Country Living Series

Saturday, April 17, 2021

Potting peaches

Since we're starting out fresh here in our new home with the goal of turning the property into a self-sufficient homestead, one of our priorities is getting fruit trees established since they take a long time to become productive.

Apparently (and we can't quite tell yet since things still aren't quite blooming) we already have apples and pears somewhere on the property so we're hoping that's the case.

But my all-time, hands-down favorite fruit is peaches, so we wanted to get some trees established right away.

 

An advantage to purchasing fruit trees from local nurseries is they focus on varieties that thrive under local conditions. At the tail end of some other errands (which meant the car was full), we hit a nearby nursery and selected four very young peach trees that are resistant to peach-leaf curl. Since we couldn't take them with us at that moment, we paid for them and returned later to pick them up.

The trees were heeled into the ground and for some reason I thought the nursery was going to pot them for us. Instead, we got bare-root trees with the roots wrapped in plastic bags. (To be honest, this didn't impress me.)

By lucky coincidence I had just picked up some potting soil the day before...

...as well as some 10-gallon pots. Phew. This meant we could at least get the trees potted quickly until such time as we can get them in the ground.

The four varieties we got are Oregon Curl-Free:

Charlotte:

We also got an Avalon Pride and a Frost (no tags to photograph, sorry).

We got some potting soil poured into the pots, and placed the young trees in them.

Then we straightened the trees, filled the rest of the pot with soil, packed it down, and gave everything a good watering.

Obviously this is just a temporary arrangement. But we can't just dig a hole and plop these young trees in the ground. We have so many deer around here that the tender young buds would be munched down instantly.

Instead we're planning the first of what we're calling "nuclear fencing" to keep deer and elk away from these valuable plantings. This also means we have to weigh our budget and the lumber shortage against  various fencing options, Right now we're looking to build a "tent" of heavy-duty netting over salvaged poles to keep deer out of the trees until they're older.

I'll keep you posted on how this works out. But at least for now, the peaches are potted on the porch and safe from deer.

8 comments:

  1. Try saying "the peaches are potted on the porch" 10 times fast...challenging!
    Peaches are my favorite as well.

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  2. I live in northern Idaho and this is what we did to deter deer and elk. We planted each bear root tree. Using three seven foot T-posts around each tree set back enough to give the tree room to branch out for several years we then surrounded the posts with five foot high welded wire field fence, raised up from the ground at least a foot, and wired the fence to the posts. To keep the gophers from eating the tree roots we had to dig down outside the fencing 18” all the way around each tree and drop in hardware cloth. Since we used 36” hardware cloth the extra 18” was above ground which bridged the gap left by raising the wire fence up and helped deter voles although we put tree wrap on as well. Just make sure the hardware cloth and wire fence don’t overlap or you’ll have to cut out the hardware cloth where you plan to access your tree for watering, mulching, etc. (ask me how I know). Now that our trees are older, their roots well established and outgrowing their fenced area, we have put up permanent fencing around the entire orchard, and have dug up the hardware cloth, removed the T-posts and fencing surrounding each individual tree. Removing all the individual fencing was a piece of cake compared to putting it in. Once the hubby dug around the outside of the hardware cloth it took me a minimum of time to remove the fencing and posts. A lot of work to put in but T-posts are easier to find compared to treated wood posts, especially now. You have only four trees to plant which shouldn’t take too long — we put in 22 trees at the same time and did that for each tree. Not sure how bad your gopher situation is there but we lost several fruit trees to them before we went the hardware cloth route. We have peaches, pears, nectarines, apricots, sweet and sour cherries, plums, and apple trees. Good luck in your new place.

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  3. Patrice,
    Peaches are a favorite of ours and we have 4 peach trees in our small orchard. Elk don't make it into our yard but deer are a concern for us .I bought some 6' x 50' welded wire fencing ,cut into 9' long pieces and wired the ends together to make 3' diameter tubes out
    of them . I stabilized them with 2 T-posts each and they kept the deer out until I built a permanent fence.
    Thanks for your posts.
    Bluesman

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  4. Well, we went to pick up 10' 2x4s today for framing in the basement (because the ceiling is 9' high we cannot use 8'ers) - at which point we discovered that it really is much cheaper now to frame with steel than with wood - the 10' steel pieces were $7 each, while the lumber was $11. Needless to say, we came home with steel. This will be a new experience...
    XaLynn

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  5. Won't deer come onto your porch to get tender buds?

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    Replies
    1. No. It's more like a raised deck than a porch, plus we have it fenced off so Darcy can use it. The trees are safe from deer.

      - Patrice

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  6. Where my mom lives deer are a real problem. Her neighbours often use those cheap shade tents with the metal legs & across the top. When the canvas wears out they can often be had free or cheap. They wind either chicken wire or some other metal fencing around the legs and make a doorway for access.
    The deer don't seem to jump into these because they are not that wide, and the deer are not keen to be trapped.

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  7. Wow, it’s so green there already. I’ve forgotten how much earlier spring weather arrived in Idaho compared to where we moved back to in Wyoming.
    So pretty.
    Sts

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