What You Should Know Before Planting Fruit Trees
By James White
Before planting fruit trees, follow our tips for watering, planting, and spacing for a successful harvest.
Growing your own food is a fulfilling and delicious process. Having fruit trees means that you have the opportunity to enjoy fresh, sweet fruit during harvest time and then throughout the year, assuming you can or jelly your fruits for later.
Planting fruit trees can be a relatively simple process as long as you are informed and educated about the trees that grow best in your area. Below are a few things to know before planting fruit trees so that you can successfully grow and harvest fruit.
1. Decide What Types of Fruit You Want to Plant
One of the best things about deciding to plant fruit trees is that you get to choose what types of fruit you want to grow. Make a list of your favorites, then ask your family what their favorites are. Once you have a list, figure out which trees you can plant in your area.
2. Pick the Right Trees for Your Area
Different fruit trees thrive in different areas, so picking the right type of fruit tree will ensure a bountiful harvest. The USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map gives you the information you’ll need to pick the right trees for your area.
3. Decide Where to Plant Your Orchard
After you’ve decided what fruit trees you’re going to plant, then it’s time to decide where you’re going to plant them. Fruit trees require a minimum amount space, usually an area that is 25 feet by 25 feet, so make sure you have enough room for your tree. If you’re planning on planting more than one tree, make sure you have enough space for each tree you need to plant. When deciding how many trees to plant, keep in mind how much fruit each tree yields.
If you decide to plant dwarf fruit trees, you won’t need as much space for your orchard, but you will need a spot with the right type of soil and plenty of sunshine. Talking to a local extension office, a greenhouse, or other farmers in your area can help you determine if your soil is fit for fruit trees.
4. Your Fruit Trees and Pollination
Certain fruit trees won’t bear fruit unless they are near another compatible tree for pollination. Ask your nursery or extension office which trees work the best side by side to bear fruit. You’ll also need to keep this in mind when planning your orchard so that you have enough room for your trees.
5. Know When to Plant Your Orchard
Depending on where you live and what types of trees you are planting, when you plant is important. If you’re unsure about the optimum time to plant your tree, talk to a greenhouse, the extension office, or other farmers in your area.
6. Know How to Plant Your Orchard
Are you growing a tree from seed or getting a bare-root fruit tree? Both require different care and nurturing, so be prepared and informed so you can take care of your tree. A bare-root tree will probably bear fruit sooner than a tree grown from seed, and knowing how to plant bare root-fruit trees will ensure your success.
7. Watering Your Trees
Make sure your new orchard is getting all the water it needs by digging a trough around the tree. This will help water get to the roots where it is needed most. If you live in a rainy area, you can leave it to Mother Nature to water your fruit trees. If your climate is a little drier, make sure your tree is soaked once a week to ensure it stays hydrated.
Growing fruit trees can be an incredibly bountiful and gratifying experience. Most of the time, growing an orchard isn’t difficult, but to ensure your success, make sure you select trees that bear fruit you enjoy and that thrive in your area.
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