Information About General Fruit Care

Information About General Fruit Care

Plant Chill Hours: Why Are Chill Hours Important

By Becca Badgett, Co-author of How to Grow an EMERGENCY Garden

If you want to grow some fruit trees and need some simple information about plant chill hours and why they’re important, click this article. We’ll attempt to break it down here in simple terms that are easy enough for anyone to understand.

What Is A Food Forest Hedge – How To Grow An Edible Hedge

By Susan Albert, Freelance Garden Writer

Are you planning to add a privacy screen or row of hedges to your home landscape? Why not throw tradition out the window? Instead of a row of clipped boxwoods or tall arborvitae, try a sustainable, edible hedge. Click this article for more information.

Stone Fruit Hand Pollination – Hand Pollinating Stone Fruit Trees

By Teo Spengler

Like anything else, stone fruit trees won’t produce fruit unless their flowers are pollinated. Usually, gardeners rely on insects, but if bees are hard to find in your neighborhood, you can take the matter into your own hands and pollinate stone fruits by hand. Learn more here.

Stone Fruit Varieties: Growing Stone Fruit In The Garden

By Amy Grant

It is very likely you’ve had stone fruit before and may not know it. You may even be growing stone fruit in your garden. Stone fruit comes from a stone fruit tree. Still not sure what a stone fruit is? Click the following article for more information on these types of fruit trees.

Orchard Microclimate Conditions: How To Use Microclimates In Orchards

By Mary H. Dyer, Credentialed Garden Writer

Although USDA hardiness zone maps are beneficial, experienced orchardists know they should not be considered final. Microclimates in orchards make a substantial difference and can even determine what trees you can grow or where trees will grow best. Learn more here.

What Is Pomology – Information About Pomology In Horticulture

By Amy Grant

Have you ever wondered as you bite into a fresh crisp apple how different varieties are created? There are many steps involved in creating the perfect apple, which is why pomology is so very important. What is pomology and what does a pomologist do? Find out here.

Small Fruit Bearing Shrubs: Learn About Dwarf Fruit Bush Care

By Amy Grant

Many new berry cultivars have been developed into miniature fruit bushes. These mini fruiting bushes are perfect for container gardening, and yet the fruit they produce is full sized. Click here to learn about growing small fruit bearing shrubs and dwarf fruit bush care.

Pruning For Potted Fruit Trees – How To Prune A Potted Fruit Tree

By Teo Spengler

Pruning fruit trees in containers is generally a breeze when compared with pruning fruit trees in the orchard. If you are wondering how to prune a potted fruit tree, you’ll be happy to hear that it’s not difficult. Click here for tips on how and when to prune fruit trees in pots.

June Drop Information: What Causes June Fruit Drop

By Teo Spengler

If you are just getting started with a home orchard, you may be very upset to see miniature apples, plums or other fruits scattered beneath your healthy trees in May and June. This is actually a common phenomenon called June fruit drop. Click here to learn more.

Fruit Tree Lichen And Moss – Is Moss On A Fruit Tree Bad

By Bonnie L. Grant, Certified Urban Agriculturist

It is not uncommon to find lichen and moss on fruit trees. They may both be in evidence or just one or the other, but is it a problem? Click on the following article to find out and see what you can do about fruit tree moss or lichen on your plants.

Prune Dwarf Virus Info: Tips On Controlling Prune Dwarf Disease

By Darcy Larum, Landscape Designer

Stone fruit grown in the home garden always seem to taste the sweetest because of the love and care we put into growing them. Unfortunately, these fruit trees can fall victim to several diseases like prune dwarf virus. Learn more about prune dwarf virus of stone fruit here.

Fruit Tree Powdery Mildew Control – Treating Fruit Tree Powdery Mildew

By Mary Ellen Ellis

Powdery mildew is a fungal infection that can affect a lot of different types of fruit trees and berry brambles. Be aware of this disease and know how to prevent and treat it before it ruins your fruit harvest. This article will provide additional information to help.

