One of the most important things you have to take into consideration when growing fruit trees is the climate of where you live. Of course it is important that you decide what fruits you like to eat and then see if they will grow in your area. trying to grow something outside of its area usually means no fruit if the tree does survive and if it does survive it will be attacked by a disease or pest that it has no defense for. A good rule of thumb is if your local nursery sells it then it probably is ok to grow it there, but I would ask first.
Learn what zone you are in
Generally speaking try to give your fruit trees as much sunlight as possible. A southern and eastern exposure will let the sun dry all moisture from the previous night reducing any changes of diseases. The soil also plays an important part in the health of your fruit trees. Choose well draining soil as standing water would not be good. If the soil is dead it will need to be brought back to life with generous applications of a healthy compost. Mulching is also important since it prevents the soil from drying up and also allows the compost to remain longer. The soils ph level is also important since all plants have a specific ph range that they prefer to live in. Go outside that range and you are asking for trouble. Fruit trees prefer a ph of 6.8 or 6.5. Planting in a protected area is important also. Too much wind can damage them if its blowing at the wrong time. Up drafts can expose them to extreme temps as well. Plant on planting trees that become windbreaks. Fruit trees should not be planted more then one windbreak height away from the windbreak. Do not plant in cold areas where the temp raises and falls drastically. Be careful on which side of the slope you plant them. Plants grown on a southern sunny slope will bloom earlier and they could be damaged to a late spring frost.
The number of fruit trees you will be growing will greatly be effected by:
1..the size of your property
2..the size of your family (how many will eat it)
3..if you plan on selling them
4...the amount of work you are willing to do.
Another important aspect of how many fruit trees to grows is the requirements of the fruit trees themselves. Some require cross-pollination and therefore may need more then one of each variety in order to produce fruit. The place where you buy them will know so don't forget to ask.
Dwarf vs. Standard Varieties?
Another thing you will have to take into consideration is whether to get the draft variety or the standard variety of fruit trees. Sometime costs is a factor You can usually grow more dwarf trees in the same area as a standard tree. Dwarf trees bear sooner and are also easier to prune and harvest fruit from.
It only takes a little bit of planning to produce a lot of fruit!
When planting keep in mind how they will look when full grown and give them the room they need. You can plant them closer together but this will require more care on your part. Be careful when you mix varieties as some fruit trees should not be grown along side others of the same variety, such as lemons should not be grown along side oranges!
A few things you should plan for:
How are they going to get watered? Think about installing a drip system instead of using over head watering. Uses less water, controls diseases and pests.
Composting twice per year, Mulching twice per year or as needed and applications of organic fertilizers as needed.
Natural sprayings should be done as needed.
For Immediate Relief: First do the obvious,
1..... is the tree being watered properly?
2..... is it being feed properly?
3..... is it under stress?
4..... is it damaged?
5..... is a bug attacking it?
6..... is a disease attacking it?
If any one or more of the above is a yes then we have a path to
follow in healing this tree's).
1.......if it needs watering give it a good slow soaking. Use a
soaker hose or a drip system. Give it a good slow watering for 10 hrs if possible.
Use a garden filter if possible.
2.......Feed it compost and a thin layer of rock dust and mulch well. Avoid chemical fertilizers.
check out Organic Fertilizers
3.......What is causing this stress? Look around the tree, is it in a bad place? are dogs peeing on it?
4.......Does it have car damage? Look carefully try to remove the problem.
5.......if you know that a bug is attacking it, try to ID the pest first which will give you some idea what you will need to do to correct it.
6.......if you know its a disease then try to ID what type it is and that will also help you to decided what to do to heal it.
1....read Tree rules at tree rules
2....members, read Tree chapter in book "Natural Pest Control" which you
received free when joining.
Still need help? Members , Leave your question in our Ask Andy garden forum, or call me on my radio show.
The Invisible Gardener