plenty of compost added it can be a great soil to work with.
The mattock has come in handy when dealing with our clay soil.
The hole we dug had to be about double the width and the depth was about equal to the height of the pot. We mulched it up nicely with a bag of leaf mulch. Unfortunately the bag had split, but somehow my sister and I managed to carry it all the way to the back of the property.
The first apple tree is ready to go into the ground. This is an urban apple variety that will be about 2’ wide and 10’ tall with one main stem where the apples clump around it. This variety is easier to manage and takes up a lot less space than a full size tree.
The deer will be an issue on our farm with all those woods. This fence will most likely need to be a more sturdy design in the future, but for now we are hoping it will do the trick.
The last step was watering the trees. My sister and I carried the five gallon bucket from the creek to the trees. It was a steep climb, but we made it.