The Houseofdixon Orchard

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There will be fruit!

Lots of it!

But in a couple of years.

This is a bit more like the The Long Tail of growing your own food because it can take up to 3 years to start bearing fruit with almost all fruiting trees.

We decided long ago, that if we ever bought a new house one of the first things we would do is plant fruiting trees. Why? Because we want them, and because when we bought our first house, we kept putting it off and it just never got done.

How we found our trees

Tiffany had recently gone to the Montgomery County Bee Keepers Association meeting (more on that to come). Conversations there led Tiffany to learn of a guy who everyone seems to trust in the middle Tennessee area for growing really good fruit tree starts.

One Sunday afternoon, we decided to make the 30 minute drive to this guy’s house and look over his trees. (click here to see his craiglist listings) He was a wealth of information regarding the planting and care of the trees. He told us that fruit trees generally require two in an area to pollinate and the best is to get two varieties. Apparently it will result in greater harvest of both varieties. There are self-polinating trees (of which we got one) We began picking out what we wanted to grow and here is the list of what we ended up with. (see at the bottom of the post for more information about each variety of tree we planted)

  • Bartlett & Orient Pear
  • Elberta and Red Haven Peach
  • Arkansas Black, Granny Smith and Gals Apple
  • Santa Rosa Plum (self-pollinating)

Orchard Location

We wanted the orchard to be in an easily accessible location that would drain well and have full sunlight. Since our property is basically on a hill, we chose a patch of the front yard mostly along the driveway as you come up to the house. It’s a little far from the house for watering, so I currently have all my hoses strung together to reach them all. I dug holes approximately double the diameter of the pot they came in and the same depth using the directions on the individual tags to space them far enough apart. See the diagram below of where they all got planted.

 

The houseofdixon orchard varieties in detail

Santa Rosa Plum (info via gardenguides.com)

  • very fragrant flowers in the spring
  • sweet, juicy large fruit
Arkansas Black Apple (info via wikipedia)

  • fairly tart flavor
  • medium sized
  • dark red skin
Gala Apple (info via wikipedia)

  • red with green or yellow tones
  • sweet mild flavor
Granny Smith Apple (info via wikipedia)

  • fairly tart flavor
  • light green color
  • great baking apple

 

Bartlett Pear (info via wikipedia)

  • also called Williams Pear
  • most popular pear in world outside Asia
Orient Pear (info via willisorchards.com)

  • large round shape
  • popular in Asian countries
Elberta Peach (info via arborday.com)

  • most popular of all peaches
  • used for eating, canning & freezing
Red Haven Peach (info via sierra gold trees)

  • nearly hairless fruit
  • red coloring
  • firm medium sized fruit
Just like always, if anyone has tips or tricks or any information regarding growing your own fruit trees…pass it along and we’ll be very grateful. This whole thing is a learning process for us and though we’re having fun there is definitely that nervous feeling since this is the first time we’ve done most of these things
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