Choose a site with good sunlight, soil and drainage, away from structures and other trees.
Choose plants appropriately sized for the area available. Grow only the number of plants you can use. Small fruits, like berries can bear fruit sooner, require less space and be easier to maintain than tree fruits.
Choose cultivars and varieties suitable for your space and climate. Early ripening varieties are recommended to avoid potential late season pest problems. Disease resistant varieties are also a good investment.
Dwarf or semi dwarf trees are attractive because they are easier to maintain, prune, spray and harvest. Prune to provide good light penetration, air circulation, and lateral growth. Horizontal branches bear more fruit. Late winter or early spring is typically the best time to prune. Bonide Pruning Sealer effectively protects pruning cuts. Bonide Sucker Punch prevents undesirable new growth.
Other Cultural Practices:
Proper Sanitation – disinfect pruning tools, rake up fallen leaves, twigs and fruit. Exclusion – fencing, bagging, netting, mulches, weed barriers.
Healthy plants yield more produce. An adequate supply of mineral, micro and macro nutrients will help assure a good harvest. Balanced general purpose fertilizers, used judiciously, should be enough. Bonide Garden Rich Fish Fertilizer can be mixed right in with regularly scheduled sprays, and provides excellent nutrition. Avoid fertilizers high in nitrogen.
Rodents like voles and field mice can easily kill young fruit trees.
Browsing deer, rabbits, gophers and other animals can also be very destructive.
Birds, squirrels, and chipmunks will consume ripening fruit before you even have a chance to harvest.
Dogs and cats can also be a challenge.
Physical barriers like fencing, netting and a hardware cloth are very effective control measures. Animal repellents can also be useful and more practical. Bonide offers a complete family of animal repellents like Go Away, for use on, and Mole Max and Repels All, and Revenge Mouse, Mole and Gopher Control products for use around. Your local garden center or hardware store can help you choose what’s best for you.
All desirable plants do better without competition from weeds. Weeds can also harbor rodents, insect and or disease pathogens. To control them, weed fabric barriers and hand picking can be effective.
Products such as Bonide BurnOut®, KleenUp®, Sucker Punch®, Grass Beater and MAIZE®, all provide either complete vegetation kill, for under fruit trees for instance, or more selective broad leaf or grassy weed control. Your local garden center can help you make the right choice. Always read and follow label directions.