Fruit Tree Seeds Swindon
Your Own Fruit Trees - On a Budget from Garden Fine
Your Own Fruit Trees - On a Budget!
A Small Home Orchard
Many gardeners toy with thoughts of a small orchard as part of their food gardens. I always did, but at some of my houses it wasn't possible, usually poor soil, shallow wells and low funds. Young fruit trees aren't cheap. But I'm not sure if even higher prices of late are a shortage of good rootstock or simple laws of demand and ‘sock it to ‘em' prices.
Buying Fruit Trees
Redhaven Peach Tree in my Zone 4 Yard
I purchase young trees on year end clearances and shamelessly ask for them as mother's day and birthday gifts. Mostly I preferred dwarf stock as I dreaded massive trees needing a cherry picker truck at harvest time - 20 years away. Now that I'm in a house in which I'll hopefully stay a long time, and have some space, I simply purchase varieties I really want regardless of rooting stock. If some trees are standards, I'll deal with them later by pruning ruthlessly. And I have enough varieties that I don't worry about pollinators. If you're not sure, ask your seller if your tree needs a pollinator mate and if it's hardy for your area.
Planting Out Fruit Trees
Where I live, most trees come in peat pots with raised lips. This guarantees roots won't be disturbed during planting. But before they're planted, I cut off the top 3-4" (15-20cm) of peat pot, careful not to slice roots. This trimming ensures the pot won't protrude into the air which wicks out moisture and dries out trees. I also allow a lot of space between trees for good air flow, sunlight and size differences.
Numerous studies have been done on the ideal size of planting hole. Personally, I dig as large a hole as I can. My soil is so poor and gravely, that the tree needs all the help it can get. The hole is deeper than pot height, and 3x the width at least. Once dug, I pour several buckets of water into the empty hole and let it soak in. I always find the hole bottom is so dry that there's nothing to encourage the tree roots to probe deeper.
Fertilize the Fruit Tree
When the water is gone, I throw in a few handfuls of blood & bone meal and about half a bag of composted manure (it's all I can get). I test the pot depth in the hole and adjust. Before I actually leave the tree in, I throw in at least one cup of mycorrhizal bacteria (explained in Soil Additives ) where it will sit. When roots finally break through the peat pot, the bacteria is right there to encourage lots of feeder roots. After setting the tree in place, I alternate layers of soil, more compost and blood/bone meal to the top. Don't exceed the existing pot surface or you risk suckering.
Italian Plum Thriving in it's second year
Of late, I've implemented a new technique. I cut about a yard (1M) of old hosepipe, pierce holes along its length, and fasten a doubled piece of weed fabric to one end. This end will curl once around the bottom of the hole, the rest runs vertical beyond the surface. Soil is filled in, fixing the pro...