The ground is still frozen and hard for the time being, but in spring the intensive gardening will begin and you can already start preparing for it. Fresh fruit from your own orchard or at least a single tree on your allotment tastes much better than fruit from the store, which is why more and more people are choosing to grow fruit trees. See how to choose and plant fruit trees
As long as winter reigns, small trees are safely tucked away from the frost in nurseries, but as soon as the spring sun comes out, you can get down to planning your tree planting. Mid to late spring is the best time for planting and rooting, but you can select and order fruit tree seedlings at the nursery well in advance. If you buy a seedling in a pot, you can put it in the ground even in the summer, the presence of remnants of the soil in which the tree stood will make it easier for it to adapt to the new place and will also take in more difficult conditions
In order to plant a tree in the ground, you obviously need a hole in which the seedling will settle. It should be dug so that it contains three layers of soil – topsoil, native soil and a base layer – preferably clay, which stores water even in difficult conditions. There should be no grass around the pit, about 70 to even 100 cm wide. During the first two years in the ground, the seedling roots and stabilizes. For a weak, young sapling and its roots, grass is a formidable competitor, and although it may not seem obvious, it can drown out the young roots. After putting the tree into the hole you dug, backfill the sapling three to five inches above the last roots. A trunk buried too deeply will rot and the tree will not take root. The soil used to cover the seedling should consist of a mixture of native soil and a 1:1 mixture of a universal substrate for fruit-bearing plants. Fruit trees need a lot of nutrients and mineral salts from the soil, but putting only fertile and good soil into the hole will cause the tree to root only in the root-attractive hole and will not let the roots go further into the hole and to the sides
Before putting the cuttings into the ground, moisten the soil well and apply fertilizer – preferably fresh or granulated manure. A portion of fertilizer should be sprinkled lightly over the soil and on this base place the roots of the tree. The soil should not be trampled, but only gently beaten with your hands and patted down to get rid of large air bubbles between the roots
Fruit trees are generally quite simple to grow, apart from regular watering when necessary, they don’t need much to be happy. Sunshine, good soil and water are the only food for trees, so if these conditions are met, the tree will grow healthily. Apple trees are the most popular and the most common in Polish gardens. Besides them, the most common are pear trees, cherry trees and quince trees. Shrubs are more difficult to cultivate, because they are more fragile and weak, so the sun can scorch them and weeds more easily crowd the roots
Growing your own fruit gives you a lot of satisfaction and joy. Apples or pears from your home garden taste better not only because they were grown by your own efforts, but also because they grew naturally. Put your money where your mouth is and plant fruit trees in spring
Photo: Customer’s press material.