prmsdlndfrmMarch 26, 2010

How many of ya'll grow fruit, and how many have what would be classified a orchard. What classifies as an orchard, any fruiting bushes or trees or an acreage of same. Ive been attempting to plant an orchard, a tree here a bush there, not an efficient way I know, but the price of trees and plants and the fact of waiting a couple years to get a harvest have been limiting factors. I also insist on planting fruits on hilly otherwise untillable ground, I dig out terraces by hand and plant in stair stepped rows. I have no scientific proof but being on hillsides seems to offer some frost protection as the frost flows down into the valley. So far I have 4 apples ( I lean towards semi dwarf) 3 cherries, 2 peaches several plums and a couple hundred blueberries. A hundred thornless blackberries, a dozen grapes, and 75 raspberries.


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hello i do not have much to add here but i have heard before that planting on top of a northward sloping hill does give some frost protection, the idea behind it is that the cold air will rush down the hill away from the trees. i just planted 8 pear 6 peach and 6 apple trees mixed varieties last fall i call it an orchard but i also call my storage shed air force 1, so i may not be the best person to listen too.... have a great day

    Bookmark   March 26, 2010 at 4:09PM
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Hi Josh
I don't know what constitutes an orchard either. We call ourselves crazy! We are up to 6 acres this year. Roughly 1/2 acres fruit trees, planted 1000 asparagus last year, 1000 raspberries last year, 200 blueberries, 3000 strawberry plants over the last three years, a 50X80 existing red raspberry patch. This year we are putting in 150 fruit trees, 80 gooseberry bushes, a hundred grapes, a 21X66 used greenhouse we picked up, and our usual veggy plants. If you want to say you have an orchard, then you do and say it with pride! Personally I've never had so much fun as the last few years.

Peace out

    Bookmark   March 26, 2010 at 4:55PM
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eric_wa(San Juan, z8 WA)


Welcome back. This sounds like a thread for the fruit and Orchard forum.

I have about 60 fruit trees and about as many fruiting bushes. I call it a Orchard or Forest garden. Why do you need the classification? Taxes? I like your terrace system. My orchard is on a slope, so it has berms and swales on contour.


Here is a link that might be useful: Fruit and Orchard forum

    Bookmark   March 26, 2010 at 6:03PM
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tn jed I like that Air Force one ha!
berry nut your right, Im proud of my little orchard
eric I was just making small talk and pondering, I was looking over USDA paper work and it asked if I had or operated an orchard.
I have been busting my rump getting things ready to plant, then got rained out, it stops raining for one day, gets beautiful and 70 degrees, then drops to 40 and rains, the slow drenching huge drops rain for 2 or 3 days. Oh well aint much I can do.
I put in several hundred fertilizer spikes around my little orchard, the rain will help them feed my fruit plantings, and soon theyll start to bud.
Good spring to ya'll

    Bookmark   March 27, 2010 at 11:50AM
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Josh, better go look at your trees, our peach and apple tree are already trying to bud. I just hope that we have a crop this year. Last year, the apple tried, but the peach didn't have a thing. Year before, no apples but the peach produced lots. We only have 1 peach and 1 apple.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2010 at 12:02PM
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Marla you need a pollinator for your apple tree, a crabapple even works.
my trees had thier first buds yesterday.
Marla when we going to get together in Rockville ?

    Bookmark   March 29, 2010 at 1:10PM
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The apple tree is supposed to be self-pollinating.

Just got the schedule for Rockville, They start up April 9th. I'll email you with the details, an attachment.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2010 at 5:37PM
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I believe all apples need a pollinator. Crab apples make a fine pollinator. Also some apples only set fruit every other year.

i have 5 apple trees, two peach trees that may never fruit because the first fall they were here a buck rubbed them almost to the ground. We have one producing Keiffer pear that usually gives us around 25 bushels of good fruit. 300' of raspberries, 300 ever bearing strawberries, 200' of blackberries. we put in a couple of sea berries this spring and pruned back black raspberries canes so that they might produce for us this season (they are wild plants). Oh year and we are developing a paw paw grove. We have about 20 3 year old plants. Hopefully, in another 2 to 3 years they will start producing for us. Also have around 30 grape vines that will be 4 years old this season and perhaps will have some usable fruit this year.

