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Enjoy harvesting your own fruit.
Small fruit plants make growing your own fresh fruit a snap. Our huge selection of fruit tree plants means you can find a variety to suit your climate — and your taste. Check out strawberry plants (Fragaria) and blueberry plants (Vaccinium) for making sweet jams and preserves. Orange (citrus) and pomegranate (punica) plants are great for wine and juice. Spring Hill also has a variety of other offerings like cherry trees, lemon trees, apple trees and more. If you're ready to get started with growing fruit plants, check out our tips for fruit care. For more information on how to be successful in your garden, head over to our tips for foolproof gardening page.
Fruit trees tend to prefer sandy, loaming soil in which they can easily build roots without hitting rock or clay. They perform best in well-draining areas, and generally will not thrive in places where water pools or the soil is constantly drenched. Soil amendments can improve the success of your fruit trees, especially in places with clay soil. If your landscape is full of clay, add enough loam that the soil at your planting site is composed of about one-third loam.
In large-scale orchards, you may see trees planted on a berm of top-soil. This can be replicated in the home garden, using topsoil or loam to create a high row of soil. Mounded soil drains more completely, and gives trees space to establish roots above the heavier clay.
Pruning needs vary greatly between trees. However, most fruit trees will not need pruning more than once per year. Some fruit trees, like apples and pears, need to be pruned during the winter's dormant season, before the trees begin to leaf out. Other fruit trees, such as stone fruit trees, can be pruned in the very early spring. Much of your tree's pruning needs will depend upon type and climate.
Your fruit trees will need more pruning at the beginning of their time in your landscape, as they establish a shape. Trees older than three years or so do not require heavy pruning, and will only need to be pruned to mitigate any damage and maintain shape.
Different types of fruit trees have different spacing needs-pretending otherwise is literally comparing apples to oranges. However, you likely don't need the space you'd expect to plant a fruit tree.
Dwarf fruit trees can be planted 8 to 14 feet from each other, depending upon variety. They have a much smaller spread and can be placed in rows just five feet wide. These smaller varieties of trees are outstanding for gardeners without huge, orchard-sized yards.
Standard size fruit trees should be given plenty of space to avoid overcrowding. For bigger trees, aim for at least twenty feet of space between them. Remember, your tree may have heavy requirements for sunlight, in order to reach the top of your landscape's canopy.
In general, fruit trees require full sunlight, and need at least six to eight hours of light each day. When planting fruit trees, you should avoid areas of full shade. Some berries and currants will thrive in dappled light, but most fruiting trees need direct, unfiltered sun to produce large and healthy fruit.
What are the best practices for pruning fruit trees? Fruit trees should be pruned at regular intervals in order to ensure maximum production of fruit, but those prunings should be infrequent and relatively conservative. In the first year or two, your pruning will set the shape of the tree. Choose a central leader branch, and cut out branches that sprout below the bud union on grafted trees. Use pruning to ensure that your tree's main branches will be well-spaced, allowing light and airflow.
In later years, pruning should be less aggressive and more about maintenance. In fact, you'll want to limit your pruning to damaged or crossed branches, leaving as many young branches as possible. Cut at the branch collar, and remove any damaged limbs or limbs pointing inward toward the center of the tree. Don't cut back more than a third of the tree's new growth.
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