7 Important Fruit Tree Planting Tips for Beginners
Increasing food shortages are encouraging many people to live off the grid and cultivate their own food supplies. However, learning how to plant and care for plants and fruit-bearing trees properly can be a daunting task. With these seven important fruit tree planting tips for beginners, you can learn some basic information that’ll help you begin your journey as a gardener.
Consider Your Location
Choosing a tree that’s inappropriate for your location is the first mistake you can make even before the growth process starts. Some plants and trees only thrive in specific zones, so it’s essential to research which ones would work best where you are.
Aside from zones, you also have to consider your property specifically. For instance, if you have a small or moderately sized yard, you probably shouldn’t choose a tree that’ll take over most of the space and crowd out your other plants. You can avoid this by looking into the possible dimensions of different fruit trees at their full maturity.
Although your fruit tree is beautiful, you don’t want its roots to take over and cause issues with your foundation or your driveway or sidewalk cement to crack and buckle. With that in mind, be sure to choose your tree’s new home far enough away from your home, sidewalks, sitting areas, and underground pipes.
Test Your Soil
While you can fix improper soil pH levels with fertilizers and other soil additions, it’s crucial to test the soil pH on your property before you do your planting. If you’re unfamiliar with the pH scale, it ranges from 1 being acidic to 14 being basic, with 7 as neutral. Many trees require a very specific pH level to thrive, so it can be harmful to them if you plant them without testing.
The easiest way to measure your soil’s pH is to purchase a home testing kit and take action accordingly. If your soil is too acidic, you can add granulated limestone. On the other hand, if your soil isn’t acidic enough, try adding sulfur.
Prepare for Planting
Although physically planting a tree doesn’t seem like a difficult task, proper preparations are more extensive than you may think. For example, just digging a hole and burying the tree’s base probably won’t yield a very good result. Most likely, the tree will die before it even matures, or it will take longer to reach maturity.
Therefore, it’s best to remove all sod and grass from at least three feet around the intended area. Additionally, you should be sure that your new fruit tree doesn’t have to compete with other plants and trees nearby for sun exposure and nutrients since new trees will struggle enough as it is.
As you just read, there’s more to planting than plopping the tree in the hole. The most important factors when it comes to planting are how deep the hole is and what you put in it.
While it’s standard advice to plant the tree at the same depth as it is in the nursery pot, sometimes they aren’t at the proper depth level when you get them. Therefore, a good rule of thumb is to have the trunk flare above the soil.
Next, you should know that you don’t need to put anything in the hole before the tree. Although many people might tell you to add compost or manure, your new tree doesn’t need anything right away.
Stakes Are Excellent Support
During the first few growing seasons, your new tree will be very vulnerable. You can think of it like a child learning to walk; it’s unstable and might fall over. With that in mind, staking your fruit tree will help keep it in the ground and standing upright until its roots are strong enough to do so.
While it’s easy to think some smaller wood pieces will do the trick, your tree isn’t going to stay small for very long. Therefore, you should choose a bigger woodcut than you think you’ll need. For example, 2x2 pieces should be the very minimum.
Because the tree bears consumable fruit and you won’t need the extra support for long, it’s best to steer clear of using stakes that contain extra chemicals to make it last longer. Use two stakes on opposite sides of your new tree for the best results in the wind.
Watch for Pests and Disease
This one is probably the most essential of the seven important fruit tree planting tips for beginners. Not only can pests and diseases rob you of your delicious fruit, but they can also deeply impact your tree’s health.
Although it may be tempting to use chemical-based pesticides to keep the bugs and animals away, they can be very harmful to the tree itself. Consider natural solutions for keeping the pests away instead. If you live in an area with a high deer population, you should also consider fencing in your tree.
If you notice any signs of disease, there are organic plant sprays you can buy to get rid of the disease gently. However, the best disease prevention is proper pruning and airflow to the tree.
It’s best to keep an eye on your tree and other plants during the spring season to catch anything unusual before it gets out of hand.
Proper Watering Is Key
The first growing season is crucial for your new tree’s growth. Therefore, you should make sure it’s getting enough water. Most fruit trees need about one to two inches of water per week; however, they might need more if it’s extremely hot and dry. It’s imperative that the tree’s roots don’t dry out because that almost guarantees it won’t survive.
Additionally, remember that it’s best to water the roots deeply less often than to splash the tree lightly every day. There are devices you can buy that release a few inches of water every day during a drought so that you don’t have to wonder if it’s getting enough water.
Truthfully, there’s no better feeling than being able to grow your fruit on your property. While you might be doubting your ability to do so, it’s easier than you think. Visit an online fruit tree nursery to find the right tree for you. Plant Me Green has an extensive selection of plants and trees to choose from, and our team is here to answer any questions you have about planting in your location.