Planting the Second Apple Tree

Our second apple tree is finally in the ground.  I’m talking about the Fuji apple tree I bought for Leive, almost three weeks ago.  It sat in its pot on the patio steps for days because Leive didn’t tell me where to plant it until last Thursday.  During that time, I got a surprise when the tree produced two clusters of blossoms, each on the tip of a branch.  I figured the tree was too young to bloom this year; after all, the tree I planted last fall hasn’t bloomed yet.  Here is how it looked:

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Late on Friday, I started digging in the spot Leive picked, only to find it full of rocks.  This wasn’t too much of a surprise.  When we had the ground tilled nearby in 2010, to start a vegetable garden, we removed buckets and buckets of rocks, plus some pieces of bricks.  Apparently when the house was built, the construction workers dumped everything they dug out of the ground in this part of the backyard, added some broken bricks, and put on just enough topsoil to cover everything with grass.  When I lived in Florida I could dig a hole fairly quickly, because my shovel usually only had sand to deal with.  But here in Kentucky, digging through clay is bad enough; against a combination of clay and rocks, I could barely move at all.  I soon gave up, moved to a spot two feet away that looked easier, and found that to be too rocky, too.

The third hole I tried digging was the one I managed to get deep enough for the tree.  I wanted a deep hole not only to give the tree’s roots enough room to get past the rocks, but also to add some potting soil; I figured that to survive in this spot, the tree would need more potting soil and fertilizer than I gave to the first tree.  It got dark before I finished digging, so I had to quit for the night and come back on Saturday morning to finish the job.  There was an amusing moment when I took a break from the digging, and a robin came over to inspect my work, looking for worms!

Here is the apple tree in its new permanent home.  Being a semi-dwarf tree, it only stands shoulder high right now; when I bought it, the tag on the tree said it will grow 8 to 10 feet high.

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And here is the Red Delicious apple I planted seven months ago.  As you can see, it is doing nicely now.

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I only watered the new tree a little after planting, because of all the rain in the forecast.  It did come, but later than I expected; the clouds arrived at 4 PM, and the rain started at 6:45.  After that it rained all evening, and all of Sunday.  Only now, near noon on Monday, does the weather show signs of clearing up.  It has gotten colder, too.  For all of Sunday the temperature hovered near 50 degrees, and I’ll consider us lucky if it gets above 60 today.

The other day I expressed the concern that many locals felt, about the rain ruining Saturday’s Kentucky Derby.  Fortunately no accidents happened, though the track was sloppy.  From the sound of things, the trainer of the horse that came in first place, deserved to win.  I’ll finish by posting a link to his story:

Winning Trainer McGaughey Thought His Day Might Never Come

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