Welcome Camos. Lots of great people here and plenty of helpful advice.
I am glad to have found this forum!
About ten years ago, I decided to make an investment in my long-term health and started growing food in my backyard. I live just 4 miles from downtown Atlanta so my home is located on a small 0.2 acre lot. I began by getting into raising my own backyard meat and then vegetables. I then decided to try growing my own fruits. I didn’t have enough space in my backyard for the number of fruit trees I wanted to plant. I looked for and found a 0.55 acre bank-owned vacant city lot in 2012 at the very bottom of the housing market collapse and then began the process of converting it to an orchard.
My attempts at raising backyard meat and growing backyard vegetables were quite successful so I expected the same of my fruit journey. I could not have been more wrong. Over the past 8 years, my orchard pursuit has been marked with more downs than ups. As if the physical labor involved with creating an orchard wasn’t already hard enough, I’ve had to deal with vandalism by neighbors, constant battle with decades old kudzu and weed forest, diseases, lack of access to water, etc.
While I now currently have 99 fruit trees and bushes planted, I am embarrassed say that I have lost or removed at least that many through the the trials and tribulations I have endured in the last 8 years. Here’s what I currently have in my orchard:
- apple (Buckeye Gala, Fuji, Gala, Honeycrisp)
- apricot (Blenheim, Harcot, Harglow, Moorpark, Royalty)
- asian pear (20th Century, Dripping Honey, Hosui, Korean Giant, Shenseiki, Shinko)
- blueberry (Britewell, Climax, Emerald, Powder Blue, Premier, Rabbiteye, Tift Blue, Vernon)
- chestnut (Marigold, Belle Pine)
- fig (Black Mission, Brown Turkey, Celeste, LSU, LSU Purple, Texas Everbearing)
- goji berry
- jujube (Li)
- nectarine (Sun Gold)
- pawpaw (Rebecca, Shenandoah, Allegheny, Tallahatchie, Sunflower, Susquehanna, Rappahannock, Chappell, Wabash, Atwood, Potomac, Cantaloupe)
- peach (Fay Elberta)
- pear (Warren)
- persimmon (Fuyu, Hachiya, Hana-Fuyu, Jiro, Matsumoto, Tanenashi)
- pineapple guava
- plum (AU Rubrum, Beauty, Bruce, Burbank, Burgundy, Elephant Heart, Golden Nectar, Methley, Morris, Owen T, Ozark Premier, Producer, Santa Rosa)
- pomegranate (Afganski, Angel Red, Austin, Nikitski, Salavatski)
- raspberry (Caroline, Cumberland, Dorma Red)
- sour cherry (Montmorency, Nanking)
- sweet cherry (Bada Bing, Bing, Black Tartarian, Compact Stella, Coral Champagne, Rainier, Stella)
The reason for my growing efforts is to have clean, healthy, nutritious food. For this reason, I do not want to use any chemicals. After several years of losing the battle to brown rot, I am being forced to the conclusion that I should probably remove all my stone fruit trees and focus on fruits which are more suitable for the humidity of the South: figs, mulberries, pawpaws, asian pears, asian persimmons, pomegranates, muscadines, etc.
I feel like I am just now figuring out this year the roadmap for what my orchard will become long term. This means there are still lots of work ahead for this labor of love!
Guess I need to introduce myself in here as well. I am in Middle Tennessee up on the Cumberland Plateau, which puts me in zone 6b. I have gardened for several years and always liked planting stuff to watch it grow. I have enough land that I decided to make use of it. I first started with a few cherry tree sprouts that came from a tree my grandfather had planted. I only have one of those originals left but it has provided me many sprouts to relocate. After that I added some grapes and a couple apple trees. Then my father in law and I planted some peach pit of some peaches that his brother had given him. It was at that time in 2012 that I decided to clear an area for a dedicated orchard. I put 14 of the peach tree seedlings in that orchard (6 of which have made it to this year) and I have continually added to it. I have had both great and limited success in my orchard but I enjoy it and that is what it is about. I have peaches, pears, apples, cherries, blueberries, grapes.and muscadines. I have been reading here for several days now and I have learned several things already. I am excited for this new 2020 growing season!
