Thursday, October 28, 2010

Frost is coming! Batten down the hatches!

Lately, Chicagoland has been under some crazy wind storms. Gusts of 60 miles an hour, trash cans strewn throughout the strees, and Lawn chairs all over the backyard are only a snippet of the problems going on. I'm glad I took off the pergola cover one day before all this had happened, or the wind could have ripped the pergola off the deck or at least thrown the cover over the roof (which has been known to happen).

Well, I went out to the backyard to tidy up, while the wind was whipping around everywhere. I made the girls come out and help. We Pulled out the Jerusalem Artichoke, harvested all the green cherry tomatoes, and cleaned up some trellises.

Frost is coming, so we have to tidy up, and be prepared. I also checked on some of my Espaliered trees, and adjusted one.
Momsi: Mommy, what're you doing?

Me: I'm training this tree to grow flat
Momsi: But why!!! Why can't we leave it alone!
Me: Because then it'll take over the neighbor's yard. This way it can grow as Big as it wants, but flatter.

Momsi: Well, can we bring it inside? The apple tree is sad and cold.

Me: [Something about apples and Zone5A and required Chill hours]. It likes it out here, Momsi.
My version of Espalier is very informal. Basically, I'm just training the tree to grow flat. I don't have a particular shape in mind... Just want them to be flat, and not crossing branches. So for the most part, it's just growing on it's own with minor shape adjustments.

So far, we've planted:
4 apple trees
2 asian pears
1 Stanley plum
1 bartlett pear
3 nanking cherry bushes
2 blueberry bushes
2 chestnuts
Strawberries w/runners under the trees.

I have space for 4 more fruit trees on the side fences, so I'll have to give some thought on what I want. I'll ask the kids what they'd like to eat :)