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Help with Grapes and Pear  RSS feed

 
Posts: 10
Location: Transylvania County, Western North Carolina zone: 7B
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^^ video of the grapes and pear trees - April 17  direct link: https://youtu.be/Lt8JxoUZ3_M

Hi Permies folks, I am new here and also new to the clay soils of NC. And new to growing grapes and pears. Perhaps you have answers to these questions?? We are in zone 7B - North Carolina, Western Appalachian Mountain radius, 2200 feet elevation. We just bought this place and are working on setting up some different garden areas on our property (all used to be lawn). The pear-islands in the lawn might be connected soon (by expanding the rings and sheet mulching??) to create a forest-woodland-garden that separates our house from the road.

I have been posting some updates on the youtube channel linked above. Any advice, tips, tricks, or well-intentioned rants are appreciated. Cheers!

Our Q's:

1. Are the strawberries and asparagus too close to the pears?  (they are within 2 feet of the trunk or so)
2. Are the pears too close to each other (we want them to create some privacy)? They are standard size, I think. (Ayers, Bartlett, Kieffer)
3. Will the bare-root grapes (by driveway, sheet mulched circles) recover? (Himrod and Mars)
4. Will the container grapes (Reliance and Catawba) that were transplanted survive? The roots seem to be living, but the above-ground parts are dry and woody.
 
garden master
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Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
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Sadly I can not view your youtube post so that makes it hard for me to give advice here.
 
Wes Davis
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Location: Transylvania County, Western North Carolina zone: 7B
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Here is a direct link to the video:  https://youtu.be/Lt8JxoUZ3_M .

I added one to the original post. I hope this one works. Thank you!
 
pollinator
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Asparagus is too close.  Keep in mind it will last for decades and is the perfect perennial imo because its the first harvest each spring(and it lasts for decades). Mine easily take up a 6ft x 6ft square when they fern out.

Strawberries dont matter cause you can transplant the new plants to other areas.

Looks like you did traditional planting (same stuff planted in rows). I would encourage you to buffer each plant. Instead of grape, grape, grape do grape, asparagus, blueberry. When a bug invades a grape, make it harder to find the next grape plant.

 
garden master
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Location: Officially Zone 7b, according to personal obsevations I live in 7a, SW Tennessee
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wayne fajkus wrote:Asparagus is too close.  Keep in mind it will last for decades and is the perfect perennial imo because its the first harvest each spring(and it lasts for decades). Mine easily take up a 6ft x 6ft square when they fern out.



#@!$%^&*@!!

I just planted some two year asparagus, some of which are three feet from a pear!

The info I had dug up recommended 12 to 18 inches spacing. Was that correct? I followed an instructional to plant Asparagus, two Strawberry, then Asparagus.... etc with spacing at 18" between Asparagus.
 
wayne fajkus
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Joylynn Hardesty wrote:

#@!$%^&*@!!

I just planted some two year asparagus, some of which are three feet from a pear!

The info I had dug up recommended 12 to 18 inches spacing. Was that correct? I followed an instructional to plant Asparagus, two Strawberry, then Asparagus.... etc with spacing at 18" between Asparagus.



Best i can tell, the OP has is about 18" from the pear. 

12 to 18" spacing seems fine between asparagus plants.. Ive planted as close as 8" apart in rows 12" apart.

Asparagus will last your lifetime. Its special.  Pests dont invade it in my area. Its the first perrenial crop each year.

In my area i can plant it 2" deep or 8" deep. I start at 2 " and gradually add mulch every year to gradually get it to 8" deep. This gradual addition will feed it for years. Adding an additional 6" near a tree could kill the tree. Its a method i use that works for me, but trees are not in the equation.

 
Wes Davis
Posts: 10
Location: Transylvania County, Western North Carolina zone: 7B
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wayne fajkus wrote:Asparagus is too close.  Keep in mind it will last for decades and is the perfect perennial imo because its the first harvest each spring(and it lasts for decades). Mine easily take up a 6ft x 6ft square when they fern out.

Strawberries dont matter cause you can transplant the new plants to other areas.

Looks like you did traditional planting (same stuff planted in rows). I would encourage you to buffer each plant. Instead of grape, grape, grape do grape, asparagus, blueberry. When a bug invades a grape, make it harder to find the next grape plant.



Thank you, so much! I will move the asparagus away from the trees ASAP. They are sending up a single shoot each, but I assume it's better to move them now than to wait. I didn't know they grew so big! I guess it's time to perform another spring lawn-ectomy. I wish I would have sheet mulched last fall

Yes, for the grapes in a row, they are 8 feet apart and the thought was to add something - like blueberries - between each one - and then build a trellis that runs across the area to support the grape vines. It is a narrow mow strip between my house and the next..so the thought was that a grape trellis would look nice and create a living fence. We will definitely mix it up so that it's not all grapes.  Perhaps it would be better to spread them out all over our property instead of planting them in groups?

