Friday, September 2, 2011

Fall Into Planning Your
Fruit Trees and Berry Plants  

Fall is my favorite time of year.  Mainly because I am a muscadine man (always have been) and September is the prime month of harvest of my beloved grape. They say Christmas only comes around once a year and the same can be said of muscadines, there is nothing I look more forward to than eating the first grape of the season and the saddest is eating the last one for the harvest season. Fall is also another time of year where the persimmons, apples, jujubes, pears, and pomegranates grace our presence with their arrival.. The coolness of the mornings, the gradual leaf color change, and the sound of college campuses fill the air with the arrival of Fall

Fall is also an ideal time to begin the planning of your next yard or orchard project.  The location is the first thing to consider. Remember that most fruit trees and plants thrive in areas that receive full sun. If you do not have an area that gets full sun you can still plant just try to find an area that gets as much sun as possible and preferably the morning and mid afternoon sun. The plants and trees will still bring fruit, it may just not be as abundantly as a full sun location                                                                                                                                                                                                                        
The second planning step is to check your soil ph. Most fruit plants and trees like a ph in the 6.0-6.8 range except for blueberry bushes which like a more alkaline soil with a ph range from 4.5-5.2. You can readily test your soil with a soil kit or more accurately take a sample to your county extension sevice for a complete analysis.  The most important thing to consider is that it takes 3-4 months to begin raising or lowering your ph, however you may go ahead and plant you just want to make sure the ph level is correct by the time the plant or tree reaches fruit bearing age.  

The third planning step is to amend the soil if necessary. Soil ranges anywhere from a hard clay to a sandy soil which should be amended prior to planting, We offer the soil perfector soil amendment that permanently improves the soil, promotes deep roots, and improves heavy clay soils and dry sandy soils by adding aeration and moisture retention. If your soil is in good shape simple adding some potting mix or peat moss in the planting hole should work sufficiently.                                                          

The fourth step and most important is the hole preparation. My father use to tell me not to be a ten dollar tree in a ten cent hole. Of course with inflation prices have gone up but the saying holds true. The hole is the foundation for that plant the rest of its life, and getting the plant off to a good healthy start begins with the shovel.                                                                                                                                                                                    
I hope that these planning steps get you excited for the upcoming planting season. With the fall and winter ahead of us it gives us the opportunity for a new planting with the anticipation of bud break and spring blooms to follow. As always if you need any assistance choosing the perfect plant for your location give us a call we will be happy to assist with all of your planting needs.

Happy Planting                                                      
Greg Ison

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