Adding To Our Fruit Crop

Apple crops

Apple crops

Grape arbor in the backyard.

Grape arbor in the backyard.

Every spring I try to add 2-4 new fruit trees to our dwindling orchards.  The past few years have been apples and peaches.  My daughter got me two new cherry trees for our anniversary and they’ve been planted in the back of the apple orchard and fenced to keep the deer from eating them up.  Last year I planted four new grape vines along with some English walnut trees .  All of the grapes have survived but I lost one walnut tree.

This year I ordered two Green Gage Plum  trees and two Black Tartarian Cherry  trees from  Aaron’s Farm (http://www.aaronsfarm.com/) .  The plum trees are three years old and about four feet tall and the cherry trees are three years old and 5-6 feet tall.  The were shipped bare root and pre-pruned.  We set them out yesterday evening and watered them well which I will continue to do daily until we get some rain and there after as needed daily or weekly depending on the moisture in the ground.

The Green Gage plum tree is an ancient European plum descendant that has been extensively grown and propagated in England and France since the 1700’s. My grandparents had these plums on their farm in Paint Bank, VA for years when I was a young child and we would eat them until they ran out our ears.  I’ve not seen any for years and have been looking for them for about five years and lucked out with Aaron’s Farms this spring.  I can’t wait to have some “green gages” in a couple of years.  Green Gage plums are green-skinned when completely ripe with a pink overlay at the base of the fruit when tree ripened.  The flavor is deliciously sweet with a slight sour taste to the skin.

The black cherries are my husbands favorite and most of the cherry trees on our farm have died or only produce pea size cherries.  I’m hoping these will bring back some good memories especially when I make him some cherry pies in a couple of years.

Black Tartarian Cherry Tree

The Black Tartarian Cherry tree is a sweet cherry with a black skin and bright red pulp. They  are cold hardy which is one of the reasons I chose this type.
I can’t remember the name of the cherry trees my daughter got for me but think they are a red cherry.
Now we have blue plum, wild red plums, pears, rhubarb, peaches, apples of all kinds, grapes, gojiberries, blackberries, and raspberries on the farm.  Plenty of fruit to add to our meals and snacks.Newest grape arborNewest grape arbor

7 responses to “Adding To Our Fruit Crop

  1. I am ordering cherry trees this year as well. I was wondering a good place to order so will look at Aarons. Thanks for the tip!!

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    • My daughter got me some in Charlottesville in February at a nursery. I just started using Aaron’s and they were quick to respond. The only problem I have with them is you have to have a minimum order of $75 each order and that’s why I got the cherries when I ordered the green gages. They’ll be worth it if they do well and I guess we’ll know for sure next spring if they make it through our winters. Good luck! I’ve never seen them at Tractor Supply but have seen them at Lowes and Home Depot in the spring.

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  2. So fun and exciting to plant fruit trees. I planted 4 apricots, 1 peach and various fruiting shrubs. This is not very good fruit country, but oh well! Hope yours do well!

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    • See if you can find a local farmer that has chicken or rabbit manure and spread thin layers of it around your trees. Spread from the trunk out the the widest part of the trees limbs but thin. Do this a couple times during the summer. It really helps and make sure you really water them good daily if you haven’t had rain. Good luck! There’s nothing like picking and eating fruit off your own trees.

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      • I’m a local farmer who just happens to have both chickens and rabbits. Thanks for the tip! I will use it. 😊 do you prune your grapevines every year? Mine is 2years old this spring.

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        • We just recently got rabbits and it’s been a long while since we had them. Should have new babies May 5th.

          As for grape vines, I usually prune ours every two years but all of my vines are fairly new so I’ll not prune until after we get a harvest or two from the new ones. My old ones were in such bad shape that last year I trimmed our old ones completely back to three main vines and didn’t get any grapes from them last year so there was no need to trim. I have two more that are really old and will trim them back this during the winter months to come. I didn’t want to go without any grapes at all and these are used mainly for just picking and eating. One of these needs a new arbor to grown on and it’s the one that I start new vines from. The other is attached to the back porch of the “mansion” and the only one I took grapes from last summer. Because of the porch cover the late frost we had did not kill the bloom.

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