Fruit trees impart refreshing beauty to your garden. Everybody wants to enjoy the taste of freshly plucked fruits and different recipes made out of it like ciders, wines, jams, jellies, and preserves. If you’re planting fruit trees to enhance your gardening experience, here are some growing suggestions for you.
The grower should keep in mind that planting fruit trees isn’t a fussy task as perceived by many. While you buy your fruit trees, remember that bare root is the better than container grown. Order for varieties that are either self-fertile or will pollinate one another; check once they arrive. Prune off the damaged roots and stems to avoid diseases. Fruit trees need a garden space where they can get ample sunlight and well aerated soil. Keep space between plants for good air circulation and see to it that they don’t interfere with each other’s growth while growing bigger. While planting, dig holes which are square in shape and are deep enough to allow root expansion and provide them with well-rotten compost and farm manure. Use mycorrhizae to strengthen the root system. If your garden has clayey soil, add some grit, horticultural sand, and straw to improve drainage. Add bone meal also to ensure good growth of the plants. Fruit trees require nitrogen-rich fertilizers, so you can add seaweed, diluted nettle tea, or old grass clippings when needed and annually in late winter and early spring. Adequate watering is required for fruit trees to aid in better fruiting. Make sure your plant roots get proper water, but not water logged.
As a grower, you should also keep in mind that without proper pruning, fruit trees will not develop proper contour and arrangement. Pruning is mostly done during winters when plants are in dormant stage. After planting fruit trees, when you properly prune and train them, they will live longer and will produce high quality fruits with a much smaller growth cycle. When your fruit tree is young, cut it to a length of 80 cm for optimal growth of three main branches. When it’s a year old and still has no branches, do the same to produce primary branches during the first growing season. Remove the lower shoots flushed with the stems. During winters, remove the inward growing shoots to permit the sunlight reach to promote flowering and fruiting.
When planting fruit trees that are three years old, prune the leading shoots of branches selected to extend the framework by half to a bud towards the preferred direction. Choose four good laterals to fill the structure and shorten these by a half. Prune any leftover laterals to four buds to form fruiting line. Space lateral branches evenly around the leader to prevent crowding as the branches grow in diameter. Before fruiting, when the plant is approximately around 4 years, only limited formative pruning is required.