Planting Fruit and Nut trees for a homestead
One of our goals for our homestead this year was to plant more fruit and nut trees and berry bushes. After lots of research we decided on the varieties and ordered the plants. The Berry plants won't arrive until next month but the fruit and nut trees are already here. This is a long term investment and we won't taste its fruit for few years. We have a 4 year old peach tree on our homestead and last year we harvested hundreds of its fruit! So we know what a tree can produce and are looking forward to the reward.
One of the things we really focused on was to buy disease resistant varieties. Our neighbor told us that we can't grow fruit trees in this area and honestly I haven't seen many around. But our peach tree is doing so well that we decided to try them anyway.
We bought our trees from Stark Brothers Nursery and they have a reputation for selling quality products. Every tree is supposed to do well in our zone and has a great disease resistant profile.
I was kind of surprised to learn that peach, plum and nectarine trees don't need another tree for pollination. We already have one of each of these but decided to buy a different variety of each anyway.
We also were looking for varieties that ripened at different times in the season so we had continuous harvest from summer to fall. This will also give us time to preserve the harvest.
Our next focus was to plant them in a location where they will thrive and won't crowd other trees. We followed Stark Brothers recommendation for the spacing for each tree. For Example, the pecan trees can grow to be 75-100 feet tall! So we planted those in the field where they have lots of space to spread out. The fruit trees we planted in the front yard.
So after digging the holes we made a mixture of peat moss, compost and native soil. I added a bit of azomite dust in the mixture. We back filled the hole quiet a bit and poured in a couple of gallons of water with tree fertilizer. We mixed this in well and placed the tree root on it and continued to back fill the hole. The next day it rained and that gave the trees a great start!
Here are the varieties we chose:
Hardired Nectarine: standard variety, self pollinating, ready for harvest in August. Resistant to bacterial spot and brown rot.
Pawnee Pecan: Standard, needs another pecan tree for pollination, ready for harvest in October.
Kanza Pecan: Standard, needs another pecan tree for pollination, ready for harvest in October. Resistant to pecan scab.
Grimes Golden Apple: Semi-Dwarf, self-pollinating, harvest in mid-September, resistant to cedar apple rust and fire blight.
Red Stayman winesap apple: Semi-Dward, needs another variety for pollination, harvest in mid-October.
Black tartarian sweet cherry: Dwarf, needs another variety for pollination, harvest in June.
Bing sweet cherry: grows to be 12-15 feet tall, needs another variety for pollination, harvest in Mid-June (bought from Home Depot)
Red haven peach: Standard, self-pollinating, harvest late July, resistant to leaf spot.
Moonglow pear: Standard, need another variety for pollination, harvest in September, resistant to fire blight.
Bartlett Pear: Standard, need another variety for pollination, harvest in late-August.
Methley Plum: Standard, self-pollinating, harvest in mid-July, resistant to fungal disease, rust.
Grapes: 3 concord seedless , 2 sufflox seedless and 1 reliance seedless.
Blueberries: 50 Rabbiteye and 5 highbush (we already have 6 rabbiteye and 1 mystery blueberry bush)
Raspberries: 1 Black raspberries (we already have 8 Nova raspberries).
We are excited to have an orchard on the homestead. I also want to note that we were at home depot and tractor supply today and I saw almost every variety for sale there. So if you can't find what you are looking for online, check your local nurseries or big box stores.
What trees are you planting on your property this year? Comment below and let me know!