Fruit trees?

Discussion in 'Gardening' started by KDOGG331, Dec 19, 2015.

  1. KDOGG331

    KDOGG331 Chicken Obsessed

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    Hi!

    So I just recently saw a post about pomegranate trees, which I didn't even realize were a thing, and Googled them for fun but I believe they may need it too warm and dry for here?

    So now I'm wondering what other sorts of trees would do well here.

    I believe we had apple trees years and years ago but they never really took off. I'm sure that's from improper care though.

    Soo..

    We are in Eastern Massachusetts, between Boston and Cape Cod. We have almost 3 acres, including woods, so lots of play with different sun and shade environments, etc. Our yard's fairly uneven and hilly but there are flat parts. Some parts are a little sandier but mostly it's a clay type soil. I believe the top soil is the part that's more dirt/sand and down deeper is the clay.

    I really know nothing about gardening so I'd preferably like something fairly easy that won't just die on me. However I'm also thinking it might be nice to have something "different" or more "exotic" if at all possible. I do love apples though so if it has to be basic that's fine too. Also if it's possible I'm thinking maybe multiple types of fruit trees rather than just one.

    ALSO.

    I can make a separate thread for this is necessary but when spring/summer comes I'd also like to try my hand at some vegetables or non tree fruits too.

    We tried last year and it was a huge flop. :(

    I believe we tried beans, tomatoes, carrots, and some sort of cucumber or something. Would be interested in those again or.something different.

    I LOVE strawberries so definitely those. We tried pumpkins when we were real young but they took over.

    Anyway, point is, what kinds of things do you think I could plant here that would do well and/or be fairly easy for me?

    We have a Home Depot and Lowe's nearby as well as several local nurseries a bit further away. Also could order online if there is such a thing.

    I also obviously wouldn't necessarily plant it now, I'd plant it whenever it's supposed to be planted.

    I've trief gardening before but I always either lost interest or conditions weren't right and it ended up being a flop so I'd like it to be a success this.time.

    Thank you.
     
  2. keesmom

    keesmom Overrun With Chickens

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    Apple, pear and plum trees do very well here. Certain varieties of apricot and cherry do okay also. There are nut trees - walnut, butternut and chestnut. Grapes, kiwis and brambles (blackberries, raspberries), strawberries, blueberries and elderberries are options too. There are some semi-hardy fig trees that may be suitable as well.

    I order most of my trees through FEDCO in Maine - http://www.fedcoseeds.com/ . Most do well even when planted north of here.

    http://www.treesofantiquity.com/ is another possibility.

    As for last year's gardening season, it wasn't a great one for us too and I've worked ours for the past 20 years.
     
  3. DemonicFowl

    DemonicFowl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If you want to try something "exotic" try getting a Japanese orange tree. They are called the flying dragon bitter orange. I got mine at the Plymouth agway. Its fruit doesn't have a lot of flesh to them but you can still make some marmalade(from what I've read). They are also just one of the most awesome looking fruit trees and could double as a decorative tree if you don't want to collect the fruit. It grows to a height of around 5 ft and spread of 15 ft. I'll snag a picture of mine tomorrow.

    There is a strand of passion flower vine(exotic looking) that also can survive in zone 5(our plant zone). Started mine and they are growing well now. Brought them inside though just in case. Somethings been eating a lot of my plants... could be the chickens lol. It also may take a few years from seed to produce flowers/edible fruit.

    As for a food garden I've failed my first year and had semi success this year. You should test you soil ph level. Mine was at 5 which is to acidic for most crop. You want something around the 6-7 range(neutral/best for most crops)or you plants won't grow and seem stunted. The ph levels helps them absorb their nutrition.

    You also need to consider the amount of nutrients the crop need to produce. Nitrogen (leaves/new growth), phosphorus(roots flowering) and potassium(overall health). The common 3 numbers you see on a bag of plant food, in order.feeding and under feeding can cause problems along with using the wrong levels of fertilizer and timing. To much nitrogen during fruiting time and all you will get is growth and little to no flower buds. It helps to do your research on what you want to plant and when to do so.

    Native Americans used a set up called the 3 sisters. Something tall (corn/heavy feeder), something to climb the something tall (beans/legumes also fix nitrogen levels), and finally a ground crop (gourds/melons/heavy feeder/ keeps most weeds at bay). They planted the 3 plants together in close proximity of each other with great success. You can look it up for spacing requirements/placement ideas.

    Also certain crops are cool season(fall,early spring) while others are warm season (summer). Should say on the packet. Plant fall crop in the summer and they might die or not grow right because its to hot for them and vice versa. If its to cool, like when I put my hot peppers(warm) out, you won't get any buds because they need a soil temp of 60+ to produce. Some plants are more thirsty than others too.

    Kale, collard greens and bok were my best crop... *cough*. Some crops are also perennials to like hot peppers. Got mine inside still alive and well! gonna stop now lol.
     
