The Resilience Hub & Portland Maine Permaculture Message Board › tips and ideas on planting fruit trees

tips and ideas on planting fruit trees

alder
user 6954726
Sullivan, ME
Post #: 8
so aaron, what would you recommend adding to the planting hole if there is going to be very, very little native soil (since you don't recommend compost)? i plan to add a mix of minerals similar to the fedco planting mix....

good to know about the calcium... i have been saving up eggshells for my tomatoes, wish i had started earlier, then i might have enough to toss in w/ the fruit trees! no sugar maples here, lots of red maple and some red oak.

for the rhubarb, i have no experience planting/growing it but my instinct would be to dig down to the soil, at least to get the root and compost in touch w/the soil. that seems to be the way to go for any planting through sheet mulch. i wouldn't cover it w/ newspaper either, but just mulch it w/ leaves or straw, whatever's handy. what's your reasoning behind covering w/ newspaper?
alder
user 6954726
Sullivan, ME
Post #: 9
ps regarding what else to plant w/ fruit trees.... chives, flowering herbs such as yarrow, alchemilla, hyssop, tansy (tho not if you will eventually turn this to veg garden bc it sure does spread), maybe even some fennel? and i'd definitely do calendula, dill, maybe even some sedums (i've noticed that's a top food source for bees, i don't know which sp i have here).... lots of flowering plants to bring in pollinators. i'm thinking about trying a few celery around moist areas under fruit trees
zengeos
zengeos
Gorham, ME
Post #: 116
The newspaper is a weed barrier, and also a brown layer, I think.

Thanks for the companion suggestions. I am actually growing a number of those...some winter sown and some from seeds...and some I'm using both techniques as a test/comparison. So, I'll plan to place some of the herbs and flowers you mention around the trees, then transition those to the veg rows.
Aaron P.
user 6845673
Falmouth, ME
Post #: 19
so aaron, what would you recommend adding to the planting hole if there is going to be very, very little native soil (since you don't recommend compost)? i plan to add a mix of minerals similar to the fedco planting mix....

good to know about the calcium... i have been saving up eggshells for my tomatoes, wish i had started earlier, then i might have enough to toss in w/ the fruit trees! no sugar maples here, lots of red maple and some red oak.

for the rhubarb, i have no experience planting/growing it but my instinct would be to dig down to the soil, at least to get the root and compost in touch w/the soil. that seems to be the way to go for any planting through sheet mulch. i wouldn't cover it w/ newspaper either, but just mulch it w/ leaves or straw, whatever's handy. what's your reasoning behind covering w/ newspaper?

If you can add organic material w/o adding a bunch of nitrogen, i would do it. well rotted leaves would be good or compost that was finished at least a year ago should be fine. When I planted my trees last year i dug a good size hole and added some very old compost because my soil is basically pure sand, none of those trees suffered fro excess nitrogen, but that compost was finished composting about 5 years ago. For this years trees, i didn't break the soil at all, just did some top dressing with leaves, minerals, seaweed and wood chips... when i plant in a few weeks i don't plan to add anything to the hole.
alder
user 6954726
Sullivan, ME
Post #: 12
wanted to update on the tree planting... it went a lot better than expected. after breaking through the seemingly impenetrable layer of granite rip rap, there was actually some pretty nice soil down there! i mixed in a combo of peat and compost, and some amendments (azomite, a little lime, alfalfa meal, bonemeal, wood ash, granite meal, epsom salts.... many of these are what comprise the fedco planting mix). i also spread some of the amendments in a ring around the planted trees and then mulched over w/ seaweed, cardboard, straw.

the plum rootstock i ordered turned out to be small enough that i decided to put them along one edge of a garden bed, where i'll keep them as a nursery for a year or 2.

and wow, the peach has such gorgeous BRIGHT pink buds!! i hope i can keep it thriving! :)
zengeos
zengeos
Gorham, ME
Post #: 139
Alder...

Did you mix the dry ingredients to a particular ratio first? Or did you toss a handful of each in the hole?

