Sunday, March 23, 2014

Arbor Day and my Free Trees

I became an Arbor Day member and they sent me my "thank you" ten free baby trees. They are year old trees, just little sticks right now, but they'll be fine.  I also ordered an older redbud to plant in the space where I tore out an ugly, prickly barberry bush.  That tree hasn't arrived yet, which is just as well, as I can't plant it there after all.  I neglected to consider the electrical wire directly above the space!  I'll plant it on the other side of the front yard.

They came bareroot in some sort of root hydrating gel, and color coded by kind of tree.  
Purple = Sargent Crabapple
White = American Redbud
Dark Blue = Washington Hawthorn
Orange = White Flowering Dogwood

The free trees included 2 Sargent crabapples, 3 American redbuds, 2 Washington hawthorns, and 3 white flowering dogwoods.  Obviously way too many trees for me, but once they are a bit older I can re-home them.  For now, I put one of each kind in large containers, and the rest along one side of a raised bed.  Maybe next year, when they are dormant, I will move them.  They are too young to be planted in their permanent location right now.  

Arbor Day began in 1872, in Nebraska, US, when 1,000,000 trees were planted!  Now many countries observe similar holidays.  Arbor Day in the US this year will be on April 25.  It is traditional to plant a tree on Arbor Day.  The National Arbor Day Foundation offers membership, and low cost trees (lower to members), as well as many programs benefiting communities and youth programs. 

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Peas are Planted

My daughter and I planted Cascadia peas a few days ago.  I moved them to a new location, so hopefully they'll do as well as before.  The bed is one that hasn't been successful in the past, but I dug in a bag of steer manure, a bag of yard waste compost, a bunch of peat, some bonemeal, and a few handfuls of pelleted fertilizer.  How could the peas not be happy with all that?

We planted three packets of peas, first dampened and tossed with inoculant.  They should be up any day now!  Cascadia grow the best for me.  We eat them as pods and as shell peas.  They grow abut 3' high, and are pretty self-supporting, but I do provide trellises for them.  It makes it easier for me.  I only plant peas from Territorial Seed.  I have planted other brands, but they aren't as productive.  


"Frosty" the Frost Peach

I know, not very original calling a Frost Peach "Frosty."  Not nearly as clever as calling the apple tree "Dale," but he's dead and chipped for compost by now, so we move on to, if not bigger, better (as in healthier) things.  Enter "Frosty."

I researched peaches and found either a Frost or an Oregon Curl Free would be the healthiest, and I need all the help I can get keeping fruit trees healthy.  I have kept my eyes open for Frost since the bare root selections showed up a few weeks ago.  One nursery had a potted one for some outrageous price like $50, another source wouldn't have them until March 20 (too late for bare root), but low and behold Flowerland in Central Point had them!  I drove right over in the rain and got one!  $22, not a bad price.  My son and I got it right into the ground, or raised bed in this case.  The nurseryman said a raised bed was a good idea for a peach anyway, since they like good drainage.   Nice to know, since I don't have good drainage without raised beds!  He showed me where to prune it if I wanted to keep it lower and branched out too.

Frost Peach - March 3, 2014 - Edward the Goldendoodle sauntering by...
top I pruned off per nurseryman's instructions 3-5-14

"Frosty" the Frost Peach 3-5-14 (the green grass is misleading... under it is swampy soil!)