View unanswered posts | View active topics It is currently Tue Oct 21, 2014 6:38 pm



Reply to topic  [ 7 posts ] 
 Planning a home orchard/garden, and have questions! 
Author Message

Joined: Mon Sep 12, 2011 3:24 pm
Posts: 2
Post Planning a home orchard/garden, and have questions!
I am about to close on a brilliant duplex in the close-in SE PDX area, and am trying to get a head-start on planning the garden/orchard so that I might even be able to get a few trees established before the rains set in this fall. As I have been renting heretofore, I haven't had the opportunity to establish trees, and so am starting with little knowledge on the topic, though I've read extensively. I have some questions that I just haven't been able to answer thus far, and was hoping one/some of you might be able to help...

  • I have about 50-60ft of linear space in the frontage zone (8' wide) that I am hoping to utilize, as well as some back yard space. I'd like to focus on the frontage zone for the trees since the back yard is an open slate at this point, and I really don't know what's going to happen with it just yet. Anything planted back there will probably not happen until next year. As far as the frontage zone goes, it's probably about 4-5' below the grade of the house, as the front yard has a gentle downward slope to it.
  • I am more interested in variety and continuity of crops than quantity produced: I'd rather eat a handful of 8 different nectarines for a couple of months than have 30 of one variety in one week, and so am interested in packing in as many varieties and types as possible.

    :?: I figure that with the 50-60ft of linear space, there's room for 4 plantings. Since there's room for four plantings, but I love fruit, I was thinking to follow this article (can't post URL since I'm a newbie: google "davewilson and multi planting" to see the article I'm referring to) and plant 4 varieties in each 'hole' for a total of 16 trees. There would probably be four types of fruit planted: pawpaws, apricots/cherries, nectarines/peaches, and plums (or some combination thereof). Any problems with this plan so far? Is there a concern of the trees tipping when loaded with fruit? Could one brace them to a single central stake (or to each other, once established enough)?
    :?: Given this plan, should I maybe think about grafting four varieties to a single root stock, or is that a silly plan for someone completely inexperienced such as myself?
    :?: Given that the planting area will be slightly lower than grade, is it wise to plant in a raised planter with all of the portland rain? I have read thoughts on planting in a 12" bottomless raised bed (can't post URL since I'm a newbie: google "davewilson and raisedbed" to see the article I'm referring to), for example...
    :?: Should I be thinking advanced thoughts such as exactly which root stock I'd like, or should I basically trust that what local specialists or nurseries such as One Green World or Seven Dees have for sale here will do fine in this climate? And if not, then will I need to start by simply planting the root stock this fall and trying to graft in the spring (or later)?

As you can see, I'm full of questions (and will probably come up with more!), and don't know quite where to start. Thank you all for your love of trees, and for your help in planning this out. I appreciate what you all are doing, and am looking forward to becoming involved in the HOS!


Mon Sep 12, 2011 4:34 pm
Profile

Joined: Sun May 15, 2005 10:57 am
Posts: 1354
Location: Portland, OR
Post Re: Planning a home orchard/garden, and have questions!
You can buy trees with a few varieties already on it. You could end up with problems planting several trees in one hole. Some trees can take it. Some can't . I don't know which. I graft. You might want to look at if the down part of your yard gets water soaked into it. Some fruit trees can't take soggy feet. Some can.
John S
PDX OR


Thu Sep 15, 2011 10:54 pm
Profile

Joined: Sat Apr 07, 2007 11:28 pm
Posts: 485
Location: Willamette Valley near Scio
Post Re: Planning a home orchard/garden, and have questions!
Pears and malus fusca rootstock can take waterlogged soil pretty well.


Fri Sep 16, 2011 2:34 pm
Profile

Joined: Sun Sep 27, 2009 9:10 am
Posts: 95
Location: Corvallis
Post Re: Planning a home orchard/garden, and have questions!
With only eight feet of width, you don't want to do three or four trees in a hole. You need to be able to get in an around the trees to work on them. You could do any sort of hedgerow design.

In Portland you probably don't want to be planting apricots, nectarines, and peaches.


Sat Sep 17, 2011 4:46 pm
Profile

Joined: Mon Sep 12, 2011 3:24 pm
Posts: 2
Post Re: Planning a home orchard/garden, and have questions!
quokka: what does the 8' width have to do with getting in and around the trees? I guess I'm just unclear as to how more width would allow more movement in/around... Just so that we're clear, I'm talking about the strip of land between the sidewalk and the street--all easily accessible from both sidewalk and street...
Also, I hear your advice on not planting the mentioned stone fruit, but I'd love to hear why you say that. I'm new here, and I'm hoping to understand the whys more than just the simple advice...

Thank you all!


Sun Sep 18, 2011 6:38 pm
Profile

Joined: Sun May 15, 2005 10:57 am
Posts: 1354
Location: Portland, OR
Post Re: Planning a home orchard/garden, and have questions!
You can ( and I usually do) plant trees at a higher level than the surrounding soil so they don't get so waterlogged. When you amend the soil, it will be more liable than usual to soak in water, as the drainage will probably be better. Everyone who has grown fruit trees around here for awhile has heard stories of people planting low and having the plants drown and die. It happened on my first cherry tree. I usually half amend the soil (assuming it is not great soil, so it is 1/2 the difference between whatever you've got and the best soil for that plant. Stone fruits require better drainage than pome fruits. I usually amend with mixes of old wood, gravel, (lower) and compost (higher) for the crappy clay soil that I've usually had.
John S
PDX OR


Sun Sep 18, 2011 9:22 pm
Profile

Joined: Sun Sep 27, 2009 9:10 am
Posts: 95
Location: Corvallis
Post Re: Planning a home orchard/garden, and have questions!
If you can access the trees from both sides then you can ignore my comment on that. I didn't understand and had this vision of an eight food wide yard, with something against an edge (like a fence). But based on other posts here, you may want to verify there is no ordinance against you having fruit trees in that space.

Also if you want to plant pawpaw they need deep soil. My (ignorant) guess is that the soil between sidewalk and street is not too deep.

Apricots, nectarines, and peaches have a lot of disease problems here. If you go into a local nursery they will tell you the same (speaking from experience here). If you do a search on any of those three fruit names at this forum you'll get more comments on the same.

One final comment. You may find the available selection of cultivars more limited if you try to plant before the fall rains. What is in pots is just what is left at the end of the season, and if you wanted any trees shipped to you bareroot, a lot of nurseries won't dig them until after they go dormant.


Sun Sep 18, 2011 10:31 pm
Profile
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Reply to topic   [ 7 posts ] 

You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to: