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New in Sonoma ca

Postby gavinpierce » Wed Jun 08, 2011 12:40 pm

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Climate Zone: 9b
I recently moved to Sonoma California and just getting started on my orchard/plantings. I relocated a few months ago from Monterey where I had started a small orchard that was just starting to produce. So, i'm a rookie and really have only been at it for a couple of years. The property I have relocated to is on 3 acres and has plenty of existing pears, figs, grapes, walnuts, almonds and a few I cant identify. It was a rental for a long time and the existing tree's have basically been ignored, but seem to be thriving,

I can tell that the challenge for me will be drainage because it's basically your typical valley clay. I have been discing, plowing and tilling in compost and developing the mounds on 15' centers that I will plant trees on this coming winter. Since it's clay I am planning on planting all my tree's on 2 foot mounds. I am starting with successive ripening apples, cherries, pears, plums, nectarines and pluots. Basically the stuff I know will work there. I have also in another location were i've planted 3 avocado's, a Stewart, Bacon and Mexicola. Again, these are on 2 foot mounds that have been amended with compost, gypsum'd and mulched. I am most interested in the Avocado's and that's primarily what brings me here. That and citrus I know are the edge with the climate that Sonoma has. I have been told that Avocado's will not grow in the area but I have found a few tree's not far from my house that are producing. I also learned from my last little orchard that when you're told you cannot grow a something it really means that they're not easy and will require extra care. A house very close to me has banana's and what I think is a mangosteen that looks healthy, so Avocado's should be fine.

I actually have been reading this site for some time and have gottens lots of great advice. Here are some photo's of the orchard i'm working on. As you can see I am trying to incorperate it into what I believe was the old Pear/Walnut orchard. I also threw in a photo of a chicken coupe I just finished.
http://www2.snapfish.com/snapfish/slideshow/AlbumID=7489389013/PictureID=362103254013/a=98918554_98918554/
Image

Re: New in Sonoma ca

Postby RodneyS » Wed Jun 08, 2011 1:12 pm

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RodneyS
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Welcome to the CloudForest, gavinpierce!

There's lots of useful information here on growing avocadoes in your general area.

Mangosteens are uber-tropical, so unless it's in a greenhouse, I think your neighbor has a similar-looking fruit (maybe jaboticaba?).

Re: New in Sonoma ca

Postby nullzero » Thu Jun 09, 2011 10:24 am

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Welcome to the forums, I believe there are several posts in the last month or two about cold hardy avocados. If you use the search function, I am sure you can read through them.

Re: New in Sonoma ca

Postby Axel » Fri Jun 10, 2011 12:12 pm

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Welcome to the Cloudforest, Gavin.

I would not recommend the mounds for fruit trees other than the avocados. There are no issues with growing apples, pears peaches and the works in the type of soil you have. You will just have trouble keeping them irrigated during the Summer.

But the avocados need to go on mounds, and the mounds need to be about 3 times the size of mounds you have in your picture.
Tropical gardening in both Kaua'i windward Sunset H2/USDA 12b and Fallbrook Sunset 23/USDA 10b.

Re: New in Sonoma ca

Postby gavinpierce » Mon Jun 13, 2011 10:00 am

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Joined: Wed Jun 08, 2011 8:42 am
Climate Zone: 9b
Good advice, thanks! I'd prefer not make large mounts, was just done on the advice of a neighbor who has lost a few trees in in orchard due to drainage issues.

I planted my Avocado's on 3 foot mounts, 6 feet in diameter hopefully that's enough? Any advice on staking? I seemed to have better luck with my last few tree's not staking them. Seems like if they have to fight a little wind they put more effort towards the trunk.

Re: New in Sonoma ca

Postby nullzero » Fri Jun 17, 2011 10:28 am

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I would stalk the tree during the windy parts of the year. Planting in the summer time, should be ok without stalking. From what I have seen and heard from others, avocados like frequent mulching. After about 3 months, would add some more mulch perhaps some pine bark mulch. Fertilizing the first year in the ground, I would use only organic fertilizers in lower doses. Fish emulsion+sea kelp, and worm castings would be the way to go.


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