  4. KDOGG331

    KDOGG331 Chicken Obsessed

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    Wow thank you both so much for the.amazing info!! I'll look into all those plants and suggestions. As for veggies, I'm glad it's not just me that had a bad year! I think maybe it was too cold.

    I also hadn't realized there was so much to gardening! Do they sell test kits or something for the soil?

    And it's funny you mentioned the agway because we just went there the other day for feed. I always forget they have plants there haha we like going there since we sort of know Ross, he's my uncle's neighbor.

    I'll look into those websites! Forgot nut trees were an option too, thank you!

    Will answer the rest later. Busy day tomorrow.

    Thank you again!
     
  5. DemonicFowl

    DemonicFowl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, most stores that sell plants will have liquid/chem or digital test kits for soil. I stick to the liquid test kits because I hear the digital ones can get wonky over usages.

    If you have a wood burner you can use the wood ash to up the alkaline levels or pellet lime. Wood ash will act faster then the lime and if you do use wood ash make sure its just pure wood, no plastic, chems or pressure treated woods. Ph is on a scale of 0 to 14. 0-5.5 are acidic,6-7 neutral (best bet for crop) and 8-14 alkaline.

    Just keep in mind every plant,tree or otherwise has its own preferred ph levels/fertilizer needs and seasons. Always best to do your research or buy a few gardening books.
     
  6. KDOGG331

    KDOGG331 Chicken Obsessed

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    I'll have to buy a test kit then. i think Morrison's sells them?

    Thank you for all of your help!

    And we definitely have wood ash! Two fireplaces (though one gets really smokey) which we will probably be using a lot this winter lol
     
  7. DemonicFowl

    DemonicFowl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yah they should be near the seed packet rack. Next to the peat wafers n plastic green houses.

    Just keep in mind to look up wood ash ratios just so you don't over do it. A little ash can go a long way depending on current ph levels.
     
  8. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    I’m not in your area but my suggestion is a bit different, though not that much. I suggest you call your county extension office and talk to them. Each state is different so you’ll need to see what happens in Massachusetts, but in Arkansas if I take a couple of quarts of my dirt to the extension office, they package it up and send it off for testing. That is a free service in Arkansas, don’t know about you. In a few weeks I get back a report that not only tells me the pH of the soil but what nutrients are in it. If I tell them what I plan to grow, they tell me how much of different nutrients I need to add.

    While there, I got a planting calendar that tells me month by month what I can plant. That not only tells me when to plant things, it tells me what I can plant. I saw things on there I had not thought of.

    They also have free brochures that go into detail on how and when to plant things. For example the one on blackberries tells me how to plant them and when, plus it gives some varieties that do well here. And it tells what soil types are best to plant them in. Extremely helpful when planning. My extension office has brochures on about any type of plant you can imagine that grows well here with that kind of detail.

    They also have those brochures on fruit trees. Fruit trees a bit different. Some fruit trees are self-pollinating, but many require a similar fruit but a different variety for pollination. Apples for example. You need two different varieties that bloom at the same time to pollinate each other for them to set fruit. Those don’t both have to be on your property. If a neighbor has an apple tree or even a crabapple close enough for the pollinators to do their magic, you are good to go.

    Many fruits, including apples, require a certain number of chill hours to properly bear fruit. That means a certain number of cold days and nights, I think below freezing. Different apple varieties require a different number of chill days so get varieties that suit your area. All gardening is local. Your conditions are going to be different from mine. Your Extension Office should be able to help you determine what plants and varieties of veggies, berries, fruit, and nuts do well in your area.

    I also had a lousy year in the garden. My problem was too much water at the wrong time. I’m set up for wet springs but pretty dry summers. My summer was so wet that things just drowned. It’s the worst I’ve done since I moved here in 2007.

    The extension office is a huge resource often underused when planning a garden. They can give you specific information on what does well in your area, veggies, berries, fruit, nuts, or flowers. You made a good start asking for info from Massachusetts people. They can help you a lot too.
     
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  9. KDOGG331

    KDOGG331 Chicken Obsessed

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    Thanks! I'll go look next time we need feed! :)

    And thanks, will definitely be careful!
     
  10. KDOGG331

    KDOGG331 Chicken Obsessed

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    Wow thank you so much for all the detailed information and help! That sounds like a fantastic resource! And you are definitely right that it is an underused resource because I didn't even realize that Massachusetts had one, let alone consider it as a resource! But then again most people now want more instant gratification so it.makes sense it's less used versus "just googling it" but you'd probably find way more.out, and way more relevant information about your area, from a resource like that. I'll have to look into that. :)

    And thank you so much for the info on pollinating and number of chill days! I had no idea you needed another variety of apple to pollinate! Maybe that's why ours did so poorly. The chill days are interesting too. Thank you ao much for all the.info!
     

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