Welcome Poncho and Atlanta. Lots of great people here and lots of good advice.
Don’t worry about the trials and errors Atlanta. We are all learning as we go. I have taken out so many things over the years I have forgotten about them. Just live and learn.
I think the advice here and the recommendations for links and other sites people offer helps cut down on the errors we may have made on our own. Every location can be different. Just a location a few miles away from you may encounter different growing problems than you may encounter at your own location.
Hello All. I’m a little far away from most of you as I live in South West France. It’s the most beautiful part of the country!
I don’t know what our climate is in terms of US zones, but we have cold wet winters with lows around -6 C /21.2F (it used to be way colder 10 years ago!) and very hot dry summers with highs of 38C / 100.2F or more.
Our soil is a little chalky (alkaline) Walnuts are big business here, but almost every gardener has a range of fruit trees and some grapes. The big southern wine producing areas are both a little west and south of us.
I’m a very keen gardener, with a very productive vegetable garden. Fruit trees are, however new to me, so I’ve a lot to learn!
Welcome @FranceFruit! You seem to be in an area with prime fruit tree growing conditions; good luck! You will find a wealth of information on this forum on growing fruit trees, and also do many helpful and friendly members. @mrsg47 recently moved to south France, and she knows a lot about French fruit varieties as well as American. I am curious, when are your last and first frosts, or in other words what is your growing season?
Thanks for the welcome @Ahmad. Usually our last frosts are the first week of May and first frosts last week of October. Yes, prunes and other stone fruit do well here.
How much space do you have for planting trees? Which fruits are you thinking about?
We have a very big property so no problem with space - though we have to contend with deer, wild boar, badgers and other animals (hence the electric fence which you can see in the photo!) I’ve already planted an orchard, starting about 5 years ago - cherries, peaches, plums, apples and pears. The slope is not ideal and we struggle with lack of water in summer, but I’ve had some good pickings of peaches, apples and pears already. The birds get my cherries before I do!
Welcome, I live in Uzes, where are you? I’m in the southwest as well. Mrsg47!
Thanks for the welcome @mrsg47. I live quite a bit north and west of you in the Dordogne, near Sarlat-la-Caneda.
I live in the fruit belt and the area that produces the most wine in France. We have apricots, cherries, peaches, plums, figs, no citrus to speak of, pears, and a number of apples. Apples grow where you live and farther north. The orchards here are magnificent.
The birds always get the cherries before we can get them. I wonder why I have a cherry tree at all.LOL.
Greeting! I am in 9a in Central Fruit. I have had a vegetable garden my whole life but as I have gotten older I am more interested in perennial food plants, fruits and berries. I am just starting to add these this year to my new food forest. I look forward to learning from all of you and hope I can bring something to add value to the conversation as well.
Just realizing that I never really “introduced” myself here. I just hit my anniversary, so now seems as good a time as any. I’ve lived and gardened in New Jersey, New York, Maine, Massachusetts, Arkansas, Kansas, and now New Hampshire, so I have more breadth than depth of gardening experience. I am the proud new-ish owner of a shady, squirrel-infested city lot in Southern New Hampshire. I have grand visions of creating an
elaborate squirrel feeder orchard with apples, peaches, apricots, Asian pears, persimmons, pawpaws, and beach plums with the available full-sun area. Also planning on adding most of the varieties of currants and gooseberries on the state-approved list. I love all things plants and have been working on improving my propagation skills. I’ve been really enjoying this forum, and how generous everyone is with their time, knowledge, and sometimes even material.
Welcome Heidi and jcguarneri
Kinda a lurker here, but I finally joined! I’m a horticulturist, and recently my hubby and I got our first house so we’re both really excited to start our potager garden. I was so impressed with all the knowledge here and am thankful for this forum!