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Trees in pots/when to plant  RSS feed

 
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I’m starting a permaculture orchard with a mix of fruits, nuts and herbs. I got a handful of rootstock and scion this spring and got 70% to take. I didn’t have my new property at the time, now I have a place but they are still in pots.

I want to cover crop the area for a few months before I plant at my new place, would it be better to plant them close in the ground like a nursery for a year or leave them in pots?

I’m in zone 5b, too late to plant this year? Will they be ok in the pots overwinter?

Also I wanted to put sawdust on top of the ones that didn’t take to force new rootstock, should I plant them in the ground first or leave them in pots?

This is my first post, new to this I hope my questions are clear. Thanks for the help
 
gardener
Posts: 1825
Location: Just northwest of Austin, TX
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forest garden urban
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I've added this question to "gardening for beginners" to give it additional visibility.  

I think the official word for the in ground storage is called heeling in, it might help you research more.

In my climate this is prime planting season for trees and perennials because they will focus on developing strong roots all winter long to better survive our harshest season. It may be completely reversed as far north as you sound.

The discussion in this thread https://permies.com/t/23257/move-young-apple-trees may be relevant to you. I expect to see a more knowledgeable response after mine, but it's somewhere to start.
 
pollinator
Posts: 2128
Location: Massachusetts, Zone:6/7, AHS:4, Rainfall:48in even Soil:SandyLoam pH6 Flat
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forest garden solar
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Don't worry you can plant in the snow as long as the ground is not frozen it is safe to plant. I have personally done this for dozens of different species of fruit trees. (But fall/winter is not the best time to graft). I actually prefer planting in the fall over planting in the spring, because fall planting actually promote root growth over leaf growth which then means that I don't have to water.


I like that you want to build up your soil life before you start planting your food forest.
I agree with doing that 1st. In fact recommend:
Add earthworks (swale/berm)
Add carbon/woodchip/biochar/straw/etc
Add some soil life (worm tea, compost, mushroom slurries)
Add mineral (rockdust, sea90, sulfur/lime/etc)
Add cover crop (80% legumes and 20% mint family/garlic family/carrot family, daikon radish, etc)

Personally I like just getting "expensive" super dwarf fruit trees because it is easier to harvest.
But for best result I would actually recommend: planting seeds and then grafting after the seedling has survived few years.
Another way to go is to get rootstock/seedlings bareroot for cheap inoculate them. plant, then graft.



 
J Sko
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Thanks for the responses, I’m trying to get a lot of trees in the ground as soon as I can but I’m also trying to get about a 1/2 acre to 1 acre in the next two years. I have a market vegetable garden and I’d like to add fruit to it and do a CSA model. I grafted that little amount just to try it out but I’m trying to propigate my own rootstock to save some money, does anyone have experience with this. From what I’ve read, you can clip the plant low and cover it with sawdust then it will sprout new shoots. Or would it be easier to pop seeds and graft in a year or two?
 
S Bengi
pollinator
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Location: Massachusetts, Zone:6/7, AHS:4, Rainfall:48in even Soil:SandyLoam pH6 Flat
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A one acre herb CSA sounds good.
I am not too sure how much fruits you can produce on one acre for a CSA market. You might have to partner with a bigger acreage fruit farm/orchard.
But if I was dead set on having some fruits, I would do a niche market, make it very exotic like say paw-paw (which actually is native so technically not exotic), I would NOT go the apple route for my fruit offering. How about honey, you can make it only available to your highest paying CSA membership level.  

1 acre of fruit trees on 15ft centers is about 180 at $25 each so a total of $4,500. Not crazy expense but if you can do it cheaper/better I say go for it.
 
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