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How to Prepare Soil for Fruit Trees

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How to Prepare Soil for Fruit Trees

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Overview

Fruit trees and shrubs are big feeders that require proper soil preparation to thrive and produce fruit. From acidity to nutrients, soils can be prepared in advance for their fruit trees. As certain trees prefer certain environments, there are things to consider when preparing the soil for particular fruit trees.

Peaches and Nectarines

Step 1

Select a site for the tree that receives full sunlight, meaning 8 or more hours each day and is at a higher elevation in the yard to ensure proper drainage and avoid flooding.

Step 2

Check the soil type with a soil test kit to determine plant compatibility. Peaches and nectarines prefer a well-drained sandy soil. Peaches require a pH of 6.5 and thrive and utilize soil nutrients equally, so use a 10-10-10 fertilizer.

Step 3

Two seasons before planting the tree, prepare a bed 5 feet in diameter and 12 inches deep with the necessary nutrients. If the soil's pH is off, supplement with lime and fertilizers as necessary. Test the soil again at the end of the first season and repeat the the preparation steps.

Citrus

Step 1

Use a soil test kit to determine the type and pH of the soil. Citrus tend to tolerate any type of soil that drains, including clay.

Step 2

Test the drainage ability of the soil by digging a 30-inch-deep hole and filling with water. If the water drains at least 2 inches within 2 hours, then it drains properly. If not, consider planting the tree in a raised bed or digging the hole deeper and correcting the soil.

Step 3

Fill in the hole, adding in hummus, the best of the hole's soil, and amendment soil mix to offer the young tree ample nutrients.

Apples

Step 1

Select a site for planting with good air drainage. Optimal sites include hills and slopes because the cold air will travel down, away from the tree's buds.

Step 2

Test the area's soil with a test kit and bring the results to the local County Extension Center to determine the necessary adjustments for a particular growing area.

Step 3

Soil amendments and nutrients should be added in at a depth of 12 to 18 inches.

Things You'll Need

  • Soil test kit

References

  • Growing Peaches and Necterines in the Home Landscape
  • Growing Citrus in the Ground
  • Growing Apple Trees in the Home Garden
Keywords: soil preparation, soil testing, fruit tree preparation

About this Author

Ann White is a freelance journalist with prior experience as a Corporate and Business Attorney and Family Law Mediator. She has written for multiple university newspapers and has published over 300 articles for publishers such as EHow and Garden Guides. White earned her Juris Doctor from Thomas Jefferson School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts in English literature.

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