Fruit Trees: How to grow
Fresh fruit straight from the tree is so much tastier and not to mention more cost effective than buying from the supermarket.
You don’t necessarily need a lot of space, with modern varieties such as miniature patio fruit tree collections, you can grow multiple fruit trees in containers on a balcony or patio.
Planting Fruit Trees
If you are considering planting fruit trees it is also worth bearing in mind that they can be very decorative, especially if trained as fans against walls and trellises.
The most common fruiting tree to plant is an apple, but there are many others to choose from including pears, cherries and plums. When planting apples and plums, check with your suppliers to see if the variety you have chosen needs a pollinating variety to be planted with it. Some varieties are also early or late cropping and may need a pollinator where flowering coincides with the blossoming time of your chosen variety.
Container-grown fruit trees can be planted at any time of year but must be kept indoors in the harsher weather. However, the best time to plant your fruit tree is late autumn to early winter as this is when the tree is in its dormant stage.
If you have decided to plant a fruit tree in the garden then it’s best to avoid doing so in the frost – place roots in moist soil until conditions improve. As fruit trees are likely to be in position for years it is important to prepare the ground well, adding plenty of organic material, such Gro-Sure Farmyard Manure.
Caring for Fruit Trees
Newly planted trees should not be allowed to dry out. Mulch around the tree every spring with organic material, again Gro-Sure Farmyard Manure is great for this job.
Harvesting and Storing
Fruit should be picked as it ripens, which is usually when the fruit comes away easily with a quick twist. Some tree fruit stores better than others. In general apples and pears store well in a dark cool place. Only store unblemished fruit. Freezing is appropriate for apples and pears when cooked and pureed, however apples can be frozen when peeled and sliced without any ill effects. Cherries and plums can be frozen or bottled but should be stoned first.
Pest and Diseases
There are always going to be a few pesky parasites wanting to join in on the fun. A wide range of pests and diseases can affect all fruit trees. Birds, wasps and the codling moth are three of the most common pests.
Some common diseases found are Scab, which affects leaves and fruit of the plant, Canker leading to problems within the bark and branches, Bitter pit a physiological disorder caused by a lack of calcium in the soil.
Treat insect infestations using Resolva Bug Killer, according to the packet instructions.