Permaculture forum: Anyone planting an orchard?

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hazelnut
Apr 4, 2012 9:18 AM CST
Yesterday I ran across someone selling muscadines outside the dollar store in this rural Alabama town. I made the rounds to see what fruit plants I could find. I wound up with 1 brown turkey fig, 1 Wonderful pomegranate, 3 rabbiteye blueberries, and two muscadine grapes.

Also someone offered to send me seeds for persimmon and paw paws.

So that's the start of a pretty substantial fruit orchard. My place already has several 100 year old pecan trees planted when my house was built back in 1900.

I plan to plant the blueberries in a hedgerow that will divide my backyard into two smaller spaces. As for the other plants, I still haven't decided. Their basic requirement is good soil and sun-sun-sun.
Name: Chris Powell
Glendale, AZ (Zone 9b)
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milkmood
Apr 4, 2012 4:16 PM CST
I have about a dozen varieties of fruit and nut trees *picked out*...does that count? I have a plan of how I want to arrange them, but I only have 1/8 of an acre corner lot in the 'burbs, so...

I have a local source for trees that grafts onto AZ proven root stocks. Apple, nectarine, peach, pear, apricot, orange, lemon, lime, almond, pomegranate, figs.

That's my plan and I'm sticking to it. Whistling

Charter ATP Member
hazelnut
Apr 4, 2012 6:23 PM CST
Will some of them be dwarfs? I think there are a few ways to make fruit trees fit into a smaller space, like espalier, or confining them to containers on dwarfing rootstocks. I just read the info. on pomegranate. They can grow to 15 ft (usually 12-14 at maturity) and need full sun from all directions. Even the rabbiteye blueberries are space eaters they need five ft between plants in a row.


Are you sure your neighbors wouldn't like to sell you some of their property?
Name: Chris Powell
Glendale, AZ (Zone 9b)
Living a better life; if times get
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milkmood
Apr 4, 2012 7:23 PM CST
Dwarfs, yes. Most citrus can be grafted on to dwarf root stock. Also with citrus, it's common to graft 2 or 3 or 4 varieties on one root stock. They call it a fruit cocktail. So you might get a lemon, a lime and an orange on one tree, which I may do. My tree guy does custom grafting.

I have enough room for a dozen fruit trees. I have about 3500 sq feet of front and back yard to work with, and plenty of opportunity for trellising, espalier, etc. Also, my neighbor behind me has a pear, and another neighbor has some other fruit trees, so pollination shouldn't be a problem.

Charter ATP Member
hazelnut
Apr 5, 2012 11:03 AM CST
Do you have any vertical layering in mind?. So far I will have alpine strawberries under the blueberries.

I have some highway department posts that are about 12 ft tall that will be the framework for the muscadine trellis. They climb trees, but Im not sure about running them up my pecan trees.
Name: Chris Powell
Glendale, AZ (Zone 9b)
Living a better life; if times get
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milkmood
Apr 5, 2012 1:19 PM CST
Haven't considered vertical layering yet, except that I definitely intend to grow lower perennials under the shade of any/all fruit trees. The sun here is so harsh in the summer, it's a miracle that anything survives.

*I* think running grapes up a tree would be okay, as grapevines don't tend to be constrictive or parasitic. I would, however, be concerned about the vines not getting enough sun down under a tree, but I'm far from a grape expert.
Name: Mary Stella
Anchorage, AK (Zone 4b)
Peonies Ponds Dahlias Canning and food preservation Lilies Permaculture
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Oberon46
Apr 5, 2012 2:18 PM CST
As far as I know, grapes thrive on full sun.
"What a person needs in gardening is a cast iron back with a hinge in it" Charles Dudley Warner (spelling edited by Dinu lol)

Charter ATP Member
hazelnut
Apr 5, 2012 7:04 PM CST
Most plants like full sun, but Im not so sure about full ARIZONA sun. By training muscadines to grow up a tree, they reach for the sun-- so it should be a small tree. My pecans are 150 ft, so I guess that might be too much 'reaching for the sun' for muscadines.

Here's a gardener from your part of the world -- Southern Arizona.

http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/ART02022/Dr-Weils-Garden.html

[Last edited by hazelnut - Apr 5, 2012 7:12 PM (+)]
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Charter ATP Member
hazelnut
Apr 7, 2012 6:01 PM CST
My in-laws live at Blyth, California. They have date trees. The trees were planted in the 1930s and last time I saw them they were in the 150 ft range.
Name: Kristi
east Texas pineywoods (Zone 8a)
Garden Ideas: Level 2
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pod
Apr 10, 2012 7:58 PM CST
Yes to an orchard, consisting of:

a peach ~ Sam Houston a durable tree, enduring our heat and drought of 2011.
two Methley plums
a dwarf Bartlett pear ( I understood I needed a pollinator but this pear tree is loaded with fruit and as far as I know, there is no pollinator within a couple of miles or more.

a Arkansas black apple tree that is in bloom right now but it needs a pollinator. I am thinking probably a crab apple tree.

a brown turkey fig which is still small enough that the possums and other critters have been beating me to the fruit.

an olive tree ~ Arbequina europa
a bay ~ Laurus nobilis
And a portable orchard... portable because they probably won't endure our freezes. A Meyer improved lemon, a Mexican thornless lime and a Miho satsuma. The satsuma will withstand our winters once established but I need to figure out where to place it. Small yard and lots of plantings. Also an allspice which is totally tropical so I will move these in the greenhouse for wintering.

