Sunday rolls around and I’m not even sure what the weekend project is…. or was. I think it had something to do with that box of bareroot apple tree that’s been sitting on the porch for two days now. Bareroot plantings should be taken care of asap, first step is to plump up the roots again by sitting them in a bucket overnight, I think 24 hours is sorta the max for soaking, you don’t want to drown them. When planting, the only special thing to remember is to spread out the roots and work the soil back in between. A little dirt, water it in, a little more dirt, water in. It’s better to keep the root flare high rather than deep, you can always add soil or mulch around the base later if needed. Don’t bother mixing anything into the planting hole, if your soil is horrible, plant even higher and mulch well with compost and those nutrients will work their way down to the roots, just like they do in every forest on the planet. You may think it’s cruel not to try and improve the soil for your baby, but look around. If you can see other trees growing then your tree should be fine too…. unless those other trees are swamp cypress… you might have a drainage issue then.
So with a sense of urgency to get my tree (and 3 gooseberries too!) into the ground I got the coffe brewed and sat down at the computer….. breakfast followed and then some Lego villages had to be built. Then a friend stopped by. Six hours later, a run to the local nursery (to drop off $40), and this is where I’m at. It’s pansy season after all and buying pansies, shaking off winter, and supporting my local nursery are tradition in these parts. The apple tree is still not planted but it’s Sunday after all, and things shouldn’t happen too fast on a day of rest.
It’s more fun to plant pansies than dig holes for dormant apple trees, and you shouldn’t pick-axe pond holes on a day of rest, so I drug out the planters for my new purchases and got them planted. Again it’s not that easy. All the fancy pots already have stuff in them. It’s stuff like rubber trees and fig bushes that need repotting too, so that all came out to make room for the pansies. Did I mention I bought lettuce? I was embarrased to even think of my own seedlings when I saw the lettuce plants for sale. My reasoning was if I can get at least 215 servings of salad off these plants, they should pay for themselves.
The back deck got a little spring too. I should have powerwashed off last year’s stains first, but that’s another project and right now I’m too busy planting trees.
Tomorrow maybe I can actually get one in the ground. The rest of Sunday was spent taking the kids (my two plus another three) for a walk in the woods and down to the railroad tracks. They then insisted on seeing the drug house that burned down on Saturday. Funny how these things never get mentioned in most tree planting tutorials.
Around 9pm I snuck out and opened the tree box. Everything is soaking and has to be planted Monday before it drowns. I should have no problem getting to it since the only other thing going on is repairing the pond hole.
Regarding the pond hole, I made the mistake of leaving the shovels out next to the dirt piles, and after two hours of worm hunts, “climbing the pile”, and playing with the pick-axe, most of the dirt is back in the hole or thrown into the pond liner. A little more work for me, but at least most of the local earthworms (and a couple of grubs) have been given names.