I am on a break from work for a couple of weeks so I've been able to put some time into the landscaping redesign I've talked about. Part of this involves a ring of willows that will serve as a windbreak around part of our property. Unfortunately, we have some very poor soil in areas around our yard. So the first task was to give the future trees a better chance at a good start. I dug twenty-four holes spaced fifteen feet apart. Each hole is 24" across and 18" deep. They will be re-filled with good topsoil, plus some organic material to enrich the soil.
The hard part in all of this was that about half were in soil with a lot of rock in it. I had to use a five foot pry bar in a lot of spots to dislodge the rocks and lever them out. Some of these holes took two hours to dig because of that. But after four days of work, the holes are dug. It gets easier from here.
Next up: I'm thinking of digging a trench that would be roughly 90 feet long, 3 feet wide, and 1 foot deep. This would be serving a similar purpose as the holes above, but this time for a hedge of red osier dogwoods. They are hardy around here, and they've got a really nice red color that would look great against the winter snow. That's the plan, anyway.
But the morning will start with a trip to the nursery for a Kerr Crabapple. This apple is supposed to be very good eaten fresh, and it also is an excellent keeper (I've heard as much as 27 weeks). Best of all, it is extremely hardy. With this, I should be able to get some production out of our Rescue Crabapple. This tree has bloomed nicely for us for the last couple of years, but produced little or no fruit. How was I supposed to know that it required a different species for cross-pollination? D'oh!