Having enough land on which to grow your own fruits and vegetables is one of the attractions of living in the country. There’s nothing quite like walking out into your backyard and picking enough fruit to make a delicious crumble or having the kids or grandkids head out to pick a fresh snack straight from the tree. If this simple country pleasure appeals to you, then read on to learn a bit more about how to make this dream a reality.
Most reputable nurseries will give localised information about which trees will thrive in your climate. If you have a specific tree in mind, firstly you’ll need to find out the ideal planting time. Some trees should be planted ‘bare rooted’ during the winter for best results, whereas others should be planted in Spring. Miscalculating the planting season may mean you have to wait until next year if you have your heart set on a specific type of fruit tree.
Consideration should be given to how much sun and water a tree requires and whether the spot you had in mind for your orchard can meet those needs. Access to water is critical when establishing your orchard, so make sure you’ve got an access point nearby the planned location for your orchard. Some fruit trees are very hardy, while others will require extra care such as pruning or fertilising. Be sure to find out what your varieties need to ensure you’re giving your them the best start.
Some trees are self-pollinating, such as peach or apricot, and only need themselves in order to pollinate and produce a bountiful crop. Other trees such as apple, pear and plum, require cross-pollination in order to produce fruit. This means a plum tree needs another variety of plum nearby in order for the bees to perform their task of cross-pollination. You will need a little more space if you want cross-pollinating trees, so there is enough room for all of the trees to grow and flourish.
It just takes a small amount of planning and consideration, for even the most unexperienced gardeners, and you too can plant and care for an orchard that will provide for many years to come.