We have a row of trees (silver maple, cottonwood, and walnut) that run next to the pears and around the North edge of our property (walnut, Braford pear, hemlock?) . I suppose the end goal is to create a "woodland edge" garden that includes some fruit trees ( persimmon, paw paw), berries, vines, herbs, native shrubs (mtn laurel so far), and some edible annuals.

We truly appreciate the feeback and welcome any other ideas.
 
wayne fajkus
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Heres a pic i took last year
20170715_104433-640x480.jpg
[Thumbnail for 20170715_104433-640x480.jpg]
 
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Hello Wes,

By the time your asparagus is big enough to choke out the strawberries, the strawberry plants will have sent out runners, to establish themselves outside the ring of asparagus. Asparagus takes 4 years from seed to really establish itself, so your 2 year old plants won't be doing much for another 2 years. Old strawberry plants are often not as productive after a couple of years anyways. The asparagus will be fine under the pear trees, as long as the asparagus is only shaded from the high noon heated sun; however, this depends on the syle of tree and rootstock. Are they columner trees? Pears will eventually sprawl out unless your doing single leader to prune your trees. Of cours all this depents on your prunning style and rootstock too. Spacing directions according to scion varietie in conjunction with rootstock, should always be followed when planting trees to avoid problems. Over prunning to control size, is really bad for the tree, high maintenance, and the opposite of permaculture, as it works against the nature of the tree. So if you fudge those spacing figures, it should be an informed calculated decision based on tree needs and pruning style. I didn't get to see your video. So I'm going off your description, and throwing out some often times ignored information. The Only major long term downfall I can definitely  see without knowing more about your rootstocks. You may be crushing asparagus shoots hidden just under the soil in late winter to early spring when prunning, so you better do your prunings in late fall early winter.

If you want more information on tree spacing, let me know your scion to rootstock selection. For spacing the named varietie is unless without knowing the exact rootstock.

Thats my best take on everything. I hope it helps!
 
pollinator
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Location: North Carolina, USA Zone 7b
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Hi Wes - I live in Piedmont NC with solid red clay (before I started sheet mulching :)     When you redo your asparagus beds be sure and dig as big and deep a trench as you can, and mix in a LOT of compost - asparagus prefers loamy soil and mine is still struggling after 5 years in the small clay trench I started with.  The foliage will indeed, grow at least 6 ft tall and about 3 ft diameter per mother plant, and flop over late in the season - it does get huge and a bit messy in a couple years.   I'd recommend a location off in a corner and near a fence so it can be tied up..    

As for your mulched circles under the pears, they don't have a huge canopy so your circles are fine for now, except it's a tighter mowing radius (that's a beautiful lawn that I'll bet the former owners spent a lot of time on haha!).   Your trees will thrive if you repeatedly add lots of woodchips and leaf mulch (twice as thick as I see in the video)  in a circle as big as the roots at least.   I started small and added a foot all around each year as they grew, and eventually created guilds around all of them - I like your idea of combining them into a long "island" across the front.  Have fun - you've got a good start there.
 
Wes Davis
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Location: Transylvania County, Western North Carolina zone: 7B
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R. Steele wrote:

If you want more information on tree spacing, let me know your scion to rootstock selection. For spacing the named varietie is unless without knowing the exact rootstock.

Thats my best take on everything. I hope it helps!



Thank you for the information! I agree that having to hard prune each year is not a sustainable plan. I will definitely pay closer attention to what I am buying and the spacing.

I am not sure of the rootstocks. The Kieffer Pear was purchased at a community plant sale and I am pretty sure it's standard size. The Ayers and Bartlett are from Lowes and a similar store - they were on sale - I am pretty sure those are standard size. The suggested spacing is 20-30 feet on the Ayers Pear tag....whoops, I put it about 10 feet away from the other tree...maybe a little closer.
I suppose that we should move the middle tree sooner rather than later? It has been in the ground for about 6 weeks or so. Or is it better to wait until next fall/winter?





 
Wes Davis
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Location: Transylvania County, Western North Carolina zone: 7B
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[quote = Susan Pruitt]
Hi Wes - I live in Piedmont NC with solid red clay (before I started sheet mulching      When you redo your asparagus beds be sure and dig as big and deep a trench as you can, and mix in a LOT of compost - asparagus prefers loamy soil and mine is still struggling after 5 years in the small clay trench I started with.  The foliage will indeed, grow at least 6 ft tall and about 3 ft diameter per mother plant, and flop over late in the season - it does get huge and a bit messy in a couple years.   I'd recommend a location off in a corner and near a fence so it can be tied up..    

As for your mulched circles under the pears, they don't have a huge canopy so your circles are fine for now, except it's a tighter mowing radius (that's a beautiful lawn that I'll bet the former owners spent a lot of time on haha!).   Your trees will thrive if you repeatedly add lots of woodchips and leaf mulch (twice as thick as I see in the video)  in a circle as big as the roots at least.   I started small and added a foot all around each year as they grew, and eventually created guilds around all of them - I like your idea of combining them into a long "island" across the front.  Have fun - you've got a good start there.


