The shemitah year in the private garden
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I have a private garden and I want to know how to tend to it in the upcoming shemitah year.
- Is it permissible to water the garden?
- There are fruits hanging on some of the trees. Can I eat them?
- Is it permissible to plant trees?
- When is the shemitah year over—15 Shevat or at the end of the year?
Rabbi Yehuda HaLevy Amichay
- In most cases it is permissible to water the garden, just not more than usual.
- Fruits that is still hanging on the trees before the onset of the shemitah year is considered fruit of the sixth year, and can be eaten and handled as usual.
For fruits that began to grew during the shemitah year: if no prohibited activities were performed on their behalf (pruning, thinning, etc.), the fruit should be eaten. Note that this fruit has kedushat shevi’it and should be handled accordingly (it should not be wasted, for instance).
- It is prohibited to plant trees for the duration of the shemitah year, and there are even trees that may not be planted during part of the 6th year.
- The shemitah year begins on this Rosh Hashanah, 1 Tishrei 5782, and lasts through 30 Elul However, if fruit begins to form (chanatah) on a tree during 5782, even if it produces fruit the following year (5783), the fruit will still have kedushat shevi’it.