Fruit trees are a favorite among many landscapers and home gardeners for a variety of reasons. Among some of the many reasons is that they are relatively easy to care for, provide fantastic displays of color, and give a person a wonderfully easy and healthy snack. However, just because they are relatively easy to care for doesn't mean that fruit trees are carefree. In order to provide proper fruit tree care, all you need to do is keep an eye on four things.
- Soil. Typically fruit trees don't require very much work when it comes to the soil in which they are planted. Considering that fruit trees are a particularly hardy type of tree, they will find a way to survive in just about all kinds of soil. However, if you want to really promote growth, reduce disease, and have a bountiful fruit harvest, add a little fertilizer in the early spring time and mulch throughout the summer and fall.
- Watering. As the temperature begins to warm during the early spring, you need to begin watering. On average, once the temperature rises to a minimum of 40 degrees Fahrenheit, you need to begin regular watering. When you start off with your watering, you only need to water once a week, but over time as things heat up, you need to deep water twice a week. Deep watering is when you thoroughly saturate the tree and its roots. One of the best ways to ensure that you get the proper water level is through the use of a moisture meter.
- Seasonal care. Spring is when you should begin your fertilization, mulching, and watering operations. When you reach summer you need to regularly (twice a month) mix up your mulching to ensure that they stay fresh and moist. Also, as the fruit begins to come in, you should start to thin out the fruit. This helps provide an even distribution of the resources while helping the fruit to develop a better taste. Keep in mind that during the hot summer months you may need to mist the tree leaves daily to help prevent wilting. In the fall, it is time to begin your clean up. Make sure that you have cleaned up any missed fruit that may have fallen, while also lowering the amount of watering that you do. Add one last bit of fertilizer to help prepare for the next year, and harvest any remaining fruit. When winter rolls around, you need to begin pruning operations. Only prune the areas of the tree that did not produce any blooms or fruit. During the winter, watering should still continue, though on a severely limited basis, water the tree when and if the soil has dried out.
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