I guess you can call me Johnny Appleseed if you wish. Or as I said once before, Ali Almatov, because we learned a few years back, by comparing plant DNA samples, that apple trees originally came from a forest in eastern Kazakhstan.
Because of a late frost and our hot, dry summer, it is a bad year for apples all around; in the stores they cost twice as much as what I am used to. In late September, I paid $9 for a bag of Rome apples from Stanton, KY, so Leive and I got the idea of planting an apple tree in the backyard. Her favorite variety is Fuji, and I found that for the best crop, Fujis must cross-pollenate with Red Delicious. Well, Red Delicious is one of my favorite varieties, so we should plant a Fuji and a Red Delicious together.
I did a bit of research online, and found that the best time to plant apples is October to December. However, this is NOT a good time to buy the trees. I checked the local stores, and K-Mart, Wal-Mart, and Meijer had all gotten rid of their trees for the year; I guess they didn’t want to hold onto them through the winter months. Fortunately Lowes had a few left, but the only apple variety is Red Delicious, so I’ll have to go back next spring to look for a Fuji.
The good news is that because Lowes was getting rid of its tree stock, too, the price was marked way down. I paid $5.75 for a tree that used to be priced at $23 – a 75% discount! And judging by how many trees the guy behind me bought, I got mine just in time. The hardest part was getting it home; I had it in the back seat of my car, with about three feet of it sticking out the window.
Last Tuesday Leive picked out a good spot in the back yard and I planted the tree. Boy, when you dig down more than a couple of inches, the subsoil becomes almost solid clay, and going through that is tough. Quite a change from the sandy soil we used to deal with in Florida. Here is how it looks:
I heard once that when you plant a tree, it means you are optimistic about the future. Does anyone know who said that?