Fresh fruit plucked from the tree in your own backyard rewards your work in caring for the tree. The satisfaction of knowing you are responsible for the harvest makes the experiences more enjoyable. You also know what is used on the fruit and how it was raised, unlike the produce at the grocery store. Keeping the fruit trees healthy is the key to a bountiful harvest. The health of a fruit tree begins before its roots hit the earth and continues indefinitely. Giving fruit trees a healthy start is much easier than nursing a sick tree back to health.
Choose a healthy location for the fruit tree if you are planting it yourself. Research the specific type of fruit tree you wish to plant to discover its ideal growing conditions. In general, choose an area with fertile soil, plenty of sunlight and good drainage.
Water the trees at least once a week when newly planted, particularly during times with little rain.
Add mulch around the base of the fruit trees to keep the weeds under control. This also helps the trees retain moisture.
Add fertilizer and compost to the fruit trees to encourage growth and provide necessary nutrients. Avoid fertilizing in late summer or fall which will extend the growth into the winter instead of easing the tree into being dormant for the winter.
Plant two different varieties of the fruit tree for pollination. Some fruit trees are self-pollinating while others need another tree for the pollination process which produces the fruit.
Thin the fruit early in the season to produce larger fruit. Thinning the fruit allows the tree to focus its energy on fewer fruit for better production.
Use natural pest control solutions to avoid harsh chemicals on the trees. Keeping the harmful pests away from the tree aids its growth and the resulting harvest.
Prune the trees in late winter or spring. Avoid pruning in the fall, which can encourage the tree to continue growing or leave cuts that will be exposed to the cold temperatures.