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April 13, 2011

Fruit Trees

We finally replanted the dwarf peach and nectarine trees that have been living in nursery pots since last spring when we tore down the garage and put up the new goat barn. The trees had been in the ground for one year at that time. I wasn't willing to lose them to demolition and construction, so hubby dug them up for me.

Even in the pot, the peach tree gave us half a dozen juicy peaches last year. Then we had little rain over the winter and spring, and I wasn't as good about watering them as I should have been. I was hopeful, but kind of surprised when they bloomed in the spring, and now they are leafing out. I'm thankful they've survived.

We used to have two other peach trees; one died two years ago, and the other snapped in half in a windstorm last year. (I'm not giving up though, we will have peaches!) It can be challenging to keep fruit trees here; once they are established ours have done well, but the first couple of years can be difficult.

We've been mulling over *where* to replant these two for quite some time. You might think it an easy decision, but our "yard" is really quite small. We want the trees to be near enough to the water spigot, and far enough from the horses' pasture fence, plus we must take into consideration the existing trees, the garden and its need for sunlight, utility easements, and room to turn trailers around. It's all pretty tricky.

But they are now back in the ground. Hubby used the tractor's post hole auger to dig the holes, and we planted them at the same depth as in the pots and with the "bump" that marks the grafting spot facing the prevailing wind. (Is there a prevailing wind direction in Oklahoma? It seems to come from all directions. I decided to use that day's wind as "prevailing". The house blocks the wind from the south, a pretty-solid fence blocks it from the west, and although it isn't real close, the goat barn helps protect the trees from the north wind, so east was a good bet.) He mulched with a deep layer of spoiled hay. (That reminds me that I need to mulch the established trees again, to conserve water and keep the roots cool now that it's getting hot.)

Now it's up to the trees. Hopefully they will thrive in their new home, which has similar light as their former spot in pots. And since they did flower this spring, I'm hoping for a few peaches and nectarines this summer. Nothing says "summer" to me like a warm, juicy peach.

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