Using a Flared Auger To Plant Fruit Trees 1

There were some times during the last three months when I never thought I would be able to say this, but the Orchard Expansion at Longleaf Breeze is nearing the finish line.

There’s certainly plenty of work left to do. There’s a big pile of debris out at the end of Row 4 that needs to be added to the fire pile and burned, we still have a good bit of mulching to do, we’ll have a big orchard floor grass project when the weather warms up and it’s time to plant warm season grass, and we haven’t even begun installing the deer fence. But after all the work we’ve done, we truly can see the light at the end of the tunnel, and it’s an oncoming mess of succulent fruit.

I hope to go back to the Farm Log and reconstruct a schedule showing when we started and finished the key tasks of the project. For now, though, I was looking through the clips on our video camera and came across a little sequence we shot showing how we planted each fruit tree, in this case an O’Rourke fig.

We used an auger last year to punch the holes for each tree. Our auger has a straight bit 9 inches wide, so we punched three holes in a triangular pattern and used the shovel and spade fork to open a nice big hole for each tree. This year my brother Dave Gray loaned us his flared auger, and it made a HUGE difference in the workload. The flared auger starts out drilling a hole of 9-10 inches, and then flares out at the other end of the bit to widen the hole to about 18 inches, plenty of room for the smallish trees we planted. So when we lifted the auger from the hole, we were ready to mix in topsoil and plant. YES!

The video runs about 1:45.

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