How wonderful to see the forsythia, daffodils, and wildflowers popping up at the farm. The daffodils that brightened my Easter table came from an old house site on our property, where a previous owner had planted bulbs years ago that we enjoy each spring. The earliest of the wildflowers were beginning to emerge with colorful blooms. Of course, my allergies are also in full bloom, a temporary unpleasantness that comes with the season. With these first pronouncements of spring, I get the urge to plant things. But I’m only at the farm periodically, so I’ve learned to limit my scope and expectations.
This week I felt compelled to plant some fruit trees. Based on past experiences, I should know better. I’ve planted a dozen or more fruit trees over the years and never ate the fruit from a single one. I’ve always blamed my failure on the heavy clay content of the soil in our part of the Ozarks. I grew up where you could throw seeds out the window like Jack did and your beanstalk, or whatever, would be blooming in no time.
Planting Fruit Trees at the Farm
Despite failures, hope springs eternal in the heart of a gardener. So I invested in three trees for the farm this week: a peach, a Honey Crisp apple and a Granny Smith. It took a number of family members and friends to pull off this garden caper—two of us to make the selections and ten to advise on where the trees should be planted, dig the holes, remove the dirt, mix in some organic material, return the soil and build the protective cages around each sapling.
In another spurt of enthusiasm, I purchased some seed potatoes and onion sets, but didn’t have the ground prepared, so I’ll have to wait on that.
I take solace in the advice given me by one of my early garden mentors who declared, “There’s no such thing as an early garden in Missouri.” He’s been right much of the time; the ground is often too wet or too cold to gain much advantage by planting too soon. More to come. . . I hope.