jovialgent Hatfield wrote:Yes, you should graft different varieties. You can extend your season that way. You can graft apple scions onto pears and vice versa. If you are cutting the pear back hard because of blight it would be great to graft some varieties you might like onto the tree.
Leila Rich wrote:
Also, since you have two of each apple, I'd be inclined to drop one of each and put in a couple of compatible plums, if you like them and they grow in your area. Hmm, I see there's something called 'plum pox virus' in PA.
CJin VT wrote:I'm a little surprised no one has mentioned pruning. It's the main reason people's trees stop producing. Also, 20 years is young for a standard sized tree but not for a dwarf.
Where are the walnuts in relation to the the fruit trees? They secrete a substance which inhibits growth in other plants.
A well placed swale may help tons.
millerdavidpatrick McCoy wrote:Don't chop anything down yet. I would strongly suggest starting a new orchard elsewhere, meanwhile plant a mix of legumes, comfrey and wildflowers in and around your diseased trees. If you stop cutting the grasses around the trees, allow the new plants to thrive in the shade of the orchard and most of all give the system time to re-balance itself you might be amazed at the resulting awesomeness. Try to remember to approach your new orchard in a completely different manner, try to integrate the trees into a widely diverse ecosystem where no one bug or disease can get out of control due to imbalance. Try to foster as much diverse life as possible and balance will return. Give this a read, it may give you hope http://imaginepeace.com/miracleapples/
Julie Helms wrote: Unfortunately, the orchard part of the lawn is between our house and the road, so it is highly visible--not as easy to let it go scruffy for appearance sake but I am totally excited about the potential here.
Nicolai, any recommendations on the liquid fertilizer? We have tons of compost (sheep and chicken manure, and straw); I could make a tea out of it? Or is there a specific fruit-loving formula.
CJin VT wrote:
How about a hedge on top of a swale by the road? Keep the water on your property and prying eyes out. Also, the sheep do a great job of naturally mowing/fertilizing.