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Day 118: Tree Time

We spent the weekend doing one of my favorite things -- shopping for the garden. We decided to add to our collection of fruit trees.

When we bought the property, the previous owner left behind three dwarf citrus trees of unknown varieties. One died not long after we moved in (sorry, Janet). The second is currently dripping with softball sized grapefruit. The last is keeping its secrets hidden. Although it flowers, it hasn't set fruit in the years we've been here. I'm guessing it's a type of orange.

We also planted a mini orchard of apple, pear, peach, apricot, plum, nectarine and cherry trees. The nectarine didn't make it past the first year. The cherries were planted three times over, and not a one took.

The plum and apricot bore fruit for the first time this past summer. They were wonderful. Because of this small success we decided to put in a few more.

After scrutinizing our cherry choices, we got distracted with the selection of bare root berries. We picked up a thornless blackberry and bosenberry. We also bought two raspberry canes, although these have thorns.

I know I'll probably regret breaking my cardinal rule of berry-buying (thornless only!) but we were caught up in the moment. Berry buying is so exciting! I can't wait to start getting fruit. I'm already daydreaming of the jams, preserves, and compotes I'll make.

A pomegranate was the only tree that came home with us, but we have plans to head out of town to a larger nursery next weekend for a better selection. I'm thinking persimmons and nectarines. Dave is thinking almonds and apples.

The ground out back should be shovel-perfect. Another reason to be thankful for the rain.

Homesteader's Tip:
It's bare root tree time! Fruits trees are best planted now, so they can get their root system established before the summer heat.

Don't worry if your tree looks like little more than a stick now. You'll be surprised at how quickly these bare root trees grow.

Only have a small yard? Get a dwarf! These tiny trees take up just a fraction of the room as a standard tree, plus their small size makes it easier to reach the ripened fruit. Some dwarf trees, like citrus, do well in pots too. Set them on a sunny patio for edible landscaping.

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