The weather is fantastic so what should gardeners be doing right now?
There are a number of important considerations to understand before
making this investment in time, energy and money.
Barb Grisham joins us to give advice on planting fruit trees.
There are many varieties of fruit trees available, but only certain
ones will do well in our growing area.
Not all choices found to be purchased are on this recommended list, so don't just assume if it's for sale it will be okay to grow and will produce fruit.
Chill requirements are critical to consider - it is the accumulated
hours between 32 and 45 degrees F that a specific variety requires to
successfully produce fruit.
Some fruit trees will need a cross-pollinator to successfully
produce; this is true for apples. Some will produce alone, but would perform better with another variety. This also extends to the length of fruiting season.
Fruit trees require very good drainage to perform well. Choose top
of a slope if possible. Perk test a planting hole first---dig a three foot hole and fill with water. If all water is gone in 24 hours, this should work. If not, another site will be needed.
The planting site will need a minimum of eight hours of
sunlight. Supplemental water should be easily accessible.
Fruit trees may be purchased bare-root or container grown. Most
homeowners will choose container grown. After your choices have been made considering the above criteria, you are ready to plant.
Dig a hole three times the width of root ball but no deeper. Use soil that you have removed. Add root stimulator to last amount of water when watering in and positioning.
The easiest fruits to grow are blackberries and figs. Fireblight
resistant pears are also a good choice.
Hope you plan to enjoy some homegrown fresh fruit in your future with
a bounty to share.
Texas AgriLife Extension publications can be found on the Web
And, of course, you can always contact the Grayson County Master Gardeners for any advice you need.