Cider Orchard Establishment


I am happy to announce that our cider orchard is almost done. Ok, let’s just say it’s officially started. We took a portion of the backyard and fenced it off. We tilled and planted clover and wildflowers as mentioned in this post. The clover and such are filling in nicely, so are the weeds.


We have a lovely cattle panel arch leading into the cider orchard. I have a kiwi planted near it but that kiwi has been hit and miss for some time so I don’t know that it will recover. If it doesn’t I’ll eventually move some grape cuttings into the area.

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We have the swales running in a circle around the orchard. They have proven that they can collect water already, though it was more of an aesthetic and ease of watering thing for me.


The trees are newly grafted heirloom varieties. It took us quite some time to get the infrastructure of the orchard up and thus the trees were in tree pots for some time. These tree pots. They didn’t do all that well in them. It was really hot but I did water them daily. Even still it is my guess that they cooked in the pots. The ones on the outside of did poorly. Some died but the rootstock of some lived. I’m going to let it grow and re-graft later on.

Rootstock is alive, graft is dead.
Rootstock is alive, graft is dead.

Not all the plants in the cider orchard are cider apples. I have hidden rose apples planted in there because I want to have them close to the house for my personal enjoyment. I also have a black currant bush in there that can be used as a mix in for cider or just for personal enjoyment. Eventually I’ll have a few specialty plums thrown in as well.

black currant
black currant


The wild flowers and vetch seeds were thrown onto the berm of the swale and into the back of the cider orchard where it is too shady to grow trees and also already has established willow trees.

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Where the barn is it is very shady a lot of the time. Thus I am planting a shade garden. I have some hostas, a golden bell flower and a few other things thrown in. The wildflower seeds are doing best in this area.

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Eventually I hope to have a lovely table and chairs and picnic amidst the flowers and trees. I think it will be a lovely retreat for us!

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