Gardening Tips and Tricks

Pacific Northwest Fruit Trees In Bloom

I just walked out to the garden today and noticed my fruit trees in bloom!

Fruit tree Blossom

It was like it happened overnight.  This is always a sign that warmer weather is coming and not a moment too soon.  For years without realizing it I had been neglecting my fruit trees, and the poor things were starving.  A mistake of an amateur gardener!  Well, those days have long past and I aim to keep well fed forever.

This is what I have learned and I would like to pass it on to you.  Unlike vegetable gardening, caring for an orchard is somewhat of an art form.  There are some rules that should be followed to keep your fruit trees producing well and growing.

Here they are:

  • In spring wait until after your trees have bloomed before you fertilize.  Here’s why, fertilizers can inhibit production of blossoms and that means no fruit.
  • If you do not have the trees well protected deer will devourer all the blossoms in one morning.  They even stand on two legs to reach the top to ensure you won’t get fruit. How thoughtful!
  • If you have forgotten to trim the very top of your tree and it is 12 feet tall.  Don’t worry you can do it now it won’t do any damage.
  • Tree stake fertilizers are not evil.  If you read the ingredients it’s all basic stuff your tree needs.  You do not have to make a crazy concoction to keep things “All Natural”
  • If your fruit trees look different from last year, like they have leprosy. Do not dunk it in  water 7 times.  Simply go to your local nursery and ask for help.
  •   A bad haircut is better than no hair cut!  Prune your trees in the fall.  It is easier than you think.  Simply take a branch just above a node with the bud facing outward and chop it off.  That’s it!  Do this to all the branches and wait for new ones to form.  You can also ask around, you would be surprised at how many people have info you never thought they did.

To sum this all up, I learned fruit trees are a wonderful addition to any garden.  You should not be afraid to give them a bad haircut, it will grow back.  Feed them every year and don’t be afraid of over doing it.  Ask for help and advice, people are a wealth of info.  Never watch Bambi it will give you a tainted perspective on deer.  Last, but not least you will most likely screw something up along the way, that’s OK!  There’s always next year!

Pear Fruit Tree

Enjoy the fruits of your labor,

Corinne

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