Bad Apples

Around here, apples are some of our favorite fruits.  And I can’t wait for the day that I can feed my family from the front yard.  So I decided to plant some apple trees.  In learning about apple trees, I found out that it was going to take 2-5 years for these babies to bear fruit, so I needed to get some in the ground ASAP!  Luckily enough, I had a month’s worth of dog walking income that was exactly enough to buy some trees!

I knew I didn’t want another 2 huge trees in my front yard because then I would have to convince my HOA to let me cut down the maple that was planted when the house was built or have them hanging over into my neighbors’ yards.  Neither of those was a good option, so I had to go dwarf.  Plus, upon submitting an 811 request to have the utilities marked, I found out that over half of my front yard was unsuitable for planting any trees or shrubs or anything that required actually digging a hole in the ground.  In fact, the exact location where I want to plant blueberries and strawberries next year happens to have water and sewer lines running through it.  But back to the apples…

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I picked out 2 spots that were approximately 24 inches away from all these lines zigzagging my yard as required by law and staked the spots.  Then I started digging while my tree roots soaked.  It had been raining for a week, thank heavens, because digging up clay soil when it is dry is a major job.  Soft clay comes up much easier.

I made my holes about 2 feet deep so I could incorporate some soil additive called Claybreaker into the crappy clay soil.  I put the Claybreaker on the bottom and added water to make soup, then added some of the topsoil with the grass still attached upside down to add some more nutrients to the soil as the grass died and started to break down.

Then I positioned the tree and began layering: additive, clay, additive, clay until the hole was almost filled.  I made sure the clay was the last layer on top since it holds water like plastic wrap so I wouldn’t have to worry so much about the soil drying out until I got some mulch.  When all was said and done, I had two little sticks poking out of the ground.

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Yes, it was raining on me, but just two weeks later, I am rewarded by some pretty little leaves on my new trees.

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I planted my favorites: Fuji & Gala.  These dwarf apple trees won’t get but 8-10 feet tall and wide so I’ll easily be able to reach the top without climbing a ladder as long as I have one of those apple-picker things.  And, they won’t grow over my neighbor’s yard so he won’t have apples that might get knocked off in a storm rotting in his yard.  I’m sure he’ll like that and I will love having fresh apples right outside my doorstep!

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