Orchard Question - Need Ideas

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Wannabee, Jan 14, 2005.

  1. Wannabee

    Wannabee Foggy Dew Farms

    Dec 8, 2004
    If you were going to start from scratch, and you had a 30x50 area, and wanted a variety of fruit SOON, what would you do? What would you plant??
  2. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

    May 20, 2004
    SE Missouri
    I would plant dwarf fruit trees and bramble fruits with grapes on the fences. The everbearing type of raspberry and blackberries will grow on first year canes. If you like strawberries then plant some of those too. To get fruit soonest from the trees buy container grown trees to set out. The bare root trees will usually take longer to produce.

  3. kathy H

    kathy H kathyh

    Dec 9, 2002
    I would plant a few dwarf fruit trees as they produce sooner, maybe a dwarf peach or necterine. then I would put in a few semi dwarf trees of what I use, and stores well like a couple of apple trees. Then maybe a pie cherry as they stay small. Along the fence line I would plant blackberrys.
  4. BCR

    BCR Well-Known Member

    Jun 24, 2002
    I'd also plan to protect the trees with netting/fencing or a dog on duty. Deer just love the young fruit trees.

    For what its worth, the $12 trees I bought at Big Lots way out performed the $15 dollar mail-order bare root trees. They get lots of dwarf and semi-dwarf too. They even outperformed $70 local nursery trees (I didn't buy one of those but know a fool who did) :D

    I like pears too. Observe and consider frost/wind patterns in how you plant as well. Leave room to mow what you plan on mowing or to move the chicken coop through. I would also consider planting one or two standard or larger semi-dwarf trees on the north side for the protection from wind and the variety of trees you can choose from, different sometimes from what you can find dwarf/semi.
  5. Hummingbird

    Hummingbird Well-Known Member

    Aug 21, 2002

    :D Well, what we did at our last place was buy one that already had 17 fruit trees producing!

    Sorry - The above answer is perfect. Depending on what zone you are in, this should get you going pretty soon. I prefer the strawberries that bloom "once a year" as opposed to the 'everbearing' varieties, just my preference because we like to get the fruit put up in a big batch rather than having it trickle in. Otherwise, the squirrels munch them.

    I prefer the dwarf varieties as well, they will produce sooner and they are easier to manage. HTH!

  6. Valmai

    Valmai Well-Known Member

    Sep 29, 2004
    Land of the Long White Cloud
    You could also look for trees eg apples which have more than one variety of apple grafted onto the one rootstock.
  7. inc

    inc Well-Known Member

    Dec 23, 2004
    ...or you could go with a few cheap dwarfs from the local store and over graft them with extra varieties.
    for apples this has to be planned out. dwarf trees are ornery growers, and branches have to be planned out in a spindle (about 3 low branches spaced well apart, then trunk goes up a bit, then 3 more) or a modified spindel whcih is informal with more open center. you can graft the new variety on as one of the branches. you have to prune back the other growth to be weaker for the grafted one to gain strenght. i lost a lot of grafts not being there to watch and prune it for strenth.
    dont grafta alot of 'heritage' or heirloom apples on a modern, those old ones carry virus unless virus heat treated.
    you can also cut a mature tree way back to stumpy branches and cleft graft a dozen or so scions in there with wax to keep water out. it will make an ugly tree but it will bear i suppose.
    just get the treees in the ground! that will be the fastest thing you can do
    fast fruit- has to be tree- i say fig- second year will bear, sometimes first.
  8. Tad

    Tad Well-Known Member

    Apr 1, 2003
    Western New York
    I just recieved a Burgess seed catalog yesterday. They have a dwarf collection to fit in a 2ox10 space. Two apple one peach one pear one cherry and one nectarine. All a self-fruitful. $50 I am not trying to plug them I had never heard of them before, until yesterday so I can't vouch for quality. Hope it helps

  9. minnikin1

    minnikin1 Shepherd

    Feb 3, 2003
    Central NY
    How long would it take to get fruit from grafts on a mature tree?
  10. Mike in Ohio

    Mike in Ohio Well-Known Member

    Oct 29, 2002

    Where is the property located? What kind of soil do you have? Is the ground flat or hilly? If it's hilly, which direction does it face? Is the ground soggy or dry? Can you plant right up to the edge of the area or do you have to inset from the edge?