I ask because I need to prep for my trees and shrubs (blueberries and elderberries, etc...coming this week or next. Having the amendments premixed would probably be a time saver as I could mix them in a 5 gallon bucket and carry that out rather than bringing individual bags out.
David S.
stereoview
Washington, ME
Post #: 148
Peaches are really not that difficult to grow at all. Don't baby them too much. If they make it initially, they will likely be fine. One thing you have to watch for is leaf curl fungus that develops in cold wet springs. It can really screw up the trees and once it gets started it is difficult to control. Once the average temps get above 55 things are OK but spraying them with sulphur in the spring will keep it from developing (usually). I guess some do fall spraying as well to kill overwintering spores. Bonide make a sulphur powder or lime sulphur for the purpose. Some use copper spray. Your peaches will still be organic.
alder
user 6954726
Sullivan, ME
Post #: 15
zengeos... i did premix the amendments. i used the Fedco fruit tree planting mix (in the main catalog) as a guide and created a mix that totalled 3lbs (bc they recommend adding a 3lb bag of their mix per hole), using equal parts of each amendment. in the mix i added sul-po-mag, azomite, bonemeal, epsom salts, worm castings, alfalfa meal (not quite an equal part bc it's high in N), and a bit of these 3: lime, wood ash, granite meal. i spoke w/ john bunker and he said that pretty much all of these amendments (the rock powders) are really forgiving, ie there wouldn't be a danger of adding too much. he did say that you could over-do it w/ epsom salts, so i did go easier on that.

separately, i mixed a 2-part peat:1-part compost mix and then incorporated some of that w/ native soil, mixed it around in the hole, added some of the amendments, mixed, etc til i had enough, did the planting, then spread the rest of the amendments in a ring around the tree, and mulched over it w/ seaweed, cardboard, straw. i'll be adding wood chips later and probably moving the straw further from the trunk, but this was just a way to get it done in the meantime.

FYI, i did not add this mix to the highbush blueberries i planted. i planted them into an area that has been sheet-mulched for almost a year, which is also quite moist and acidic. i just added the peat:compost mix to the hole when planting to incorporate more organic material.according to the fedco catalog, they need pretty regular nitrogen. i'm not sure what i'll do yet, probably side-dress with a high-N amendment after they're established, or maybe try foliar feeding.

david, re: the peaches, glad to know they are easier than purported. i placed mine to the north of a large stand of trees, so they'll be getting some shade in the winter and spring which will hopefully help delay budding in case of late spring frosts. however i'm kind of wondering if they're going to end up too much in the shade during the summer! we'll see....
zengeos
zengeos
Gorham, ME
Post #: 143
Unfortunately, I have no azomite, so won't be using that in my amendments. I will, however, be putting together a mix using bone meal, some wood ash, epsom salts, lime and hopefully some other stone powders if I can acquire them. I'll alkso add some of the compost from bensens...probably 2-3 cubic feet. I'll probably mulch over with newspaper and bark mulch, as I plan to put some companion plantings around the trees. tansy, garlic, rue, if I get any, and maybe some egyptian walking onions, if I get any. Maybe even some chamomile plantings. I may even plant some pole beans around the trees as they are nitrogen fixers...

Thanks for verifying that I can premix my dry amendments.

I'm probably going to do a 1-1 compost/peat mix as amendments for my blueberries. I will probably do that for both the new plants and the existing plantings.
Elaine
user 3022592
Portland, ME
Post #: 131
Appreciating this advice, thank you all!

I heard garlic is very good around fruit trees so we've got a ring around each of our eight. Then in the list of plants that deter Japanese beetles which I posted maybe today -- garlic is listed! I'll welcome that deterrence this summer since I had to manually handpick them off our tender less than 2 year old fruit trees.

About planting trees, -- my problem right now is that the arborist is late coming to cut down a Canadian Hemlock situated due south. One of the two paw paw trees which arrived from FEDCO last Friday, thanks to Lee & Tom, will be planted only 2' or so from where the CH will be cut.

I called and emailed FEDCO for advice but no response yet. This is how I put my question:

"I placed the 2 balled up paw paw trees in our cellar awaiting planting as soon as possible, but I have to wait for our arborist to come. He's scheduled to come this week ...But I haven't heard from him yet.

In a nutshell my question is: How long can the paw paw stay viable and healthy in our cellar?

While waiting for the arborist to come should I water the paw paws?

Or would it be better to plant it and then carefully uproot it when he comes to cut the Canadian Hemlock?"

Thanks for any advice.

PS Zengeos do you have any extra Bocking 14 Comfrey to share? I didn't get around to ordering any but would like some.

Elaine
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