Are we an orchard? No way, just a very diversified farm

    Bookmark   March 30, 2010 at 6:39AM
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The only Pawpaws we have are natives, don't know how they got there. They're in the middle of a 20-30 acre woods. During my grandfather's life, they weren't there, he died in 1978. I inherited in 1995 and discovered them in 1999. Purdue University came to farmers market one year and bought everything I had of pawpaws because they were trying to establish a tame pawpaw that could be transplanted.

My mother's place had pawpaws and my uncle tried for years to transplant them to his place with NO luck. the tap root on a native pawpaw is close to 10' long when the tree is only about 3-4' tall. Makes for a really tall pot.

I have been able to grow some pawpaws from the seeds of my native pawpaws, only by surprise tho.

We also have wild plum trees and a wild haw tree, both near our 'creek bed'. We have wild black raspberries, don't know how many because they're in the fence rows, along with the wild blackberries. I'm not sure how these things came to be, but they're here. Thank you Mother Nature.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2010 at 5:27PM
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I've put in quite a bit more fruit over the last two years. I'd say about a third of my five acres is now dedicated to fruit. I have 40 assorted apples, peaches pears,cherries, asian pears, and plums. 200 ft of rasp and blackberries. 100 feet of strawberries, blueberries, rhubarb, and grapes. This year I'm adding more gooseberries and currants. One thing I did was to plant varieties that matured at staggered times. Like Marla, I also am blessed with many native paw paws. They actually sold quite well last year. I also have several persimmons as well, but they bore poorly last year.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2010 at 10:05PM
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My market isn't long enough in the fall for persimmons to sell well, plus mine are small native type, not the large foreign ones in the store.
Brook, how did you sell your pawpaws? the last time I sold time I was getting $4/lb. I keep forgetting to go into the woods when they're ripe. Mine ripen over a 2 week time and then they're gone. I think the deer love them.
We are adding 25 red Heritage raspberries this year.
Next year, we are thinking about doing more plants and less 'work strenous' type of veggies. We are in our 50s and am noticing that work is harder than it was when we were in our 20s and 30s.


    Bookmark   April 1, 2010 at 7:25AM
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Marla, I usually don't get a ton of paw paws--maybe 40-50 in a good year. I just sold them at the local market for a buck apiece. Most bought them just as a novelty. I don't mind if I sell many because I really enjoy them myself. I also always replant the seeds. On the persimmons, I take down customers' numbers and call them when they're ready and if I've got enough. Deer will eat the drops, but 'coons and 'possums get them in the tree.


    Bookmark   April 1, 2010 at 9:50AM
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good ole Hoosier Bannanas, ya have to fight the wildlife for em, coons, possums, turkeys, deer, fox, and coyote all eat emm.
Then the bucks rub em to death, deer, big annoying pest
they have been havoc on my fruit plantings, they are real sneaky, coming in in the middle of the night

    Bookmark   April 20, 2010 at 9:06PM
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I have resigned to caging all my fruit trees with three t-posts and woven wire. Trees are too much work and expense not to protect them. Now I've got to start protecting them from rabbits, which get inside the cage and nibble a bit.


    Bookmark   April 21, 2010 at 2:15PM
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Brook, can you wrap the cages with chicken wire until the trees get larger??

    Bookmark   April 21, 2010 at 2:56PM
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Yeah, I know. Most folks use hardware cloth. I'm cheap and try to get by with leftover fencing on hand. This year I'm gonna have to break down and BUY wire. By the way, does anyone have any experience with or advice on solar-powered electric fence chargers? We are plagued with 'coons.


    Bookmark   April 22, 2010 at 1:46PM
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