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The "It All Started With An Avocado" Hillside Fruit Orchard Is Planted

Here it is–my “it all started with an avocado” hillside fruit orchard. For years I’ve wanted to grow my own avocados. I love them and when Jake’s home he can eat three or more a day. So I decided the time was now–I was going to buy two avocado trees and make my dream come true. 

Well, you know how those improvement project are–they start small and just get bigger and bigger. The next thing I know I bought nine fruit trees, oh and an almond, but no avocados. 

I wanted at least a 15-gallon avocado because the the last time I tried to grow them I planted a one-gallon size and the deer ate them. This time I was going big or going home. Uh…I went home…without an avocado…but I’ll be back next month when they’ll have bigger ones. 

I still need to plant a low-maintenance, low-water ground cover, to finish the job, but I was anxious to get the trees in the ground right away, so hopefully I can begin harvesting this summer.

This is the “before” photo. There were two somewhat neglected citrus trees, a few low shrubs and several tall trees I planted years ago for privacy. 

Max, my gardener and his crew cleared out the old to make room for the new. The fact that it had been neglected worked to my advantage–it had been “self-mulching” for years and the soil was very good.

Once the hillside was ready, I went to Plant Depot where I met Devon, the most helpful and knowledgeable tree man. He patiently steered me toward trees that would grow well on my site.

Plant Depot delivered them the next day and then the real fun began. Here’s what I picked: Star Ruby Grapefruit, Bearss Lime, Gold Nugget Tangerine, a male and female kiwi (they need to mate), Red Baron Peach, Burgundy Plum, Goldmine Nectarine, Granny Smith apple and the lone nut–the almond.

Max and his crew got to work. First they relocated this lemon tree. I know, it looks like an orange tree, but it really is a lemon.

Working on the side of my really steep hill is not fun or easy, but they did a great job.

My neighbors, Kurt and Margie, had this rip-rap they weren’t using so they donated it to the cause. I promised them a life-time bounty of fruit and nuts!

The stone work surrounding each tree is a real work of art.

If the bright pink flowers are any indication, I should get a lot of peaches this summer. I was hoping for the yellow flesh peaches, but Devon said the white flesh variety would grow better here along the coast.

Even if I don’t get peaches this summer, that tree is my favorite to look at right now. 
And this is my view of the orchard when I look down from my desk and write this post. When I need inspiration, I can just look out the window. Now I’m patiently waiting for my first harvest.

Stay tuned and I’ll tell you how it’s going. And of course, if it’s a bountiful crop, I’ll be happy to share!

Categories: Gardening Tips, Spring

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