Step 2: Designing the Orchard (Part II)

Hi everyone.  Hope you had a great day!

Today was another sunny warm day here in Southern Nevada (North end of town).  We’re expecting a 30% chance of scattered showers and thunderstorms tomorrow with a forecasted high temperature of 97°F.  Perfect timing for the work hubby and I need to do this weekend – not! 😦  Oh well. C’est la vie!

Where did I leave off? That’s right, narrowing down my orchard space.

Need More Room?

After placing my 10 x 10 squares thoughtfully within the electronic version of my sketch, I determined how much space was leftover for my veggie garden. Was this space enough for what I want to do with my veggie garden?  This prompted me to roughly sketch out my veggie garden space; mind you, my focus up until now had been on my future fruit trees.  I knew I wanted to install raised beds for my veggies, so I measured the available space and estimated how many standard raised beds (4 feet x 8 feet with 3 feet of workspace between beds) I could fit.  Satisfied with the results, I felt confident that I could play around later with the length and width of my raised beds to come up with a plan that would more than meet my needs.

As part of the plan, I had determined it would best fit my space, needs and sunlight requirements if I placed my orchard in a “rectangular” pattern with the rows running east to west.  I felt my preliminary orchard plan was a good solid start.

Here’s a peek at my final orchard plan (after many preliminary plans).

(Note: My graphics got a little “skewed” in the transfer process, but you can click on them to get a less elongated view). This is my backyard orchard plan.  Each tree is contained within a light grey 10 x 10 box. The two grey looking trees on the left are for two future trees.  Also, you will note that the two red/pink colored trees on the bottom along side the house were placed close together.  My intention was to have these two trees grow as a tall hedge to shade the West side of my house (fyi – these are two pomegranates that I plan to grow in their natural form of bushes).

This is my front yard orchard.  The green tree placed close to the front porch was intended to grow larger than the rest of the fruit trees to help shade my front porch from the hot South sun in summer.

I made sure my plan allowed me room for a few more fruit trees down the road that would easily fit into my 10 x 10 spacing.  If I want more trees beyond that, I will have to either arm wrestle my husband over the use of Pinny’s play/training space or a better bet is to consider high density planting.  High density planting allows fruit trees to be grown in spaces that most folks would otherwise overlook.  Did I hear someone say, “Balderdash”? Nah must be hearing things.  This method of planting can offer gardeners many new growing options such as multiple trees in one hole, espalier, hedgerows, etc.

To prove this, I know of a GREAT resource on the web that I want to share with you.  It’s where the majority of my fruit trees were grown and is recommended by the UNCE Orchard.  Check them out!

I have linked to a few of their awesome resources on the subject of high density planting.  I highly encourage you to check out these resources BEFORE moving forward with your orchard design process.

High Density Planting links:

Video: Backyard Orchard Culture Demo Part 1 (Dave Wilson Nursery)

Note:  Part 2 shows what to do after you finish planting your new trees.  You can view this on Dave Wilson Nursery’s website.

Check out Part III of Designing the Orchard

Hate to cut things short, but I gotta get up early and be somewhat bright-eyed and bushy-tailed (well, as much as a night owl can be at 5AM).

Many Blessings 🙂




Filed under Fruit Trees/Orchard, Step 2: Design

4 responses to “Step 2: Designing the Orchard (Part II)

  1. chad

    Which software did you end up using to make those plans? They look great. I am currently transforming our 1/2 acre lot and need to digitize my plans.

    • Hi Chad. I use Adobe Illustrator to make my plans. I created a template of my raised beds to scale and created everything else accordingly. I’m sure there are other “easier to use” programs out there that one can build things to scale, but I’ve been working with Illustrator for years and it’s a natural choice for me. Creating my plans this way gives me a lot of flexibility when planning out my garden. A lot of the on-line gardening tools out there are more limited than I’d like.

      • chad

        Thank you! I don’t know why I didn’t see it. I used to use Illustrator all the time for custom coat of arms designs. It is a fantastic program. I’ll have to break it out and brush up on it so that I can get started on digitizing my plans. Thanks again for sharing. Best of luck with your property’s transformation!

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