Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Yard Work

When we bought our house, there was a little raised garden in the corner of the back yard. Here's a Google Earth view of the backyard. You can see the big blue slide on the swingset, and a nice tree, and then the garden in the corner.

Well, the nice big tree died a slow death after the big 5-day frost a couple years ago. Rob and the children had fun chopping it down and digging up the roots. After three years of struggling with the corner garden, amending the dirt, replacing the dirt, and not having any results, we gave up and built a raised-bed garden where that tree used to be. We took the dirt out of the raised corner bed and planted a Diller Arizona Sweet, which is supposed to ripen later than the Navel orange tree we have.

On either side of where the old garden was, we put in another Navel Orange and we also planted an apricot. I guess we'll see how long the apricot lives. The guy at the orchard said that we shouldn't have to worry about the tree getting Texas Root Rot if we kept the grass out of the basin and only watered it every two weeks in the summer.

Over on the other side of the yard, we topped the lemon tree. It was getting too big, and the guy at the Greenfield Nursery, a very knowledgeable guy, said we could chop the top off, since the bottom half of the tree produces the best fruit.

So we chopped up our unruly lemon bush and made it into a lemon tree. We had stacks of lemons that we pulled off the branches. This really is the best time of the year to prune citrus, although you really don't want to cut your trees up very high.

And do you know the most interesting thing? The children absolutely loved helping trim the trees, build the garden, dig up the old garden bed, and pitch in with all the yard work.

We even got our little Pickle to pull weeds. Although he's only 4, he can pull most weeds if we soak the dirt first, and he loves the mud.

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