Progress in the Orchard

Over April vacation (so about three weekends ago now) we finally planted our new apple trees. It was a fairly long day that required first removing several of the older fruit trees that were either dead, dying, or unproductive enough to have lost their place:

The biggest tree we took out was the apricot, seen above in a state of partial completion. It's a shame that this tree never actually bore more than a handful of fruit, because it was well formed, but oh well. 

Once the old trees were removed, we planted the new ones in new holes, creating some more space as we went. Here's the new Winesap in the ground:

All of our new plantings are cocked ever-so-slightly into the prevailing winds, which should give them a little extra purchase and hopefully eliminate the need for staking

Once all four new trees were planted, we were left with a rather pockmarked front lawn of bare patches where old trees (and straight-up dead patches of neglected grass) were left behind:

Only one spot where we put a new tree had decent enough sod to use a patch, so we basically cut up one circle of sod and moved it to cover over a spot where a tree used to be:

This worked well, and if you don't know where it is, you can't tell it was a patch job at all. 

The rest of the lawn, on the other hand, needed some serious work. We had to scratch up all the dirt, overseed (we did grass and clover, which is so much easier to grow), and then drive up your water bill for the next three weeks to keep it from dying. All that, and here's what we have:

The clover is easier to see, but there's also grass coming up in this bare spot. The one good thing about these dreary, rainy weeks is that we haven't had to water the grass so much, and it's filling in bit by bit. At this point we've taken down the sprinklers and will only give it a shot of water with the hose during dry spells, and hopefully that will be enough. 

I really, really dislike maintaining a lawn — and we barely have any left to worry about! Grass is so pointless and uses so much water and effort to keep it green. We're even pretty lax about allowing just about any green weed in to fill the space, and it's still a pain. And now that the front yard seems to be on its way, it's time to turn to the back lawn, which is looking just as scraggly and terrible. 



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