Complete lawn renovation

triggerguyJuly 3, 2010

So, this is my first post, but I have been lurking, learning, and generally enjoying this site for a while. I figured I should share my current project as an introduction. Here is the weedy lumpy mess that was my backyard.

First I built a mini-mancave.

I then cut in new beds which are all kitchen garden and put in the short retaining wall.

Now I'm in the process of prepping the lawn for sod/fruit trees. I'm looking for tree species recommendations that will do well in Portland. At a minimum I am putting in two apples and two pears, but I am also thinking about a couple peaches.

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Apples and pears do OK in Portland, but may require spraying or tedious protective methods to get decent crops. Consider trees on semi-dwarfing or dwarfing rootstock.

Peaches and apricots are difficult for the home gardener in Portland. Even commercial orchards are few and far between here. Plums and cherries are lots easier.

Caneberries do well. Quince trees are reliable.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2010 at 11:32PM
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George Three LLC

apple and pear seem to be a bit of a crapshoot. some do great with minimal care, some struggle. i don't have evidence, but i feel like asian pears do better than the more regular kind. i can think of a few asian pear street trees overloaded with fruit that have absolutely no spraying/pruning.

figs and plums come to mind. cherry trees occasionally struggle, but more often than not they perform almost too well.

i would use one green world as a good reference, but you might want to buy from a source that has cheaper/larger trees- unless you get hooked on something hard to source elsewhere.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2010 at 12:47PM
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Can't comment on the trees except to say apples and cherries do well in the home garden, but mainly want to say WOW, you deserve a pat on the back for all your hard work! Looks great!

    Bookmark   July 4, 2010 at 2:22PM
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botann(z8 SEof Seattle)

I agree with Eeldip, Asian pears do real well here. They do require good pruning to perform their best.
Now that you have everything level, how's your drainage?

    Bookmark   July 4, 2010 at 3:20PM
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Thanks for the tips on the trees! @annz I took the 4th off to rest my back/shoulders, and I think that I need to retire my wheelbarrow, this project has pretty much killed it. @ botann I made sure that the grade retained the same slope, so drainage should have the same end result except the garden beds/drain should keep the water off my stamped concrete patio. It's hard to tell from the pictures, but the lawn is smooth and flat, but not level, it actually slopes towards the camera and right about 2 1/2 feet over the 35 feet from the fence to the wall. Once the lawn is sorted I'm turning to the side strip, where I'm going to go with a rock lined water garden that will connect to the french drain in the front yard. The previous owners had installed downspout extenders around the house that were about 2 feet total, and I had sink holes forming on 2 corners of the foundation. The french drain has solved the problem in front, so I'm hoping that it will do the same for the rear.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2010 at 2:13AM
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botann(z8 SEof Seattle)

It appears you have it covered. Nice job.
It looks like you have pretty good soil.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2010 at 7:56AM
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The Tri-county Farm Fresh Produce guide, likely available at any New Seasons market and elsewhere, lists 28 sources for picked or u-pick peaches. You could call a half-dozen of these and find what variety they grow, see if one variety dominates.

There is also a nice peach orchard adjacent to highway 99E at the top of New Era hill (several miles south of Oregon City). Find out what variety they grow.

Try Asian pears from a market before committing to a plant.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2010 at 11:07PM
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