    What do you like to eat?

    These questions will help you decide which types of things to buy and plant.

    Semi-dwarf tend to be more productive than dwarf. Do you want more of a particular fruit or do you want more variety?

    If you have deer around I would definately fence. I've had deer defoliate young cherry trees overnight...not a leaf left.

    We plant so that we can have a variety of fruit from spring through autumn. If you want some fruit right away (same season as spring planting) you might buy a couple trees from your local nursery. We also buy from Stark Bros, generally from their spring overstock flyer.

    Hope this helps.

  11. wy0mn

    wy0mn Transplanted RedNeck

    Sep 18, 2003
    I have a family orchard composed of 1 Niagara grape, 1 Concord grape, 3 different self pollinating plums, 2 Granny Smith Apple trees and a Red Delicious apple too. A self pollinating Nectarine and a sole Cherry tree that is randomly pollinated by a 'mystery' sweet cherry somewhere near. In the corner are a Celeste & a Brown Turkey fig tree.
    I hate bug-a-cides, but I've had to use lots of it in an attempt to control Jap beetles. Even Milky Spore is no sure cure.
    I weighed a jug full of trapped beetles two years ago. If the average 2 liter bottle weighed the same, I hauled away over 200 lbs of bugs in 2003!
    If you have Japs in your area, wait for a solution before investing your cash in trees. Or come & dig mine up, you can have them, I'll fill in the holes myself!
  12. Steve

    Steve Well-Known Member

    May 9, 2002
    West Central Illinois
    You don't want to get involved with any subsidiary of Plantron, Inc. Burgess Seed Co. is running 72% negative on the Garden Watchdog website.

    I stupidly ordered from them last January (spent $186) and it was July before I got nearly everything straightened out. Some of it I just gave up on.

    Just my 2 cents.
    -- Steve
  13. carole in ky

    carole in ky Member

    Oct 9, 2004
    Great web site, Steve. All the ones with bad reviews I have had problems with. I used to just love Shumway's but then they were bought out by, I think it must be Plantron, and they were on my ---- list. I sure like the site you suggested. I also like Jerry Baker's garden site. I have tried some of his tonics and think they make sense and work.
  14. DW

    DW plains of Colorado Supporter

    May 10, 2002
    plains of Colorado
    I am going to check out that site on catalogs. We are in "zone 5" BUT get down to minus 35...Colorado. We have not had any luck with dwarf so we going to start this year with standard fruit trees and see if we have any better luck. A native (back to pioneer days) fruit is currant & gooseberry so we are really working on that and they are doing well. We have strawberries in a raised bed, too. We just got a Big Lots here and I did not know they sold trees...I will be there. I saw apple trees at a nursery here with price of $90...no way! On Burgess mail order...the only thing I bought were these fast growing willows, excellent price and the same as Rocky Mtn Austress that sell for 10X what they ask. Our garden goal for the year is more fruit & asparagus. I like this thread...keep adding to it!
  15. YuccaFlatsRanch

    YuccaFlatsRanch Well-Known Member Supporter

    May 3, 2004
    Hill Country, Texas
    The single most important factor when planting fruit trees is to get varieties whose chill hour requirements match the average chill hours for your particular area. If you don't you will get trees that either bloom too early and have the flowers/fruit freeze or don't get enough chill hours to break dormancy and die from the inability to leaf out and flowe properly.

    My favorite nursery is Van Well Nursery in Wenatchee, WA. www.vanwell.net, or 1-800-572-1553.

    They will sell you trees on your choice of rootstock (there are many kinds of dwarfing root stock for instance) and they understand fruit trees chill hours. Last year my cost for trees was $13.95 and that included postage/shipping. They are the only source I know of for my favorite apple which is Cameo.