Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Beginners guide to planting fruit trees

QUICK GUIDE TO PLANTING FRUIT TREES
Make a list of the fruit you would most like to grow, then check that the area you have in mind is suitable.
Next make your selection; choose the rootstock first THEN the variety. The rootstock determines how big the trees will grow and is the most important aspect of selection. Buy varieties local to your area if possible, or varieties that are known to do well in your county.
Check with the grower that you have varieties that pollinate, or that they are self fertile.
Purchase from a fruit tree specialist that offers virus-free trees. Bare-root during the dormant season is the best, but you can plant pot grown trees during late Spring/Summer if you really need to.
Buy stakes and tree guards in advance. The former if the situation is open/windy, the latter a recommended precaution for all areas except urban. Rabbits and Deer are a menace to trees unless protected.
On receipt make sure the trees do not dry out and plant within 7 days of receipt; alternatively ‘heel’ in temporarily until they can be planted properly.
Plant as per the cultural guide that should come with the trees; apply a thick mulch afterward to conserve moisture and deter weed seeds from germinating. Be sure to keep the immediate area around the trunk free of weeds and grass.
Water liberally during dry spells the first spring/summer following planting.
If any trees set a lot of fruit the first season thin or remove them to maintain energy within the tree.

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