The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Planting the 2020 apples

Planting a baby fruit tree

This spring's graftees didn't grow as vigorously as in year's past. I think the issue was mostly that their row was a bit too shady, but the deer-nibbling session in midsummer didn't help either. Still, I suspect they'll do fine now that I've moved them to more secure and sunnier spots.


Kayla and I transplanted eleven little apples Wednesday, mulching just around the bases of the trees then planting rye in between. It's way too late in the year for even that winter-friendly cover crop, but it's been such a mild season I figured I'd give it a shot anyway. If the rye gets overwhelmed by weeds, I'll just kill mulch in the spring and start over.

The only thing better than apple-planting day is Kayla-visiting day. Combining the two makes for a perfect afternoon.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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Here's a tip that works for us. We're in Deer Heaven! I have discovered that deer do not like the smell of old rubber tires. Someone suggested the sulfur used in the mfr of rubber is the reason. Whatever it is, it seems to work pretty well. We have about 75 fruit trees spread around our farm now, and this is the one cheap and pretty painless thing we've found that works. I just put a tire at the base of the little trees and go away. Over the years, I've learned that the tire does not need to actually surround the tree. It can go over a little seedling to give it wind and other protection of course, but it doesn't need to encircle the tree to give deer benefits. Later on, I put two steel posts spaced about 8 inches away from the trunks on either side - post tree post. This stops the bucks from rubbing off the bark and killing the broomstick sized trees! Dried blood, egg wash and a squirt bottle to apply the awful concoction helps keep the beggers from eating out the terminal buds at the tip of the tree. RRRRRRGGGGGJJJJHHHH Never give up!

Comment by Tim Thu Dec 10 09:32:47 2015

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