Planning a fruit garden? Do not make these 10 mistakes!
It only seems that fruit trees grow and produce crops on their own. Experienced gardeners know the troubles of getting a quality and plentiful crop. How disappointing it is when, despite the titanic efforts, the result is not happy. Is the garden constantly sick? Fruits are few, are they small and tasteless? Do some trees die at all? Most likely, everything is explained simply - already at the time of laying the orchard fundamental mistakes were made, which led to a deplorable result. Of course, it is possible to fix, but it is better to avoid these errors.
1. Not taken into account the features of the site
As a rule, we do not have to choose a plot for a garden, as it is, it will be so. But nevertheless, it is in our power to analyze its features and draw conclusions.
Well, if the garden plot is located on a plain, it is suitable for growing all fruit crops. But if there is a bias towards the east and, especially, the south, keep in mind that these areas warm up faster in the spring and stronger in the summer. Accordingly, planting crops that wake up early after winter on such a slope (apricot, for example), you risk that they will bloom constantly and suffer from spring frosts, and moisture-loving ones (pear) will suffer from summer heat. As a result, you can not wait for the harvest.
It is also worth considering that on the upper part of such sites it is worth planting trees that are more resistant to wind and drought, and at the bottom, where moisture accumulates, they are resistant to waterlogging.
If your site is located in a basin where cold and humid air accumulates, then most likely you should not plant a garden at all, or very carefully choose crops. After all, they will take on all the most unfavorable factors - low temperatures at the time of flowering and outbreaks of fungal diseases due to high humidity.
2. Ignored soil features
It is clear that the quality of life of a fruit tree directly depends on its root system, and that, in turn, depends on the soil in which it develops. Most fruit trees have a powerful root system that goes deep and diverges in breadth. For normal nutrition, she needs a large supply of nutrient medium and moisture.
Growing a garden on poor sandy and rocky, marshy, dense clay or saline soils will require very dedicated efforts. Those gardeners who plant trees in such soils without first preparing and improving them are unlikely to wait for a good harvest. The soil must be air and water permeable. Such soil is called structural, it is like a sponge.
But each breed of fruit trees has its own “requests”. Apple tree “serve” light chernozems, loamy or sandy loamy soils. They should be quite loose and moderately moist. The apple tree does not tolerate waterlogging. Cherry prefers light sandy loam, pear - loose loam, rich in humus, and plum grows well and bears fruit only where the soil is loamy, well fertilized and has a moisture reserve.
It is worth measuring the acidity of the soil, for most seedlings of fruit crops it should be neutral with pH 5.5-7.
How to measure and change the acidity of the soil, read the material "Acidity of the soil - how to determine and deoxidize."
3. High groundwater
When planning to plant certain fruit crops, it is worth knowing the level of groundwater occurrence. As a rule, tall and durable trees on seed stocks have a deep root system that goes down more than 2 meters. And if the groundwater in your area is higher, then most of the time these roots will get wet in the water, rot and suffocate, and the tree itself somehow exists - it's not up to the harvest.
For stone fruits, you can make an indulgence of up to 1.5 meters, and even less for berry bushes.
Read about the successful experience of growing pears in a plot with high groundwater in the article "Why I grow pears only on quince rootstock."
4. No wind protection
If you lay the garden in an open area, blown by all the winds, then most likely in winter it will suffer from frost, (because the wind blows off the snow), and in the summer - from a withering sultry wind. With a constant wind, pollinating bees hardly fly, and young seedlings, swaying from side to side, are poorly rooted.
Therefore, breaking the garden, at the same time plant wind-shelter plants from the northern and eastern sides of the plot. Do not forget to tie the seedlings to the supports.
5. Low species diversity
Often gardeners plant a garden, focusing on one crop, say, an apple tree. Usually this is done if the garden is laid for profit. On the one hand, it is easier to take care of such a garden, all work can be carried out immediately on all plants (fertilize, water, spray;). But, as a rule, it is in monocultural gardens that plants require more thorough and frequent treatment from pests and diseases. After all, they spread in such a garden with lightning speed over all plants. Focusing on one culture, in case of any miscalculation, you can completely remain without a crop.
6. Non-zoned varieties
To obtain a high-quality and regular harvest, it is very important to plant fruit trees grown in local nurseries and adapted to your area. Often this rule is neglected when buying seedlings from random sellers, or guided by an attractive price. As a result, seedlings from the more southerly regions will not tolerate frosts in your area, and the more northern saplings will suffer from your regular winter thaws. In both cases, this will affect the crop, and the life of the plant as a whole.
7. Thickened planting
Fruit trees for normal development and fruiting need light, air, a certain amount of soil. Often in amateur gardens, in order to maximize the use of the plot, plants are planted too close to each other - the crowns close, crawl onto each other, the branches tend up, and the bottom is exposed. As a result, a decrease in yield and the fragility of the plants themselves. The strongest will survive, because there is competition between them for light, nutrition and moisture.
Planting is considered normal when there is a free passage for a person between adult plants. Therefore, when buying seedlings, be interested in the future size of plants.
8. Incorrect landing
In order for the sapling to take root well and, therefore, quickly enter into fruiting, it must be planted correctly. A pit for landing is prepared in advance. Better for six months or at least a month before planting a seedling. It is made wide enough and deep and filled with a loose fertile mixture.
If you plant a seedling immediately (in a newly dug hole), then this is fraught with the fact that the earth will inevitably shrink, and the seedling with its root neck will fall below the soil level, and this is unacceptable. If the pit is made in advance, then all the physical and chemical processes in it have already taken place, and when landing it is enough to make a small depression to the size of the root system.
Read more about all the nuances of planting fruit trees in the material "How to plant a tree correctly?"
Often seedlings are planted with leaves and an open root system. This is not worth doing. The roots when digging, for sure, are badly damaged and intentionally shortened. They work poorly, and the leaves actively evaporate moisture. Such seedlings are difficult to take root.
It is worth considering such an important factor as the timing of planting. For the southern regions, with mild winters and hot, dry summers, autumn is preferable for planting. So the sapling will get moisture to the maximum and has high chances to take root.
Read more about the autumn planting of seedlings in the article "What do you need to know for a successful planting of seedlings in the fall?"
In the northern regions, where precipitation occurs regularly in the summer, it is better to plant it in the spring so that the seedling can take root and adapt before a harsh winter.
9. Lack of pollinating plants
Many fruit crops, especially stone fruit, require a pollinator nearby for good fruiting. It can be inter-pollinated species, or a seedling of the same species, but of a different variety, or just a seedling (wild). Therefore, when buying a plant for the garden, ask if you need to buy two or more.
10. When no planning and no
It often happens that beginning gardeners plant some trees and shrubs simply because they have free or very cheap planting material and free space. “Well, why not buy this interesting summer apple-tree variety at a sale, if the seedling costs a penny and the free space on the site is simply heaped up? You say I already have two varieties of summer apple trees? Nothing! Where two, there are three! ”
After a few years, these three apple trees grow and begin to give a good harvest. And then it turns out, as in that joke, “pies with apples, apple charlotte, apple cider, juice, kvass, jam .... and not to hell with these apple trees? !!! "
Carefully choose not only the types of fruit trees that will grow on your site, but also the varieties, so that you can process the crop without much hassle. After all, it is grown with difficulty and, silly, you must admit, if it later vanishes simply because there are too many of it. After all, it happens that it’s not something to sell;
In conclusion, it is worth adding that even if you managed to avoid all of the above errors, in order to get a large and high-quality crop in the garden, you must follow the rules of agricultural technology - water, fertilize, treat pests and diseases on time, trim.
Good luck and good harvests!