Planting Fruit Trees For The Advanced Gardener – Landscaping Tools
With several seasons of gardening experience behind you, the advanced gardener longs for bigger challenges. One of them can be growing fruit trees, whether your produce will be for home use or selling it at a fruit stand at the farmer’s market. If you have used heavier landscaping equipment to plant decorative trees previously, you may already have the landscaping tools you will need. Generally, you will be using these gardening tools to plant your fruit trees as well.
Your First Orchard
The first thing is to decide what kind of fruit trees you want to plant. Check the Hardiness Zone to help narrow your choices to learn what will grow best in your location. Popular fruit tree choices include Meyer Lemon, Mission Fig, Apple, Apricot and Pear or Cherry, depending on hardiness zones.
Successful fruit tree growth is dependent on planting them at the proper time. Fruit trees are best planted before the ground freezes or well after hot spells have passed since the tree’s root systems need sufficient time to take hold from enriched soil.
Location Is Everything
Just like real estate, location is everything when it comes to choosing where to plant your trees. A lot of sun is typically required for most of them and you will need to plan for the tree’s mature size as well, ensuring there is a good 15 to 20 feet of “spreading” room. (Dwarf trees require about 10 feet.)
In addition to light and space, rich soil is essential for successful fruit-bearing trees, from first planting to the mature stage. While you should never plant in rocky soil, you can plant in less ideal soil since it can always be enriched with nutrients. Check instructions on your tree’s requirements and add accordingly.
Planting Your Trees
Landscaping tools you will need include a spade, pruning shears, stake(s) and flexible ties and compost. If you haven’t already purchased a Hole Digger, you may need to buy one as well although most small trees can be easily planted with a spade.
Once you have the proper gardening tools, dig the hole to the desired depth for your tree variety. Most instructions suggest 1 ½ times the projected root length and twice as wide as the root spread. Next, prune the tree if that has not been done at the nursery. To prune, you will remove all broken or dead branches and clip back 1/3 of the tree’s top. Trim any damaged, broken or twisted roots as well.
Now mound the soil in the hole by mixing part of what you dug out with compost, placing the tree on the mound’s top and adjusting the roots carefully across the mound. The tree trunk should appear just above ground level with the root system safely spreading below root-trunk juncture.
Stake the tree 3 or more inches aware from the trunk, avoiding any root damage in the process. You are now ready to fill in the hole with the remaining soil to ground level, patting down gently to remove air pockets. Next, water the tree (but don’t overwater) to a moist soil. Once situated in the ground, tie the tree to the stake with flexible material without damaging the trunk, so the tree will grow straight. Continue planting the rest of your orchard and enjoy many years of the fruit from your labor.