Friday, September 28, 2007

Planning Ahead

When we moved to this house, it already had a few fruit trees. That was part of the attraction even though they were not all something we would have planted. So far we have removed four trees that were in distress or completely inappropriate for our climate. And we have added fifteen (two of which failed) which leaves us with nine more than when we started. Sometimes it is hard to know for certain what will grow in your soil and climate. Our soil is sandy, hard packed sand, and ancient eroded beach cliff. There is a high salt content remaining and a scarcity of nutrients. It is a struggle every year to mulch, compost, fertilize, mineralize, and water adequately. But some trees are very happy here if I try hard enough.
I was looking at my Fruit calendar and realized that I have almost a fruit tree or shrub for every month of the year. In January, I get citrus- Lemon and Lime, and could probably have a navel orange. February still has lemons and limes. In March, we get Loquats. In April, there are Loquats and Strawberries (which are not a tree, I know). And in May we get Blackberries and the start of Blueberries (which are a tree or shrub). In June, we have Apples and Avocados. July is Peaches, Plums, Oranges, and Apricots. August is Asian Pears, Oranges and Grapes. September is Figs, Pineapple Guava. October is Pomegranate. And November is more apples. And December, well that month is reserved for chocolate which doesn't grow here. All this fruit, coupled with all that I save from the harvests, keeps us fruity all year long.
You might think that I have enough. But I am always on the look out for another fruit tree. Our Plum tree is dying and will need to be replaced with something that is not a Stone Fruit type tree. Maybe that Naval Orange I was thinking about. And one of the Asian Pear trees just doesn't get enough cold time, so it is going to a friend in a colder climate zone. I could move a grape that doesn't get enough heat. Maybe something exotic and tropical?
Well, if I find a fruit tree to fill in that February spot or one that can compete with chocolate in December, I will keep you posted.

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