How to start a fruit orchard step by step?

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Jen Theodore/unsplash.com
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Proper planting allows you to enjoy fruit from late spring until autumn. What should be kept in mind when setting up a home orchard?

Things to do a year before planting trees

The most important thing is to mark out the area for the orchard and fence it in – tree bark is a delicacy for hares and roe deer. In early spring it is the only kind of food they can get. Before planting an orchard, it is advisable to buy protective covers and preparations to deter animals.

A year before you plan to plant the trees, the soil should be weeded. This can be done most effectively with preparations containing clayfast, which destroys weeds up to the roots. If you have noticed the presence of voles in the orchard, it is worth getting rid of them right away. If there are few of them, then you can use repellents. If there are a lot of them, then you should use traps. Before planting trees, fertilize the soil with the right mineral or organic fertilizers.

Buying trees

It is worth choosing only healthy specimens. It is best to buy them only from certified outlets or nurseries. In such places you can also get expert advice on care. If a tree has even slight symptoms of disease, you should not buy it. You can buy a one-year-old tree without shoots or a two-year-old tree with side shoots. Trees in nets are available for sale – they are biodegradable within 3 years.

When choosing a tree, you should pay attention to resistance to pests and fungal diseases. It is best to buy the same varieties, so that there is a possibility of cross-pollination or choose self-pollinating trees.

Trees should also be adjusted to the area you have at your disposal. Then you should pay attention to the rootstock. Trees grafted on dwarfing rootstocks, such as apple and pear trees, can be planted in pots. Trees that are grafted on rootstocks, such as apple and pear trees, can be planted in pots.

Another recommended method is to guide them, i.e. shape them as they grow. Different forms can be created from the trees.

If you know how many fruit trees you can plant, then follow your individual taste preferences when buying. Pears, apples and plums can be harvested from summer to late fall, depending on the variety. Later varieties are suitable for storage.

When choosing fruit trees for your garden, choose only those with a well-developed crown and a bale of soil – this reduces the risk of drying out. It is best to go for trees sold in pots, as they bear fruit much more quickly.

When is the best time to plant trees?

The soil moisture is higher in autumn, which promotes the establishment of trees. At this time, only frost-resistant trees such as apple, chokeberry and plum should be planted.

Spring planting date should be chosen for those trees that are sensitive to frost. At this time it is worth planting peaches, nectarines and apricots.

The distance between plantings depends on the varieties. It is assumed that:

  • plant apple, pear, plum and apricot trees every 4 m;
  • dwarf varieties, cherries and peaches should be planted every 3 m.

Pruning after planting

Make a shaping cut in the spring of the first year after planting. If the tree has no side shoots, it is cut to a height of 70 cm. When the tree has side shoots, both them and the guide (main shoot) should be cut.

Main photo: Jen Theodore/unsplash.com

Peter Bowers

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