Check out this video to see how we are managing our young orchard to prepare for the coming fall and winter. Each year we try to grab a couple of fruit tress when they go on sale and over the past two years have collected a small orchard's worth of fruit trees. Some we have planted from seeds from grocery store apples and some we purchase in the fall every year. We are excited about having an abundance of apples, but also some cherries, pears, and plums. The apple trees grow great up here in Michigan and we will be using them for vinegar, cider, and for eating. Apples are the kids' favorite fruit at our house.
Last year we had a very hard winter and found that our little bunny friends got hungry and decided to eat just about anything they could chew. They ate our bushes, tree trunks, and anything else they could chew on. As soon as I started to notice this I began placing some paper towel rolls around the trucks to protect and deter the bunnies and this seemed to work well. I am doing the same this year but ahead of time!
We have also noticed found that our city and neighboring city has a pile of wood chip mulch at the city park that they leave for anyone to take. This has been a huge help for us this year and we have used it to landscape, prepare our fruit bushes and vines, mulch around our trees and bushes, and just use as compost in the garden when needed. I would recommend checking with your local city hall to see if they do the same because this is an awesome resource to have for free!
Through the last year or two, we have also started using cardboard as a landscape cloth for all of our landscaping, gardening, and trees and it works great! We have barely had to do any weeding at all in the areas where I have used it!