Having moved onto an unworked piece of land, we have to start from scratch with anything we want on our little homestead - buildings, fencing, garden plot, orchard, etc. And, while some of these things take more money than time, establishing an orchard or, really, any kind of fruit bush/tree tends to take more time than money.
We have three dwarf apple trees that we've been babying now for about 3 years. Last year we had a few fruitlets form, but they were eventually eaten by a deer. This year, we started off with 30+ fruitlets. We're down to about 20 right now. I've been watching and counting almost daily so we know when to spring into action. Earlier this week, we sprayed the area with Liquid Fence and here's how well that helped. Two days ago, this little group of fruitlets contained 5, last night it looked like this.
Someone apparently had a little snack. So, we broke out the sheets and old curtains we used to protect the blossoms from a frost and proceeded to cover the trees with them. And, no joke, about 20 minutes after they were covered, this was the scene.
I told Hubz that this fall we'll either be eating apples or venison! Although, truthfully, we're not hunters. Last year this same doe raised a set of twins on our place and we've come to like seeing her around. I know that's not a very homestead-y or self-sufficient-y attitude, but we're softies. If I have to keep covering the trees, I will, but I'm wondering if I provide her with some corn in an area far from the fruit trees, would that help? Any advice?
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