Charter ATP Member
hazelnut
Apr 11, 2012 6:27 AM CST
I would love a peach tree -- I haven't heard of Sam Houston. Is it white or yellow flesh? I am starting an
alle of pears. They make a big splash when they bloom in the spring. I have seen lone Kiefers in fields full of fruit.
It must be they are long distance pollinators. Doesn't the peach tree need a pollinator also.

alle (no accent on my keyboard) a double row of trees that you can walk or drive under.
[Last edited by hazelnut - Apr 11, 2012 6:28 AM (+)]
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Name: Kristi
east Texas pineywoods (Zone 8a)
Garden Ideas: Level 2
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pod
Apr 11, 2012 8:06 PM CST
An alle of fruit trees would be beautiful and appropriate for a southern location.

The Sam Houston peach is yellow fleshed and is self pollinating.

This General Description was taken from here http://www.learn2grow.com/plants/prunus-persica-sam-houston/



Released in 1965 by Texas A&M University, this peach has lower chilling requirements than many others, making it more suitable for warmer subtropical zones. It produces a generous late spring and early summer crop of sweet, juicy, red-blushed fruit with low acidity and superior flavor. A freestone variety, it is ideal for canning, baking, and eating fresh. Self-fertile, it does not require a second pollinator tree in order to produce fruit.

Peach trees prefer full sun and fertile, well-drained soil which receives regular moisture. Periodic fertilizing is beneficial for good fruit production. The trees also require heavy pruning, which should be done annually during the dormant season. Removal of fallen leaves and diseased wood helps to deter the spread of peach leaf curl and brown rot, fungal diseases which may afflict some peaches. The early spring flowers of peach trees may be susceptible to killing frosts in colder areas.



Wishing I had planted all this 20 years ago... I'd be savoring the fruits of my labors by now. Will love to see a photo of your pear alle when finished. Kristi

Charter ATP Member
hazelnut
Apr 13, 2012 10:28 AM CST
Back h ome in the northern woods of Michigan, we had Juneberries (amalanchier). They grow in groves. And for me it was a spring ritual to find the Juneberries when they bloomed in the spring and just run around underneath them looking up at the sky through the blossoms.

Here there are lots of old pears growing on abandoned farms. Usually, there is just a single one next to a pasture fence. But the blossoms are intoxicating. I got the idea for an alle (with an acent) from reading Gertrude Jekyl. It was a favorite design feature in her gardens.
Name: Kristi
east Texas pineywoods (Zone 8a)
Garden Ideas: Level 2
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pod
Apr 13, 2012 6:18 PM CST
Very attractive idea. Alles are common in the southern plantation although it was usually planted with live oaks. I am charmed by the idea of a fruit tree alle.
Name: Kristi
east Texas pineywoods (Zone 8a)
Garden Ideas: Level 2
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pod
Apr 16, 2012 6:50 AM CST
Adding a dwarf pomegranate to the above orchard list...
Name: Chris Powell
Glendale, AZ (Zone 9b)
Living a better life; if times get
Permaculture Vegetable Grower Container Gardener Herbs Organic Gardener Dog Lover
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milkmood
Apr 24, 2012 8:43 PM CST
Made my first urban orchard purchase...Southern Pecan. We shall see. Whistling

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GeddyFlea
May 24, 2012 7:56 PM CST
I have all these in smart pots...

12 apple branch grafts of 3 Gala, 3 Rubinett, 2 Granny Smith, 2 Wickson grab apple, 2 Williams Pride

4 Asian Pear

4 Pomegranate

2 Cage Green Plum

4 Cherry - 2 Kristin, 2 Danube

2 Collosal Chestnut

3 Necterine - Early King

3 Red Mulberry

This is year one for me, and thats just the fruit trees, I also have a bunch of berry bushes. Mostly everything is in my backyard waiting to go out to the property in Kemp Texas. I so badly want to develope a Permaculture Food Forest. But the grasshoppers are scaring me (yes I'm the one with the greasshopper problem).
Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Master Gardener: Texas Permaculture Raises cows I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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dave
May 25, 2012 7:29 AM CST

Garden.org Admin

You're going to have a fantastic orchard once you get those in and established! Thumbs up

Charter ATP Member
hazelnut
May 25, 2012 7:57 AM CST
Are the grasshoppers where you are now, or where you plan to be? They can be scary. I think a good strategy would be to get a flock of guinea fowl established, as Dave suggested in another thread. Here we have the big poisonous lubbers--they even make the possums vomit! But if your grasshoppers are not Eastern lubbers, I bet guineas or even peacocks might work to keep them under control. Peacocks will make sure you get up early. My neighbor has them.

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GeddyFlea
May 25, 2012 10:58 AM CST
I hope so Dave. hazelnut, the grasshoppers are at the Kemp location, where I plan to evetually bug out to Big Grin .my young trees are in the backyard right now. But they are destined for the "BOL" in Kemp Texas near Cedar Creek Lake

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