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Orchard milestone

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The plan of the orchard and wildflower meadow. The tree planting is now complete

The plan of the orchard and wildflower meadow. The tree planting is now complete

A major milestone was reached today regarding Monifieth’s community orchard and wildflower meadow — the final trees have been planted. That means a total of 124 trees are on site. They consist  of seven pear, 20 plum, three cherry, 91 apple, and three “mystrees” (no-one knows what they are).

Orchard

OK, so it may not be the most exciting photo, but it beats the seaweed I showed last week. In the foreground is Area D (late season apples), with Area I (plums) behind

Most of the trees were planted in two sessions earlier this winter, but today we tackled the final 29. The process seemed to be much speedier than expected, and the job was done in three hours.

There was one major problem though — mice had gotten into the shed where the trees were being stored, and stripped the bark from 10 of them. Strangely, they only picked apple trees, and left the plums alone. We decided to plant the damaged trees anyway, on the off-chance they might take, but some looked in particularly sorry state. We’ll replace them next winter, if need be.

The soil is particularly compacted and very sandy, so planting each tree was a considerable amount of work. A metre square of turf had to be removed, and the earth then mixed with a barrowload of soil improver.

There were six volunteers (mostly Rotarians), with a couple of people delighted to just dig holes. They were the real stars, as that was, by far, the most arduous task.

Now, we just need to wait until the spring to see if all the trees have taken, and if they start to blossom. The orchard looks mightily impressive, but when the flowers come out, it should prove quite a sight.

In other news, I planted a grapevine in my greenhouse yesterday. It is a red Dornfelder variety, and is years away from bearing fruit.

The greenhouse floor is solid concrete, so I actually planted it in the soil outside, drilled a hole in the wooden wall, and poked the growing end through. This way the roots will have all the space they need in the garden, while the stem will benefit from the heat of being inside. It’s a tested technique, so in theory it should work. Just like with the orchard, all I have to do now is wait.

 

 

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