Monday, February 21, 2022

Expanding the Orchard

Remember in Back to the Future when Doc was talking about Old Man Peabody having a crazy dream of breeding pine trees? While the breeding trees part is a little weird, it's kind of like my dream, except instead of pine trees, I have a dream of having fruit trees as far as the eye can see. 

I have written before about cutting down oleanders annually to add fruit trees. I started with 11 oleanders in my backyard, and to date have removed seven of them - only four more to go. Each on has been replaced with some sort of fruit producing tree or bush. This past month was no exception. 

In the fall, I placed an order for some fruit trees through The Urban Farm. This is a wonderful resource for anybody looking to expand their backyard garden, but it is especially beneficial for those who live in the Phoenix-area, as they have an annual fruit tree event where you can buy trees and bushes grown specifically for the Phoenix climate. The one drawback is that the trees are quite affordable, so I ended up buying more than I was ready to plant. This meant that I had to spend extra time preparing the spaces, expanding the irrigation system, and getting the soil ready for my trees. But I also learned a lot from The Urban Farm about feeding my trees, taking care of them, and helping them thrive in the climate I'm in. 

As my kids are getting older, I am getting more and more help from them in the garden. My nine-year-old was helpful in digging the holes, watering them, and planting the trees. My 11-year-old also jumped in to help plant the trees, and they have both been anxiously watching for the trees to start budding and blossoming.

So what did I plant? 

- 1 Anna apple tree
- 1 Dorsett gold
- 1 dwarf black mulberry bush
- 2 blackberry bushes
- 2 grapevines (flame seedless, Thompson seedless)

And what else do I have in my desert yard? 

- 1 lemon tree
- 1 ruby red grapefruit tree
- 1 peach tree
- 1 mandarin orange tree
- 1 blood orange tree
- 1 apricot tree
- 1 pomegranate tree
- 1 orange tree
- 1 lime tree
- 1 Anna apple tree (yes, I now have three apple trees)
- 2 kumquat trees

So I think that with 15 fruit trees and 4 fruiting bushes, it is time to officially rename our house The Orchard. Here's to an amazing spring with lots of fruit and vegetables. 

As always, happy gardening! 

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