Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Well-Heeled Apple Tree

The shipment of new dwarf fruit trees from Stark Brothers arrived, predictably, in the middle of a torrential downpour.  I discovered them as I headed out for the second-shift job, a mess of wet cardboard containing two dwarf apple trees and a Meyer lemon, completing our micro-orchard (which already has a key lime and a nectarine).  Of course, by the time I got home from the second-shift job, I discovered a flooded garage, so Mr. FC&G and I were certainly not going to be sifting compost and planting any dwarf apples that night. 

Seriously, once -- just once -- I would like to tell you "The additions to the garden arrived on a day with no pressing deadlines and when Mr. FC&G and I were both off work.  It was a beautiful day, so we went right outside to plant in optimum conditions."

Alas, this is not the case most of the time on the micro-farm.  We still need to get planters for our dwarf trees, and although the lemon tree is safe in its little nursery pot for a while, the apple trees arrived bare root.  Therefore, there was a limited amount of time they could stay bare.

Mr. FC&G thought of the solution, asking if he could bury them temporarily in the compost pile.  I suggested the garden, which had already been broadforked, and then remembered that the process of temporarily planting a tree in a shallow trench to protect its roots until it can go to its final spot is called "heeling in."

In any event, Mr. FC&G saved the day by coming home the next night and going straight out to heel in the apple trees.  Hopefully, in a couple of years, we will have at least one or two apple pies of our own growing!

The Analysis

Fast:  This is less about time and more about time management.  Heeling in the trees buys us some time to get to the home improvement store for some large containers to plant the rest of the micro-orchard.

Cheap:  Again, more about saving the investment already sunk into the trees.  They weren't terribly expensive, but that doesn't mean I want to reorder them.

Good:  "Good" is what Mr. FC&G is, for remembering this classic trick!  If veggie plants are my wheelhouse, fruit trees are really his.

Happy 10th Anniversary to Mr. FC&G!  Thank you for being my partner in this journey for the past decade and may we have many more together!
Pin It!

No comments :

Post a Comment