Growing Your Own Fruit: A Guide to Planting Fruit Trees
Planting fruit trees is a great way to ensure fruit for many years without planting seeds yearly. Compared to a traditional garden, fruit trees require less work and maintenance over the years, but planting fruit trees and establishing them requires more effort. To produce a fruit tree, there are a few steps to follow.
Choose a fruit tree starter
The first thing to decide is your favorite fruit trees to plant. It’s important to choose fruit trees that will grow well in the hardiness zone to plant them in. Find the hardiness zone of the chosen location, then select a fruit tree and variety that you desire.
Some fruit trees will require pollination, so it’s essential to find out if the specific tree that’s getting planted will need another of its kind or if it’s fine on its own. If there’s another tree nearby in a neighboring plot, it may be close enough to be a good pollinator, so it would be safe only to get one if desired.
Choose when to plant a fruit tree
When to plant your fruit tree will vary slightly by location. In areas with colder climates, planting the fruit tree during early spring is better to give the tree time to get established before being introduced to freezing temperatures. Those in a warmer climate have a little more wiggle room.
If in a warmer climate, it’s better to plant in the fall before the first freeze or early May. Either way, you want the tree to have time to become established before the heat of summertime. The next step is to determine where to plant the fruit tree.
Choose where to plant a fruit tree
It’s essential to make sure that the location where the fruit tree will be planted is where it will stay forever. It isn’t easy to uproot and move an already established tree. The tree will need adequate room, sunshine, and proper irrigation and drainage.
Be sure to give your tree enough room to grow as the roots will spread out, and it’s not a good idea to have it fight with other plants for space. It’s also essential to ensure good drainage where the fruit tree will be planted, so don’t plant it in swampy areas that don’t dry out well.
Plant the fruit tree
When it’s time to plant the fruit tree, it’s helpful to buy a planting kit that the garden store may offer during the purchase, as it will provide most supplies needed to plant the tree. To plant the tree, dig a deep enough hole and put a stake in it before placing the tree inside.
Dig a hole slightly wider and deeper than the ball of roots. Be sure that the join of the rootstock is above ground. Loosening up the edges of the hole can also make it easier for the roots to penetrate the soil as it grows. Hammer a stake into the hole next to the center. This stake will help support the tree before it becomes established.
Place the tree in the hole and cover it with dirt, lightly patting down the soil. Using the tie, attach the tree to the stake for support. The newly planted tree will need heavy watering, approximately 2-3 gallons of water a few times a week until the plant is established and can rely on rain alone.
When planting a fruit tree, choosing one that will grow well for the selected hardiness zone is essential. Before planting, ensure it will be in a location that will provide all of its needs. When planting the tree, put it in a square hole deep enough to cover the roots, but do not cover the join of the rootstock. While waiting for the tree to become established, it’s helpful to tie it to a stake to provide stability.