One of the things I’ve tried to get on my property since moving here is apple trees. This year, that project came back to the forefront when I found fastgrowingtrees.com. The trees from this grower have advanced root systems so that you get apples the first or second year instead of waiting 5 – 10 years for a tree to begin bearing fruit. They had both Granny Smith and Golden Delicious dwarf varieties, which are my favorite combination to use when making applesauce.
Unfortunately, you pay for the extra-developed root system: they were $100 each. That caused me to hesitate and by the time I decided I would get just the Granny Smith this year and a Golden Delicious the next year, they were sold out of both. (It was okay to get just one tree at a time because those two varieties are self-pollinating).
On to Plan B.
I ordered trees from a local grower. I got a Golden Grimes (sweet), which is a parent of the Golden Delicious and a Mary Reid (tart) which is a locally-developed apple. They were semi-dwarf instead of the dwarf that I would have preferred but they only cost $25 each.
I did some research and found that you can grow semi-dwarf trees in pots. Doing so would help them develop and produce faster than they would in the ground (3-5 years to harvest, rather than 5-10 years). So, rather than dig a hole in the nasty clay soil I have and then amend the soil to make it the right Ph, with the right levels of nutrients, I got 15 gallon pots, some ready-made tree soil, some peat moss, and some rocks for the bottom layer to provide drainage.
When the trees arrived, everything was ready to go. They got planted in their pots and placed in what seems to be the right areas of the yard. If not, I put a rubber mat (with built-in drainage channels) under each pot to keep them off the ground and make them more moveable.
That’s my newest enterprise. I must admit, this one feels more like a trial of faith than an adventure. That’s because they look like sticks. I can’t tell if the sticks are alive or dead. It’s going to be several months before they will show any sign that they are alive. So, we wait.
Presenting, Stick #1 and Stick #2: