Planting A Hillside Orchard

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Over the last several days, we have been transforming the hillside that borders the far side of the garden into a miniature fruit orchard.  The tree planting was no easy task as the soil underneath the grass on the hillside could not be more shovel-resistant.  To a gardner, this is not a desirable quality of the land she is trying to work.  The first step in planting a tree, of course, is digging a sizable hole for the sapling.  For our purposes, these holes needed to be about eighteen inches deep and two feet in diameter. Needless to say, the digging the holes was the hardest part. Once they were wide and deep enough, we lowered the saplings in and refilled the cavities around the nascent tree roots. It took about three days to plant all twenty trees which were a combination of peach, plum, pear and cherry varieties. The trees are still quite young and it will take about 3 to four more years for them to reach a fruit bearing maturity. In the meantime we will be able to enjoy watching them grow (slowly) on the hillside. 

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