Planting a fruit tree well and kick starting it’s life couldn’t be simpler. It’s a once off investment and you should get fresh better than organic fruits for life! Here are a few steps with pictures.
- (Quick info) Always plant at least 2 varieties of each type of fruit tree close to each other and make sure they flower around the same time of the year to insure successful pollination, otherwise you may not have fruit setting on your trees.
- Start by picking a suitable location – ideally south facing for plenty of sunlight for sweet fruits and easy to access for harvesting.
- Dig a hole about twice the depth and width of the root of the tree.
- Place tree in hole and hold up straight – Do not stake the tree as this will weaken it over time.
- (Optional) Add a bucket of high quality compost (we used 10 month old mushroom compost), volcanic rock dust for minerals, some good garden soil (full of worms, microbials etc.). You may add a number of other useful amendments such as mycorrhizal fungi, green sand etc.
- Add original soil in situ and water well.
- Cover in 2 or more layers of card board.
- Finally cover with a 10cm / 4inch or more thick layer of mulch such as wood chips. These will block the weeds/grasses, protect the trees roots from frost and drought, also over time brake down and turn into nutrient rich soil. Besides, mulch makes for great insect habitat which have many benefits such as pollination and increasing fertility.
- (Optional) Plant guilds are very beneficial, this involves simply planting flowers, trees and fruit bushes etc around a tree to support it. We will write up something about this shortly. Toby Hemenway has excellent material on this.