The Beginning of My Mini-Orchard.

Today, I am going to share a little dream of mine, I would love to have a backyard that is a mini-orchard. My name is Stephanie, and I am one of David’s many younger sisters. I live in the North Eastern part of the United States and that makes my growing season very different than that of the beautiful Sun-Shine State. I’ve had small annual gardens and enjoyed it, but David has been encouraging me to plant fruit trees. We live on a quarter of an acre property in our small town’s city limits. We’ve owned the house for almost five years but I didn’t plant my first set of trees until February 2018. We have started with four bare-root trees I ordered from Grow Organic. We decided on three apples; gala, granny smith, and red delicious, as well as one peach tree. I even recruited a little help.

I planted the apple trees twelve feet away from our future fence and roughly fifteen feet apart from each other. Looking back on it, I would have put them a little closer together. But experimenting is part of the fun. David wrote a brief post when I first planted, you can check that out here.

At that point, I was just hoping they’d make it to summer. I watered when I remembered and planned on putting some mulch around the bottom but as a busy mom of four kids four and under it didn’t happen last year. But you know what? They’re still with me! Here is what they looked like at the very beginning of this spring. 

As you can see I finally got some mulch around the bottom, and soon as I did the leaves started to appear. There is a lot I still need to work on, but I am learning. I have the benefit of having a brother who is an expert, but not condescending.  He encourages every effort, I learned a lot from his recent live on mastering your trees. You can watch that HERE.

This is what my trees look like today, I was happily surprised one morning to find baby peaches growing! There is something so magical when you find growth that has sprung overnight.

I may or may not have yelled at my kids LOOK! They probably thought they were in trouble but their faces soon lite up with sheer joy. Two out of three of my apples have flowered. The red delicious is smaller than the other two. We had a bad heat wave and although I watered, I did not keep up with it as I should have. It is still growing but not nearly as fast as the other two.

Experiencing the joy of new growth has been very therapeutic, I can get easily overwhelmed by how something should be done that I don’t even try. I’ve learned to give myself a little grace and start small. That being said it’s also good to have long term goals, they drive us to do more at a pace we can keep up with. I plan on putting a Mulberry Tree in front of our house, it’s a smaller yard but had plenty of space to add something. In the back yard, I plan of putting in a few more trees. I haven’t decided on which type, although heavily leaning towards two pears trees and another peach. I look forward to the day when our yard is full of fruit trees! What is your favorite fruit tree? I’d love to hear it.

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