Sunday, April 24, 2016

Nuts!

So I'm cheating a bit but the title really sums up how I feel about this post!

I'm using my N  post to talk about nuts or actually nut trees that you can grow at home. Depending on where you live you have all kinds of options in what to plant and how long it will take for them to produce. Just think of planting a Nut or Fruit Tree as planting for your future or your kids future. Even small amounts of area can produce a good harvest of nuts, some can be quite profitable. And add to that general low maintenance, what's not to love! Once your stand is established the most work you'll have to do is the harvesting.

The first thing to do when considering what kinds of trees to get is to have your soil tested. Then you'll need to plan for the amount of space you'll need in the future. Then is your climate correct for the trees you want? Some varieties have to have a more temperate climate such as California for Pistachio, these are E's favorites and I imagine she would try if she thought she could grow them in the green house..lol.

 Pecans are a staple of the south and we are lucky/unlucky enough to have 9, 7 very old and 2 relatively in tree terms younger. When we first moved into this house I was thrilled with the trees, then after a relatively busy storm season, pecans turn into missiles in high winds and the wood is soft, so be prepared for lots of downed limbs, I was a little less ecstatic. I do enjoy having pecans available at the holidays for baking and such so I guess it's worth the trade off. Plus we do crack many pounds while we watch TV and sell them at the markets around Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Leaves are just coming out good on one of our pecan trees.
In the first couple of years, trees like Pecans and Walnuts, have a  tap root that grows downward at a rate of least 2 or 3 feet, then they can continue to grow upward up to 100 feet over many years.

If you are on the West Coast of the US then you get the opportunity to grow more exotic trees like  Almonds and Cashews. Almonds can be grown anywhere that peaches are grown, the only problem is that they are often effected by late frosts, so they are generally grown in the more temperate climates of California.

If you aren't in the south or the west coast and still want to grow nut trees, there's still hope. As long as your area doesn't fall below 20 degrees below zero then you should be be able to grow Hazelnuts and walnuts. 

Nut trees don't need much in the way of pesticides or trimming other than when they are very young. You'll want to make sure that you have a straight strong trunk to ensure the tree is strong as possible. Pest such as squirrels can be thwarted by something as simple as a dog that runs the area periodically. You'll want to make sure that the orchard area is kept mowed low to help ensure there isn't competition between your trees and other shrubs for available water and resources.  

If you have a large or small area and some time, consider some nut trees for the future. The initial input will pay off multiple times in future harvests.

The crud has put me a bit behind but I'm going to try to finish out the A to Z Challenge before the end of the month, so post will be appearing randomly over the next week. Check back often to see what happens!
Thanks for stopping by and I'll see you in the garden! or Orchard...