Here's the situation. I want plant enought fruit trees to be a main supply of food for my family for the longest duration of the year as possible. I'm not trying to be a professional orchard, but I want to create a steady long term supply of food on my own land. In the spring of this year I went to Lowes as soon as they got their fruit trees in stock and I cherry picked (pun intended) the fruit trees that I wanted to have. I planted 5 apple trees, 2 pears, 2 peaches, 2 cherry trees. This year was outstanding as far as rain and weather goes and all but one of the trees survived and became very well established. As far as I'm concerned if the one tree that dies couldn't survive this year, then I'm better off without it.
Now here I am and I'm thinking of either expanding the current orchard, or creating a seperate one. We've had such great weather for getting trees this year that I want to plant more because you never know what the next year will bring, and I'd like to take advantage of getting the trees in the ground while everything is still dormant.
So here's some questions:
1.) Thanksgiving is next week, is it too late in the year to be planting trees? I'm assuming if the ground isn't frozen than I should be ok.
2.) My current orchard trees are planted in rows at 20' spacing. I'm not going to let these trees grow to their full height, and I'll probably cap them and keep them managable for picking. Should I even consider sticking a new fruit tree between the existing trees so that the spacing would be a tree every 10'? Part of me thinks the tighter spacing would be better for pollinating, but then another part of me thinks that it's just not going to be enough space for the trees in a few years and that I should just start another orchard nearby.
I'm leaning towards the seperate orchard in another location, but I'm certainly open to suggestions.
Another item of interest is that the trees I bought from Lowes were all semi dwarf and potted in 3.5 gallon containers. The trees I'd be buying are bare root, but will grow to be full size.
I'm turning into a fruit tree junkie and I don't know if I should start telling myself "No" sometimes. If anyone has any suggestions, I'd love to hear them.