For fruit trees, the first step in successfully growing them is to survey a good location for them because as trees, unearthing and changing their location after planting them, will kill them more often than not. You should know how big your fruit tree will grow into once it reaches adulthood.
Dwarf, semi-dwarf, or standard?
Dwarf trees need an area with an eight-foot diameter to grow. Semi-dwarf fruit trees can grow up to fifteen feet wide. Standard fruit trees can grow as wide as thirty feet. To keep the size of your fruit tree(s) at whatever level is best for you, be sure to prune them at least once a year. You need to be sure what kind of species you are planting. Some species may have particular requirements in terms of soil, water, and climate.
Your fruit tree needs adequate sunlight, but juveniles should not be exposed to full sun, as they will wilt. If you can’t find a good location to plant your fruit tree except in an open sunlit area, try partial shading for your young saplings by fitting a small mesh sheet over them that will simulate the sheltering of larger trees in a forest. An area where there are existing adult trees to cast several hours of shadow over the planting spot is ideal.
Will your chosen spot be convenient to you when you need to water or prune your tree? Avoid planting your fruit tree too close to your house or too near the fence, as you might have difficulty harvesting or pruning your tree later on when it grows larger. The branches may grow over the fence and into your neighbors yard, and the fruits may drop onto their side. It might be nice to some people, but then again, it might not.
The tree should be planted within reach of your watering system. If you have a sprinkler, it should be within reach of the sprinkler. If you do not have a sprinkler system installed, you should put the tree within reach of your hose.
This aspect of soil is mentioned time and again by every gardening book out there. It is downright important to be sure that the soil in your yard is suitable for your tree. The nutrients, moisture, drainage, and texture of the soil you are going to plant your fruit tree in, will have a direct bearing on the quality of the fruits you get to harvest or even whether your fruit tree thrives in the first place.
You can always alter your soil to be more suitable for your tree. One way that you can find out what kind of soil you have is by taking a sample of it and taking it to a lab. It may be expensive, but they can test it for what nutrients it has the most of. You’ll have the results back in a couple of days. If your soil is low in nutrients, you can go to your local nursery, or any other store with gardening supplies, and get a suitable fertilizer to supply the nutrients most lacking in your soil.
Only after you have made a preliminary assessment of the needs of your fruit tree (as well as your own), are you then ready to go plant your fruit tree. You need to consider all the pre-planting factors beforehand, because nothing is worse than devoting time, energy and money to growing a tree, only to end up removing it because of poor planning!
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