How to Start a Home Orchard
Sometimes you don’t have to go to a farm to go to a farm. Is that even possible? Well, for those who design a home orchard it is. Yes, farms take really hard work, lots of working hands, and big lands, and orchards are gardens in a backyard, but they can feel like having a tiny mini farm in your own home. Plus, you receive some of the benefits, like fresh fruits without chemicals or preservatives, and you get to work close to the earth which can be relaxing for those used to a more “computer-centric” lifestyle.
Beware, though, that building an orchard isn’t as easy as picking a random fruit tree from a catalogue, planting and waiting a few weeks for it to bloom. There’s a lot of planning and work involved. It’s not something to be taken lightly or decided on a whim.
Make a List of Resources
The first thing you’ll need to do is analyze what you have available. Take the time to figure out the soil available. If you don’t know the first thing about soil, you can start by researching different kinds, and then having an expert do a soil test. That way you can be sure of what you can and can’t do.
Then it is time to think of water sources nearby, and what kind of problems you might run into with the irrigation system. While you’re at it, take the time to figure out how the sun would hit the designated plot of land. Take into account everything, from the angle it would be hit at, and where the wind is coming from, to the inclination of the land beneath it.
At this stage, you’ll also want to think about what time you’ll have available for your orchard, what kind of protection you can provide for your crops, and how much money you have available. Be reasonable and honest with what you can do to avoid any unnecessary expenses.
Choose a Fruit
Once all the logistics are settled, is time to choose a fruit. You’ll have to take into account three things. First, your lifestyle because you don’t want to pick fruits that require you to care for them every 4 hours if you have an office job. Second, the kinds of trees that would more easily grow in the kind of terrain you have. And lastly, the ripening times, some fruits will only bloom once a year, others – all year round; you have to decide what you’d like to have when it comes to this.
Generally, if you’re in a tropical weather, you might want to look into growing bananas as all they need a wind free terrain with tropical climates. Blueberries, on the other hand, thrive on cold and moist environments, so they won’t be an option for either tropics or subtropics. Contrastingly, apricots rot in humid areas. Take the time to research fruits before deciding on a tree.
If you want to avoid unnecessary headaches, buy locally grown trees that are already potted. First of all, most sellers prune their trees before purchase, so you can avoid the annoying task for a few months. And second of all, your seller has a lot of experience on growing in your area, so you can ask many questions as you want to make sure your orchard becomes sustainable and fruitful.