How To Grow Fruit Trees
Benefits of Growing Your Own Fruit
Other than the utter fact that it’s convenient and fun to grow your own fruit, there are so many benefits to planting fruit trees. To start, you will save major amounts of money on groceries, for one single mature fruit tree can produce over 100 pounds of fruit a season!
Beyond the endless supply of fruit you are going to have, growing your own food in general can give you full control over pesticides and chemicals that go into the food you're consuming.
According to a study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, pesticide use on a commercial level has increased globally as a modernized world has created a stronger demand for more food with longer shelf lives. The study reveals the dangers of this increase in pesticide use, highlighting that the consumption of pesticide residues can lead to acute and chronic risks to a human's health.
Beyond your own health, you will also be working to better the environment's wellbeing with lower pesticide usage. Pesticides have a detrimental impact on our pollinators, as well as a negative impact on the ecosystem through the pollution of essential water sources. To protect yourself and the environment from the devastating effects of pesticide use and consumption, you can work to grow your own fruit and nut trees, hopefully with minimal pesticide applications.
As another added benefit of growing fruit trees, fallen fruits beneath your tree can work as an unintentional compost pile, decomposing and ultimately supporting the nutrient content of your soil! If you’re not convinced by now, maybe a fruit tree just isn’t for you…but, all in all, there are endless benefits to be enjoyed by growing your very own fruit tree!
Choosing The Best Fruit Tree For Your Yard
There’s something about growing your own fruit that just makes it taste better. The first step to choosing the best fruit tree for you is determining your USDA grow zone. Once you determine your area’s hardiness levels, you can better determine what fruit tree will thrive best in your climate.
The next element you want to consider is the average mature size of your fruit tree. For smaller yards, you will most likely want to select a semi-dwarf or dwarf fruit tree so you can ensure that it won’t overtake a space. If you have unlimited space to plant, you will just want to make sure you give the proper amount of space in between each tree.
Once you’ve figured out grow zones and spacing, you can move on to personal preference of fruits. This one is fairly obvious, but you want to select a tree in which the fruit is edible and best tasting for you! Whether you plan on growing an entire orchard, or just want one tree, there are so many fruit trees to choose from! Garden Goods Direct has a wide selection of fruit trees available for purchase, including but not limited to: apple trees, lemon trees, peach trees, pear trees and cherry trees.
How To Properly Plant Your Fruit Tree
Proper Timing, Placement and Soil
Fruit trees can be planted at any time of year, but your best bet is to plant in the spring. This will allow the tree to immediately start adapting to the soil, establishing itself and growing roots. Pick a sunny spot in your yard, as most fruit trees need at least six hours of sunlight to thrive.
Add compost to the soil if needed. If you have clay-heavy soil, or soil that is hard and packed, it's a good idea to till the soil to a depth of at least 2 feet and work in some compost. Loosen up the soil, then add compost and mix it in.
Securing The Root Ball
Dig a hole twice as wide as the spread of the roots and tree. Make sure that the roots are surrounded by loose soil but don’t dig too deep. It’s important that the graft at the base of the tree stay above the soil. If you're planting more than one tree, plant them at least 18 inches apart. The more space you can give them, the better.
Position the tree in the hole and press soil around the roots. Cover all the roots completely and make sure the tree is straight up and down and in the center of the hole. Tamp soil when done to remove any air pockets.
Watering Your Fruit Tree
Water the roots. Thoroughly water the area so that the soil fills in around the tree's roots. Add more soil, press it down gently and water again. Continue this process until the soil reaches the actual ground level. If the roots remain soaked, they can rot, so be careful not to over-water your tree. This is where the importance of a well draining soil medium will come into play.
Staking and Mulching Your Fruit Tree
Stake your fruit tree if needed by tying it to a strong stick with a cloth or rubber, or using one of our user-friendly DeWitt Tree Staking Kits! Keep it loose enough to avoid restraining the tree. This helps the tree grow straight and tall.
Be sure to mulch around your tree as this will help retain the moisture in the soil and protect the roots. Mulching your fruit tree will also prevent grass and weeds from growing and will eliminate an unnecessary competition for nutrients and water as well. It is important to keep the graft visible above ground level, so be careful not to over do it with the mulch.
How To Care For Your Fruit Tree
Caring for fruit trees is fairly low maintenance. It's important to initially prune your tree once it’s planted and again during the first four or five years. Pruning your fruit tree will help shape the tree and generate more fruit through the years.
You will want to protect your trees from rabbits and deer because the tasty fruit will surely entice them! We recommend using a plastic biodegradable spiral tree guard or wire mesh that will physically stop them from getting to the tree’s trunk.
Keep the area around your tree weed-free by keeping a thick mulch cover. If weeds do appear, weed by hand and avoid treating weeds with chemicals as these will harm your tree.
Follow these steps and you will have your own backyard orchard in no time! Fruit will come about 4 years after you first plant but your backyard orchard will provide years of blooms and fruit so it's very worth the wait.
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No matter what your reason is for planting and growing your own fruit producing haven this season, we are confident that growing your very own fruit tree will be a fun new project that is rewarding and enjoyable.
Garden Goods Direct has a wide selection of fruit trees available to plant the backyard orchard of your dreams! For an all encompassing list of fruit trees available for purchase, check out our Fruit and Nut Tree Collection!
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