If you have the luxury of owning a large piece of land in your home, it makes sense that you create a home orchard. There are many advantages to having a home orchard of your own: you will not only have a steady supply of fruits and vegetables, but you will also have a chance to make a business out of it. However, if you are going to invest money in a home orchard, you should make sure that you idealize every aspect of it. Here are 6 ways to optimize your home orchard.
Utilize Every Bit of Space for Your Orchard
Even if your home orchard is a large one, it is very important that you utilize every bit of space. Any unused space is wasted potential. So before you start on your home orchard it is important that you have a set plan for your orchard. Take the time to draw out your orchard’s design, and follow it to the letter.
Select Your Plants Carefully
Before you set up your orchard, it is important that you choose your plants carefully. Take the time to do research on your orchard’s soil, and what type of plants you should use. It is also a good idea to take your region’s climate into consideration. You don’t want to invest money in an orchard, only to have your crops fail due to inhospitable temperatures.
Although it is tempting to plant flowers and decorative foliage all over your garden, it is better to plant produce such as fruits, vegetables, and herbs. You will not only be able to supplement your pantry with good quality produce, you could even sell them online and earn a profit.
Aside from planting produce, you could also plant herbs such as basil, tarragon, dill, rosemary, thyme to name just a few. By planting and harvesting herbs in your orchard, you will have a steady supply of herbs at the ready. The best thing about cultivating herbs is that they don’t require too much care or supervision. All they need is a good plot of land, water, and some sunlight and they will grow just fine.
Maintenance is Key
If you want to keep your orchard in tip-top shape, it is very important that you maintain it. Take the time to pull out the weeds, because they compete with other plants for nutrients and water. If left unattended, they will cover up your orchard in no time.
If your orchard has grapes or other types of fruit vines, it is important that you prune them on a regular basis. Pruning is important because it will help you control the growth of your fruit vines. If they are overly long and heavy, they might cover up other parts of the plan vine, and prevent them from getting sunlight or rainwater. So you should make pruning a part of your orchard maintenance regimen. Regular maintenance might feel like a hassle, however, if you want your orchard to thrive it is best that you stay on top of it.
Make Sure There Is Enough Water
When it comes to cultivating an orchard it is important that you have a steady water supply. This is especially important if your orchard is predominantly made up of fruit vines because they need a lot of water to grow. If possible, you should install irrigation routes throughout your orchard. If your orchard is of a larger scale, a hose or even a sprinkler system might not be able to handle it.
Before you install irrigation, it is important that you check your pipelines. You don’t want to start digging your irrigation routes, and accidentally puncture a pipeline. Your pipelines are very important because they will provide you with the water source for your irrigation system.
When you set up your irrigation system, you should make sure that your pipelines are well-maintained, and that they don’t have any leaks.
Use Specialized Equipment for Harvesting
Harvesting crops is one of the most satisfying things about having an orchard. There is a certain beauty in picking fruits or vegetables from a plot of land that you cultivated yourself. As satisfying as the feeling may be though, you should take it as seriously as possible. Remember that an orchard could yield a massive amount of crops, and seeing as most crops have a limited amount of time before they start to rot, then time is of the essence.
Large scale operations usually hire part-time workers to harvest crops, however, because your orchard is of a smaller scale, it would be too much trouble and expense to hire an army of workers to harvest your crops.
So it is important that you use specialized harvesting equipment instead. There are specialized robot arms that have pick and place automation. Although it might be a bit far-fetched to purchase a robot to pick crops, they are extremely efficient and could be bought at surprisingly affordable prices.
Make a Business Out of It
Having a home orchard is not only a way to supply yourself with fresh crops, it is also an opportunity to earn added income. Remember that people will pay good money for fresh produce, so you should take advantage of the market. Take the time to make contacts with markets or restaurants. Just remember that these kinds of businesses need fresh produce on a daily basis. So you should be able to consistently meet their needs. You could also sell your produce through your neighborhood and farmer’s markets.
Having a home orchard of your very own is a great way for you to supply your family with vegetables and fruits, and have a business as well. Before you start on your home orchard though, it is imperative that optimize every aspect of it. With these tips, you will be able to create a top-quality home orchard.