During the winter months, we managed to get in the start of our small orchard. It is a tough spot, and looks quite shaded in this pic, but it does get quite good sun during the middle of the day. It is also on a slope on quite tough ground, so it will be interesting to see how it goes.
While we were getting some other earth moving done, we had the area scraped and mounded into four rows across the slope. I had to go along these mounds several times before planting to remove as much of the couch grass root as possible.
An amazing quantity of weeds we had not seen elsewhere on the block, as well as the same old culprits, came up while the weather was wet. Great food for the chooks!
We planted the following bare root stock:
- Apples (Granny Smith and Red Delicious)
- Pear (Beurre Bosc) and Nashi
- Apricot (Moor Park and Trevatt)
- Peach (clingstone)
- Plum (Mariposa and Satsuma)
- Mulberry (White)
We moved from other locations on the block:
- Mandarin (Imperial) and Blood Orange – fairly young, planted in wrong spot
- Nectarine (White)- been there for years and very neglected
We also moved two trees from a small backyard in North Fitzroy (inner Melbourne suburb), one a medium-sized Persimmon and one quite big Crabapple (John Downey). The latter is doing well and the former was doing well but is now looking a bit sick – fingers-crossed!
I also planted a small Medlar tree that I was given by my sister which had been struggling in a pot for years. It is loving its new location. Medlar trees are so pretty all year round, and the fruit makes great jelly.
I saw on a gardening show on TV that a woman in South Australia who’d made a vegetable garden on a slope had put manure in the furrows between her beds running across the slope and then put mulch over that so that it slowly breaks down over time. We have tried the same as I thought it made so much sense.
I enjoy going out to check on my orchard (notice it’s ‘my’ once planted ) every few days to see what’s changed. We will have to fence it of course, and probably cover it at times, so that we get at least some of the fruit as well as the possums, flying foxes and cockatoos!