Planting Fruit Trees

Planting trees and in particular fruit trees it is very important to get the prep done and take extra care with your planting as you will really get out what you put in, and especially with fruit if you expect them to give you lots of lovely fresh produce in the years to come. As you’ve probably heard me a say a few times you can only plant them once and they are an investment so take the time to plant well and you will be rewarded handsomely!

Dig a good size hole and add compost, gypsum (for clay soils) blood & bone, sheep pellets etc, basically whatever organic goodies you have to hand.
Adding water into the whole will give the roots a good drink and reduce the stress placed on the tree by being transplanted.
Add a good slow release fertiliser to help establish a good root system. These tabs give a slow sustained feed over 12-18 months.
Place the tree in the hole and back fill. Be careful to plant at the same depth as they are in the bag, too deep and the stem & graft will rot. Stake well so wind will not damage new roots and give you a crocked tree. I use soft tree tie as it will break down over 18 months but does not cut into the soft wood.
Mulching with a good layer of Peahay will help retain moisture, keep the root zone cool over summer and add extra nurients as the mulch breaks down.

Over the next 12 months water trees thoroughly during dry periods, a deep water for 10 minutes twice a week is preferable to 5 minutes with the hose every night. You want encourage roots to go deep rather than stay near the surface. You also don’t want the trees to produce too many fruit in the first two years, trees can’t multi-task and will always divert their energy into fruit production when you want them to put it into root development. So pick off any flowers or fruit that start to form in spring. It will be worth it in the long term. A spray with copper from bud burst will also help to deter any fungal diseases that peaches and nectarines in particular can be susceptible to.

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Trees are subject to availability