While Georgia is known more for peaches than cherries, gardeners in the state can grow their own cherry trees. The University of Georgia notes that sour cherries grow better than sweet in the state and recommend Montmorency and Early Richmound for sour cherries, and Rainier for sweet cherries. Cherries grow best in the piedmont and mountain regions of Georgia, since the mountainous terrain offers a colder growing environment than other areas and meets the cherry tree's winter chill requirement of 1,000 to 2,000 hours.
Plant your cherry tree in full sun and well-draining soil. Test the soil pH with a home test kit. Dig up a soil sample with a shovel and touch a color change strip to the soil, then match the strip to the the pH value chart provided in the kit.
Amend the pH of your soil to the cherry tree's preferred pH of 6.2 to 6.8. Use lime to raise the soil pH or sulfur to raise it.
Dig a hole for your cherry tree that's twice as wide as the tree's root ball, using the shovel. Remove rocks, weeds and roots from the hole.
Pull the cherry tree from its container. Break apart the root ball between your hands, unwinding any circled roots before planting. Clip back the ends of broken roots with anvil pruners.
Place the cherry tree in the prepared hole, then check that it's vertically straight. The tree should sit at the same depth as it was planted in the container.
Fill in the hole with soil. Firm the soil around the base of the planted cherry tree.
Water the newly planted cherry tree until the ground becomes saturated and the soil compresses around the base of the tree.
Things You Will Need
- Soil pH test kit
- Anvil pruners
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