How To Plant & Grow Fruit Trees
Imagine crisp, sweet apples right outside your door… growing fresh fruit at home is fun and rewarding! Whether your space is large or small, you CAN grow your own fruit at home.
Select A Site
Fruit trees need lots of sun, and some space to grow. Choose a space where your tree will get at least 6-8 hours of sun every day, and can reach it’s full size. Most fruit trees will mature to about 10′ tall and 8-10′ wide with proper pruning. Soil quality is also important. Avoid areas that are low or prone to waterlogging, as most fruit trees prefer a well-drained soil. Adding triple mix or compost at planting time is helpful, but a heavy, wet soil will lead to problems in the long run.
Choosing A Variety
The easiest, hardiest fruits to grow in Ontario are apples and pears. In warmer regions, like Southern Ontario, stone fruits such as cherries, plums, peaches, and apricots can be grown as well. All of these varieties can be found at TERRA in the early spring season!
Some types of fruit will require more than one variety planted in together in order to produce fruit. This is called “cross-pollinating”. Apples, pears, and some cherries and plums require a cross-pollinating variety. Tart cherries, peaches, and apricots are “self-pollinating”, so only a single tree is needed to produce fruit. There are also “combination” apple, pear, and cherry trees available, where multiple varieties are grafted onto a single tree in order to produce fruit in smaller spaces.
Planting Your Tree
To plant, dig a hole as deep as the pot, and twice as wide. Add TERRA Plus 3 Mix to the bottom of the hole to provide a base on which to place the tree. If your tree is in a plastic pot, remove it from the pot gently and place it in the hole. If your tree is in a fiber pot, do not remove, and simply place into the planting hole. The fiber pot will naturally degrade as the plant grows.
With the tree in place, make sure that it’s level with the ground, and not sitting higher or lower than it was in the pot. To provide stability while growing new roots, add tree stakes at this stage. Hammer stakes firmly into the ground on either side of the tree and secure with ties. Fill in the space around the roots with a combination of the soil from the ground and TERRA Plus 3 Mix. Stamp the soil down lightly to ensure the tree is firmly in place. As the tree settles, additional soil may need to be added. Water thoroughly, using a transplanting fertilizer like Miracle Gro Quick Start in order to ease transplant shock and encourage new roots.
Continue to provide water and transplant food in the first few weeks, while the tree is getting established. When watering, water slowly and deeply to fully saturate the root zone and encourage the tree to develop a deep root system.
Fruit Tree Care
Producing flowers and fruit takes energy, so fruit trees need food! Once the tree begins growing and flowers are forming, it’s important to fertilize. Growing fruit requires the right nutrition! We recommend using a fertilizer made for fruits.
Through the summer and fall, be sure to pick up fallen fruit and rake fallen leaves in order to avoid fungal diseases. In early spring, prune your tree to promote an open shape with good air circulation, and to remove any dead or crossing branches. If insects or fungal spots have been present, it’s a good idea to apply a dormant spray before the buds break in late March. This will smother overwintering insects and kill fungal spores.
Watch our video below for planting tips: