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Planting Your Way to a Fruitful Life

Planting Your Way to a Fruitful LifeImagine being able to gather your own fresh organic fruit which will encourage you and your family to lead more fulfilling, healthier lifestyles. Ripe apples to keep the doctor away, cherries that are fat-free, low-calorie, high in beta-carotenes, and rich in vitamins, or peaches that prevent heart disease, macular degeneration, and cancer.

Many homeowners choose to plant fruit trees because they’re more likely to offer a return for their efforts than anything else in their garden. A variety should be planted to encourage cross-pollination, but in the case of fruit, variety is a wonderful thing. Other benefits of planting fruit trees are costs savings on groceries and helping the environment. Before tasting the sweet reward of growing fruit in your backyard, follow these tips for prepping, planting, and maintaining your trees:

Prepping

Although you’re probably bursting at the seams with excitement to get your new trees planted if it cannot be done immediately it’s okay.  Fruit trees can be stored in their original containers, but need to be kept away from other fruit which emits gasses that will kill them. While storing, water as needed to ensure roots are moist. If you still just cannot find the time to get to your planting you should ‘heel-in’, or replant them in loose soil, which will allow a few more weeks.

When getting ready to plant you need to find a home for your trees where they’re able to enjoy full sunlight. They should be within 50 feet of one another and in an 18″ x 18″ hole. No additional fertilizers or manure are needed, but you should amend the soil to make sure it’s properly texturized, has the right amount of nutrients, and is pH balanced.

Planting

Place the tree in the hole with the roots lying naturally. The bud union, where the bud joins the root stalk, needs to be 2 inches above the soil. Soil then needs to be filled in and any air pockets need to be omitted. The trees should be immediately watered and the union bud may need adjustments after settling.

Maintaining

Fruit trees need to be watered weekly with a maximum of 4 gallons. To perform at their best they need to be fertilized with nitrogen about 3-4 weeks post-planting. When applying fertilizer be sure to avoid the trunk which could cause damage. A general rule is 4 oz. of 10-10-10 per tree in a circumference 2-3 feet from the base. Weeds in the surrounding area should be controlled and despite the benefits of composted mulch, large hardwood chips and small crushed stone are most favorable. Fill in 2-3 inches in depth, while extending 3-4 feet around the base. If wildlife becomes a problem there are animal deterrents that can prevent damage. Pruning is necessary to develop proper shape and form. Prepping for more harsh seasons is required. Basic guidelines on pruning and winterizing can be obtained from your local nursery.