Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Fruit, how you vex me!

Someone recently asked me about fruit trees and wanted to know if I know anything about caring for them.  I know a thing or two, but I can't say I've been successful in this area.  I think it may have been about 8 years ago when I planted my fruit trees, an apple and then a peach.  It could be that the trees around my fruit trees were smaller then, or it could be that in the springtime when I planted them, there seemed to be more sun.  What I do know is that they could be getting more sun during the growing season.  However, I can't say that a lack of sun is the problem, because I do get fruit.  I just don't get it to the point where  (emphasis on I) can eat, because you see, it does get eaten, just not by me.

Baby Peaches.  You can still see the remains of the flower buds.

One thing that must be done in order to get good fruit, is spray with fruit tree spray.  It has fungicide and insecticide.  I know, I know, that doesn't sound very appetizing, but once you get a bug boring holes into your fruit, you won't want to eat that either, and you wash your fruit before you eat it, right? So I sprayed my trees with fruit spray like a good little gardener.  The tree was covered with peaches and the fruits grew.  They weren't as large as I expected, maybe because I did not cull enough (or any for that matter) fruits in the early stages, maybe because there wasn't as much sun as there should be, not sure.  

The peaches started to ripen, I got ready for my harvest.  Visions of peaches danced in my head.  You know how it's so hard to find a good one at the supermarket. I just knew mine would be better.  They'd be the best peaches I'd ever had, right?  I came out one morning and they were stolen!  That's right stolen!  The thieves had the nerve to leave the pits right there on the ground too!  How dare they!  Of course, the thieves in question were squirrels during the day and deer in the evening.  

Things I know about fruit trees:

1. Place fruit trees in your sunniest location.
2. If you fertilize your lawn, do not plant fruit trees in the middle of the lawn.  The high nitrogen grass fertilizer is too much for your fruit trees. If you must put them in the lawn, dig out the grass around the tree and cover with a thick layer of mulch, but do not leave mulch against the trunk of the tree.
3. Give them water during dry times.  A good long, deep watering with a soaker hose once a week should do the trick.
4. Use fruit tree spray.
5. Consider using a squirrel baffle. My father-in-law does and has success with his peaches.

Good luck!

No comments: