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Apparently decent soil structure (black cottage cheese)

Sometimes I just have a great desire to plant, mostly trees and bushes. I was overcome with a desire to turn the soil. When I was a child, perhaps 11 or 12 years old my War World II Navy veteran grandfather told me a man must have a job. He said every day a man must do so something. I said I was too young to have a job. He said ok, well until you find a better job you can have this job.  He gave me a shovel and a piece of the back yard, and I was to dig a pretty good sized hole, perhaps 3 feet deep by 3 feet square. That does not sound like much, but that is a lot of work. The next day, I would fill it in. He said now you have a job, today you left your mark upon the world. Soon after that I started my first job I think at age 13 working under the table as a dishwasher in a very racist restaurant which (now that I think about it) was a step up from digging useless holes in the ground. I don’t know if that work had anything to do with it, but sometimes simply turning the soil in some way is pretty relaxing.  And now I drag my own 10 year old son along.


Bare root trees, some like them so do not

Thus with no planning or real forethought, I went down to the nursery and asked what they had on sale. They had half off on some cherry tree “whips” and a couple of small approximately 1″  apple trees.  Apple trees require another apple tree of a different variety to act as a pollinator.  You need at least two apple trees so they pollinate each other. I explained to them I was really into natural stuff, and right now was just having fun planting stuff. My desire is that everything I plant will be food producing. I want to be able to produce tons of food.

I picked up a bit of compost and three cherry tree whips and two apple trees. At the time I didn’t put any thought into exactly what trees we wanted, just basically what they had on sale. However I did a bit of research for you guys and this blog and I had purchased one WineCrisp (malus domestica), one Red Baron (malus domestica) dwarf by the University of Minnesota and three “Lapins” cherry trees (Prunus avium “Lapins”) dwarf developed by Pacific Agri-Food Research Centre in Summerland, British Columbia, Canada in whip form. The WineCrisp is a trademarked tree developed by Purdue, Rutgers, and Illinois.  The Red Baron is one of the many apple trees the University of Minnesota develops with extreme cold hardiness.   With a hardiness zone of 3b it can survive temperatures as low as -35F.  The Lapis tree can only survive –


shallow roots, we went too deep. Should have been wider

My son and I went home and in the hot beating sun just dug in the dirt. The soil I have is very, very rocky but looks dark and rich with earthworms which is normally a good sign. That look might be a little dishonest as there is a lot of irrigation on this land. We dug holes approximately two feet by two feet. It should have been a bigger, but we had five holes to dig. In that one sunny afternoon, we dug those five holes, dropped those trees into them and cover them back up. We were filthy and exhausted.  And now we have skinny sticks in our yard.


We planted this tree a little too deep, we cleared out material away from it

Although the Lapins cherry tree says it does well in “partial to full sun” ours apparently did not like the direct beating sun. All the leaves appear to have “burned” off under the full sun and we are left with three nearly naked sticks. I don’t know what we did, but I wonder if the Lapins cherry trees we purchased are good in full sun. Also one of the apple trees is some type tree where you are not allowed to let it breed. I didn’t want that either. I don’t know if the WineCrisp which appears to be “owned” by a few Universities can be grown and planted freely. Now that we did this little project, I am figuring out what we really need, and I am doing some research on what we really want from our mini-orchard I would love. I guess I can go over what how we planted these to share what we know and hopefully you guys can improve upon that.

The Red Baron already trying to produce

The Red Baron already trying to produce