I am in zone 3 in New Hampshire. It might be becoming zone 4, really, but I have seen -30F with my own eyes, so I think zone 3. I'm trying to integrate more perennial plants into my farming endeavors by planting shrubs and trees into some existing hugels. I'm curious about how people prepare to plant peach trees, pear trees, apple trees, high-bush cranberry shrubs, elder shrubs, and anything else I can think of to guild a hugel community. I'd appreciate finding out what others are doing.
Last year, we incorporated hazelberts, two current bushes and 4-5 gooseberry bushes. The currents and gooseberries are really thriving despite drought last year and the beginning of this year. The hazelberts suffered some japanese beetle damage, but are growing pretty well. I also planted three hardy kiwi, but I haven't seen any flowers yet and I'm afraid I can't figure out if they are male or female--so I need some advice on that, also.
I obviously have more questions than answers, but perhaps that makes for a good conversation. Thanks in advance for reading and answering.
I am in zone 3 Washington State. ( no, it’s not all warm and rainy)
I have the best success planting in the spring so that my trees/ shrubs/ perennials have time to gain root before winter. If I plant anything of size late summer or fall I lose it. Things here just need to be established before winter. My roses are hardy but even they die back and come up from the ground in spring. I do not prune anything back in fall. I do it mid winter or spring.
I can’t grow a peach tree here. But apples,cherries, elder, plums, currants, raspberries and blackberries, gooseberries, etc I do well with.
I mulch everything all the time. I use lots of shavings in extensive flower bed, leaves and straw elsewhere.
I put about 4 inches of mulch on tender things before winter. I make sure nothing is below eaves of the house or huge trees because the snow acts as an insulator plus the moisture from the snow is necessary.
When I do plant i incorporate a sand peat mix and composted manure into my plantings. I water heavily until the scrub/ tree/ perennial is established and I water the foliage of the plant. I save most everything ; even the junk a friend brings home from the dump pile at the greenhouse!
I long to grow a peach…but it won’t happen here. Nor a watermelon of any size or a huge squash! But be that as it may my garden thrives.
I had no success with hardy kiwi.
When I plant vegs I make sure they don’t take more than 90 days so some heirloom seeds are out for me.
I do have a hoop house but it was so bloody hot this summer it’s not usable. I do extend my season for tomatoes with that if I need to.
To me the biggest help is establishing plants long before winter. In my area I have found fall planting just does not work.