Excellent Asparagus advice. I didn't realize how floppy and big they grow. We have a long fence that might be perfect for them. I like the idea of expanding the rings each year. We found a mulch supplier so hopefully, we can thicken it up!

Yes, the lawn is really pretty so it's tough to dig holes and sheet mulch parts of it. I hope the previous owners don't find out   We have a toddler, so we do have to keep a healthy chunk of lawn for him

Thank you again for the local insight.
 
R. Steele
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Hello Wes,

At this point its definitely to late to move anything in my opinion. All the new plantings are at a critical time in expending stored energy, to start off with new root and top growth. The combination of already being under stress by not being established and expending all their stored energy trying to establish themselves. Means any additional transplant shock now could kill them this time of the year. Even if they survived the strees could have sever lingering consequences. My suggestion is let them grow this season, since spacing with your new planting wont really be an issue in their development this first year, and when they are still dormant next late winter, do all your transplanting then.

Hope that helps! 
 
Wes Davis
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Location: Transylvania County, Western North Carolina zone: 7B
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Thanks R.Steele! That makes sense to me. We will wait to move the trees. I really appreciate the insight.

We watched our property for about 8 months before planting anything "permanent" but seem to have overlooked some pretty obvious stuff.

For instance, I just realized that we planted a pear tree about 18 ft away from a black walnut that is about 50 ft tall. In the juglone zone. (Pic attached) Whoops! It seems to be growing really well for now. I imagine that this tree should be moved much farther away for the long term.

Thank you for all of the help and info!





1524150998241-623100957.jpg
[Thumbnail for 1524150998241-623100957.jpg]
Kieffer pear 18ft from Black Walnut
 
R. Steele
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You're welcome Wes, and yes! Definitely move thar pear out of the juglone zone. There are some plants that can do well in the juglone. So if you want to have plants and or trees near the black walnut,  just make sure they are juglone tolerant. You can find lists of those tolerant plants online if your interested.
 
Susan Pruitt
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Just had another thought.  I'm not a tree expert and don't know if I made this up a while back but,  since the tree feeder roots are in the "drip line" (under the edge of the canopy),   I like to make sure I don't go inside that space when planting other new trees under a big ole' established one.   Any experts out there who can confirm this?   And does it affect competition for water?
 
R. Steele
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Hello Susan,

To answer your tree planting question, about planting a new tree in drip line proximity to an older established tree: it really depends on the tree species, and the amount of root disturbance. I would consider light availability an issue as well, since nobody wants high maintenence prunning to prevent the tree from phototropic listing, due to a phototraphic responce.

Trees send roots out well beyond their drip line. In some cases root span can be 3 times the height of the tree. What matters is the amount of root disturbance and the size of the roots being disturbed. As a general rule of thumb, on established trees, any root over 1.5" should be carefully thought out before cutting it. Dehydration, stress and structual support are all a concerning factors. The tree species matters also, due to the chemical warfare that often plays out underground amongst different species, but also how those tree roots interact with each other. Will the roots marry in a form of symbiosis, like Douglass Fir, or will they girdle each other like some Oak species. Plants are an organism, with different behaviors, that very from species to species, and some behavioral actions can even vary based on genetic decendancy. In some plant species, siblings have been noted to play nice, while unrelated plants of the same species will fight to the death. Studies have revealed an awareness in the plant kingdom, and behavioral responce that is quite astounding in many instances. The chemical cues plants use to respond and communicate, can be compared to the chemical cues in the synapse of mammalian brains; in addition, the speed at which these responces and cues occure is also quite extraordinary from a scientific perspective.

Hope that helps!
 
Wes Davis
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Location: Transylvania County, Western North Carolina zone: 7B
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R. Steele wrote:You're welcome Wes, and yes! Definitely move thar pear out of the juglone zone. There are some plants that can do well in the juglone. So if you want to have plants and or trees near the black walnut,  just make sure they are juglone tolerant. You can find lists of those tolerant plants online if your interested.



Update: Fortunately, I think I misidentified that tree. My neighbor's property has several Black Walnuts (we have one away from the garden) and I assumed this was also a black walnut. Whoops again. 

My neighbor came by and told me he was sure it wasn't a walnut and that it was a "willa"...which is local slang for willow.

It did leaf out much earlier than the Black Walnuts this year.

So, it looks like the Kieffer Pear is not in the juglone zone after all.               Unless, willows have some other toxin that I don't know about yet.... Cheers!






 
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I have had very good luck using asparagus next to trees and grapevines to keep the rodents away.  Since it's the Permaculture way not to put every like thing all together in the same place, an asparagus plant on either side of a fruit tree or perennial fruit bush or vine -- within 6 inches of the planting -- has protected them well.   In future years, when the trunk expanded, the asparagus just very cooperatively moved to the side and kept on growing.
 
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