This is a journal of my vegetable gardens. Skippy was my first dog and he thought the garden was his, even though I did all the work. Now Suzie and Charley follow in his footsteps. We're located near Boston (USDA zone 6A). I have a community plot, a backyard vegetable garden, fruit trees, berry bushes, chickens, and bees. I use sustainable organic methods and do my best to grow all of my family's vegetables myself.

Sunday, January 05, 2014

fruit tree planning

fruit tree planning 1 fruit tree planning 2 fruit tree planning 3 I'm working on deciding how many fruit trees I'll have room for and what varieties to get. I'd like to get a peach, a pie cherry and several apple trees.

Along with the peach and the cherry, I think I'll have room for 3-5 apple trees. I don't know whether to plant dwarfs, so I can spray, pick and prune them without a ladder, or semi-dwarfs, which I think are hardier, longer-lived and produce more fruit.

From my quick measuring of the space, it looks like I have room for either 5 dwarf apples or 2 semi-dwarfs and 1 dwarf.

For varieties, I'm thinking a good mix might be: Honeycrisp (high flavor eating and storage apple), Liberty (mild flavor apple for eating fresh) and Grimes Golden (a high flavor all purpose apple fresh eating, good storage and pies). A friend of my mom's has Liberty, Anoka, Macoun and Northern Spy trees and she likes the Liberty best. I grew Fuji a few years back and it was so-so, never seemed to ripen fully. I LOVE Honeycrisp for eating and definitely want to grow this variety. Grime's Golden is supposed to be one of the best pie and sauce varieties.

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Blogger jennifer_f said...

Exciting plans! Check out the Brock apple available at Fedco -

This apple was named after my grandfather and is a great all purpose apple!

January 05, 2014 5:33 PM

Blogger Lara said...

So many lovely decisions. Peach, pie and have great taste!

Azalea and heart would sing if my zone could allow for those.

January 05, 2014 7:46 PM

Blogger kathy said...

Hey Jennifer! So exciting to have an apple named after your grandfather. I'll take a look.

January 05, 2014 7:53 PM

Anonymous Calchas said...

Last year I planted a Methley plum, a Beauty Plum, a Black Beauty Mulberry, a Hood pear, and an Anna apple. Sadly the apple tree didn't make it. I had one pear (yeah!) and the Methley plum surprised me with twenty delicious, red-fleshed plums. Oh, and I planted a Black Mission fig tree too.

How's that for a plan?

January 06, 2014 9:33 AM

Blogger kathy said...

Wow quite an orchard! I have a couple espaleiered pear trees at my community plot and they took three or four years to bear fruit, partly because it took my a coupe years to learn how to prune them correctly. But this year they produced hundreds of pears. Soon you'll have tons of fruit. Are you going to replace the apple?

I had a two year old black mission fig that I killed this winter. In my old house I overwintered it in the attic. In my new house we have no attic no basement. I tried leaving it out til too cold then bringing in, but it didn't seem to like that abrupt temperature change and the buds blackened. Anyway, I have been so busy that I gave up on it and left it out side. :-(. it shurley didn't survive -6*F.

January 06, 2014 10:00 AM

Anonymous Calchas said...

Yes, I will replace the apple--if I have any room left! It’s a shame because I had chosen it as a low-chill variety, perfect for a frost-free climate. Well, maybe not so perfect! Maybe it didn’t like the halcyon skies, or the company…

I forgot to mention that I also have a Pineapple pear. I want to keep my trees low, so I made the decision to cut the tree off at 2.5 feet to encourage low branching. Did I say anything about my Japanese plum (which completes the plum triumvirate)? Well, I also cut that one low as I didn’t like the forked trunk it had. I hope these brave measures will pay off in the long run (talk about tough love). Hundreds of pears! I can’t wait.

What about avocado? Will it be part of the revised plan?

Sorry to hear about the fig—so temperamental, but nothing that warm mittens and a parka couldn’t have prevented (if only!)

January 06, 2014 12:24 PM

Blogger Zippi Kit said...

I was going to suggest some espaleiered trees if you have the frame work or fences for them. I have a perfect place for fruit trees but an uninspired DH to deal with.

January 07, 2014 2:32 AM

Blogger Kate Mossy said...

I'm so jealous of your future fruit trees! Happy planning.

January 07, 2014 8:48 AM

Blogger lea said...

I am moved to comment-yes, yes to Grimes Golden! We had one at my parent's home on the Oregon coast, it was there when we moved in (1958) and it is still there. A wonderful apple, good for baking and it kept beautifully. There are photos of the fruit from our tree on the website taken by the new owner.
Love the photo of the Tufted Titmouse, I don't see those here. I get wonderful bunches of Bushtits here for suet.

January 07, 2014 9:00 PM

Blogger Ock Du Spock said...

Love seeing other people's planting plans. It always gives you new ideas!

January 08, 2014 5:17 AM

Blogger Daphne Gould said...

I love Honeycrisp too. I planted two eating apples, Honeycrisp and Ginger Gold (though they both are good in applesauce too). So far Honeycrisp has just sat there and not grown much. It isn't a very vigorous tree. They even put it on less dwarfing rootstock because of this. The Ginger Gold is very vigorous and put out a lot of fruit this year for its first year bearing (and third year in the ground). I had to thin out about half the fruit it tried to set. I thinned at 6-8" apart and got massively huge apples. I choose it because I liked the taste (like Honeycrisp it is a crunchy, tart, sweet apple) and it was one of the earliest apples. It bears in August. The Honeycrisp was later so I figured they would be a good pair and keep me in apples for a longer period (also they can cross pollinate each other). So far the Ginger Gold has worked out amazing and my favorite apple, Honeycrisp has been a disappointment. My townhouse mate says the Ginger Golds are the best apple she has ever tasted. I think they rank up there too.

BTW I have Liberty too. I ended up planting more apple trees last year as two just aren't enough (all dwarf trees). I also planted a MacFree. I'll see which ones do best. I love macs for the applesauce that they make. I thought about a cortland since a mac and cortland applesauce is the best, but I went with the easier to care for ones. They have to fight the maple tree roots where they are. Any advantage they have will be good.

January 08, 2014 8:06 AM

Blogger kathy said...

I'd really like to go with drawing 3. I'd like to have semi-deaf trees. I have to see if I can find these trees locally or if I can get them shipped.

January 18, 2014 9:48 PM

Anonymous Peter Nicolson said...

amazing article. Really liked it.

January 21, 2014 6:15 AM


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