Step 2: Designing the Orchard (Part III)

Hi everyone, hope you’re enjoying my posts and learning something about planning and designing a backyard (or front yard) orchard.

Let me know if you’d like me to go into more detail on something I mentioned on my blog or if you’d like to share your gardening stories and photos with me.  I’d love to hear about your gardening experiences. As you know, I’m just one in a vast sea of gardeners 🙂

Make final adjustments to the plan

With my orchard plan close to how I envisioned it, along with all of the other considerations that go into planning and designing an orchard, I was ready to make minor tweaks and adjustments to the plan, if needed.

First, I quickly reviewed where I was at with everything (this also included the important information I collected earlier about my property and future fruit trees)…

  • Visualized and observed my future potential orchard space and noted important characteristics about my property

“Check”

  • Confirmed my orchard spacing and size decisions

“Check”

  • Developed a sketch format that I could easily update and maintain now and in the future

“Check”

  • Identified my orchard space based on my spacing decisions, site and planting requirements of each tree, orchard position/pattern, placement of pollinators, etc.

“Check”

  • Considered my space requirements for other areas of my garden

“Check”

  • Left room for more fruit trees in the future and considered high density planting for my current and future plan

“Check and double-check”

Reality Check-in

Now, a “Reality Check” before calling my orchard plan FINAL!

After quickly viewing my orchard plan again, I had to ask the question. Wow, 17 fruit trees, do I truly have the time and resources to manage this many fruit trees?  I took a few minutes to contemplate the question; I knew this was the most important question to answer.  I had to make certain that my strong desire to have an orchard wasn’t overshadowing my good judgment.

I felt I needed one more piece of information to help facilitate a final decision.  Harvest schedules.  This bit of information could be the critical deciding factor.

With my fruit tree list in hand, I began to collect harvest schedule information.  I knew right where to go… Dave Wilson Nursery’s Harvest Chart.

From there, I made a simple chart of my own with only the fruit tree varieties I selected. At a quick glance, I could see that my fruit tree harvest dates (give or take a week or two based on the region I live in) would be fairly steady from late May to early November with a few more fruit varieties coming into harvest in July and August. Busy? Yes.  Do-able? Absolutely.  My main goal was to avoid selecting fruit trees that came into harvest all at the same time – yikes!

At this point, I decided it was best to share the plan and harvest information with my husband.  This way, we could take a vote on the matter and call it FINAL.  Especially considering he signed up to do some of the work involved.  The vote was unanimous.  The plan was a go!

Make a Wish List

The orchard plan is done and ready for planting action! Yippee!

At this point, I was ready for a break, but I wanted to at least start thinking about the rest of my plan and most especially, my veggie garden. With my orchard space identified and blocked in on my plan (all fruit tree varieties identified in their proper place, of course), it was time to create my “wish list” for the rest of my plan.

My wish list includes:

  • Raised veggie beds (in a 52 feet x 35 feet enclosed area)
  • Winding paths
  • Arbors and other garden structures
  • Roses, bulbs and wild flowers
  • Interesting vignettes for artistic inspiration (and to paint & draw)
  • Chicken coop and chicken run
  • Gardening tool sheds
  • Green house
  • Small patio / BBQ area
  • Storage area for Pinny’s agility training equipment
  • Cherry trees
  • Blueberry bushes
  • Grapes
  • Meyer Lemon tree

Next up… Step 3: Purchasing the Fruit Trees

Chat with y’all later.  Hope you have an especially wonderful day 🙂

Blessings,

AG_Signature_Color_Transparent

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7 Comments

Filed under Fruit Trees/Orchard, Step 2: Design

7 responses to “Step 2: Designing the Orchard (Part III)

  1. Lois Zablockis

    Would love to see more pictures of Pinney enjoying your orchard.

  2. Lois Zablockis

    Are these all drawf trees and do they have the same harvest time as the regular trees?

    • Hi Lois,

      Most of the trees I selected were a dwarf variety. I believe its the rootstock’s parentage that dictates the fruiting characteristics of a tree (which would include fruit maturity times). There’s a whole science around the subject of rootstock, I’ll have to confirm my answer with a horticulturalist.
      One potential difference between a dwarf variety and a standard variety is the fruit yield. A larger tree may produce more fruit versus a smaller tree (but I’m sure there are exceptions to this).

  3. Lois Zablockis

    Do you have a plan for tracking the harvest seasons of the different trees?

    • Hi Lois,
      Thank you for the great questions you left on my post. I’ll answer them individually so folks have the benefit of seeing the question and my answer to each.

      Initially, I’ll use the harvest date chart I created for myself as a guide. The harvest dates I listed on my chart are from a California-based nursery so I already know that the dates may be off slightly from the actual harvest dates here in Southern Nevada. As I obtain information from local sources, I’ll update my chart and follow those dates. I also have a “garden diary” that I started when I purchased my fruit trees, and I’ll be sure to note my own harvest information there as well. I plan to talk about this in a future post.

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