One of my goals for year one was to have some basic fruit in place. Most will not bear fruit this year, but giving them a full season to set roots and grow will mean a decent crop in 2012. So, I just put in a last minute fruit order at Raintree Nursery, thinking I might still have a chance to get a few things in the ground before it gets too hot out. It’s mid-May, however, so I may have to baby them a little unless we have an exceptionally cool May & June. Here’s what I ordered:
Three Four Dwarf Apple Trees:The Melrose apple trees are on mini-dwarf M27 rootstocks, so they’ll be ideal as container plants. The Golden Sentinel and Famuese are on semi-dwarf M7 rootstock, so they will hopefully do OK in containers. The columnar will grow tall and compact like the one in the picture. All might have some fruit this year, but especially because of how late they’ll be planted, we’ll be removing the fruit and allowing the trees to focus their energy on healthy roots and growth.
Melrose M27 (2 of these)– “This flavorful red apple is top rated for reliability and keeping. Properly stored in the garage, it can keep until May. A heavy crop of tart apples, great for cooking or eating fresh, ripens in late October. Melrose is the official Ohio state apple.” As an added bonus, Raintree threw in an extra one of these with my order.
Golden Sentinel Columnar Apple on M7 Rootstock – “A large flavorful yellow fruit that ripens in early October. 2-3′ tree.” This tree is a columnar variety, and cross pollinates with other mid-season pollinators such as the Famuese below.
Famuese Apple M7 – “This small orange-red apple has been an American favorite for more than 250 years. It is also called the snow apple because of its white flesh which is sometimes streaked with red. The apples ripen in September, are tender and juicy with a great sweet/tart flavor. They are prized for fresh eating and cooking and make an aromatic bitter/sweet cider. It is a mid season bloomer.“
One Tea Tree:
Tea Breeze Tea Plant – This one seemed to cool to pass up, and Kristina will be very pleased that she can make tea with it. I still need to research whether this will make a good container tree, but they’re supposed to be easy to keep pruned and prefer part-shade. Raintree’s site describes them as a “beautiful white-flowered ornamental variety that is also used to make delicious tea.”
Two Strawberry Varieties:
I have no clue where I’m going to put these yet, but strawberries do great around here and at $5 for 25, I couldn’t resist picking up a couple bundles of them.
Shuksan Strawberry (bundle of 25) – Good freezing and fresh eating, this is a reliable performer in the Northwest. “Large crops of medium to large, firm, dark red berries in late June every year.”
Seascape Strawberry (bundle of 25) – “Highly productive, day neutral variety produces an impressive center berry that is ideal for dipping in chocolate. All up and down the West Coast, backyard strawberry aficionados are raving about its excellent flavor, large size and disease resistance. Plants don’t need much chill to set fruit, so berries ripen early and continue to appear non-stop over a long season, from June to October. Proven successful in California and the Pacific Northwest, it is sure to entice gardeners in other parts of the nation too.”
Two Blueberry Varieties:
I have the perfect container in mind for our blueberry plants, I just need to get it filled up with soil. It should be able to fit 2 blueberries side by side, as well as some companion plants alongside of it.
Bluegold Blueberry – “Bluegold produces very heavy crops of sweet, flavorful fruit during mid-season. The beautiful, compact, rounded bush grows only four feet tall but bears large clusters of easy-to-pick berries. Unusual yellow fall foliage and yellow winter wood followed by bright white spring flowers make Bluegold a year round beauty. It is among the more winter hardy varieties.”
Reveille Blueberry (3′ size) – “The unique crisp, almost crunchy texture and the outstanding popping flavor make this a must for your blueberry patch.Its upright, narrow easy to grow habit, to 5 feet tall, make it a great hedge plant. Heavy pink spring bloom yields loads of medium size light blue berries. Hardy to 0 deg. F, it thrives in hot climates or in the cool Pacific Northwest. Needs at least 600 chilling hours for best production.”
For orders over $50 they’re throwing in a free Lingonberry or Raspberry:
Red Pearl Lingonberry – “Heavily productive, easy to grow! Selected from the wild in Holland for its tasty fruit, vigorous growth and brilliant green foliage. It grows to 16 inches and spreads rapidly.”
Everything I ordered was from their Spring Clearance listing. The ordered totaled $87.50 before shipping, which was about $22. I also found a $10 coupon, so altogether, just under $110. While this order won’t have a huge payoff this year, most of the plants we ordered should be bearing some fruit by next year, and should easily pay for themselves early into their 3rd year.
Photo Credit: All images in the post are from Raintree Nursery’s website.