Thursday 2 May, 2013
In early spring 2012 we planted about 60 apple trees as the first part of our orchard. The orchard is also home to our laying flocks of hens - about 80 hens in all, split into two flocks - the idea being that we get double use from the land, the hens fertilise the ground, take care of a lot of pests, and will eventually benefit from the cover the trees provide.
One of the challenges we faced was how to protect the young trees as they grow. To give young apple trees the best possible start you need to keep an area of at least 1m in diameter clear of grass - otherwise the grass competes with the shallow roots for nutrition, and if left unchecked will stunt and in extreme cases kill the tree.