Moisture Loving Fruit Trees – Fruit Trees That Grow In Wet Conditions

By Darcy Larum, Landscape Designer

Some fruit trees are also more susceptible to crown or root rots than others. These plants may take on significant damage from just short periods of wet feet. Click on the following article to learn more about fruit trees that grow in wet conditions.

Pruning Fruit Trees – Learn About Different Fruit Tree Forms

By Teo Spengler

Many gardeners have trouble understanding fruit tree forms and how to achieve them, however. If you want to learn about the different forms for fruit trees, this article should help. We’ll also give you tips for pruning fruit trees.

Bagging Fruit Trees – Why Put Bags On Fruit While Growing

By Teo Spengler

What every gardener wants most from a fruit tree is fruit. But birds and insects and fruit tree diseases can ravage your crop. That?s why many gardeners have started growing fruit in bags. Why put bags on fruit? Click here for all the reasons for bagging fruit trees.

Brambles And Orange Rust: How To Recognize Orange Rust In Brambles

By Liz Baessler

Orange rust is a very serious disease that can infect most types of brambles. If you see symptoms, you should take action right away, as the disease will stay for the rest of the plant?s life and spread to infect neighboring plants. Learn more in this article.

Raspberry Horntail Control: What Is A Raspberry Horntail

By Bonnie L. Grant, Certified Urban Agriculturist

Raspberry horntail damage becomes most visible in early summer. What is a raspberry horntail? These wood wasps lay their eggs in caneberries, and the larvae burrow into the stem and eventually girdle it. Some tips on how to manage raspberry horntails follows.

What Are Brambles – Learn What Makes A Plant A Bramble

By Mary Ellen Ellis

Brambles are plants that belong to the same family as the rose, Rosaceae. The group is pretty diverse and the members are favorites of gardeners who enjoy growing and eating berries. But what are these plants exactly? Click here to learn more about bramble bushes.

What Is A Fruit Cage: Fruit Cage Uses And Benefits

By Amy Grant

Protecting your fruit from unwanted grazing usually becomes a priority, often by making a fruit cage. What?s a fruit cage? Click on the article that follows to find out how to make a fruit cage and about fruit cage uses in the garden.

Fruit Tree Hedge Spacing – Tips For Making A Hedge Out Of Fruit Trees

By Amy Grant

Can you imagine having a row of fruit bearing trees as a natural fence? Today's gardeners are incorporating more edibles into the landscape including making hedges out of fruit trees. Find out about making a hedge out of fruit trees and how close to plant fruit trees here.

Controlling Quince Rust – How To Get Rid Of Quince Tree Rust

By Teo Spengler

Quince tree leaf rust sounds like a disease that would create problems for quince trees in your garden. In fact, it is better known as a disease that attacks apples, pears and even hawthorn trees. If you want learn more about how to get rid of quince tree rust, click here.

Drying Fruits And Vegetables: Drying Fruit For Long-Term Storage

By Amy Grant

So it you had a bumper crop of apples, peaches, pears, what have you. The question is what to do with all that surplus? Drying fruits and vegetables will allow you to extend the harvest. Find out how to dry fruit at home, as well as vegetables, here.

Differences Between Cherry And Plum Tree

By Teo Spengler

Many gardeners wonder how to tell plum and cherry trees apart. While the blossoms do look somewhat similar, the differences between cherry and plum trees are easy to spot once you are familiar with them. This article will help with that.

Reviving An Old Fruit Tree: How To Rejuvenate Old Fruit Trees

By Teo Spengler

If not properly pruned and maintained over the years, fruit trees become overgrown and messy. Restoring old fruit trees is often possible with a lot of patience and a little know how. Find tips on how to rejuvenate old fruit trees in this article.

What Is A Fruit Salad Tree: Tips On Fruit Salad Tree Care

By Amy Grant

You know how fruit salad has multiple types of fruit in it, right? If you don't like one type of fruit, you can eat only the fruit chunks you love. Wouldn't it be nice if there was a fruit salad tree? Well, there actually is. Learn more in this article.

Winterizing Fruit Trees: Tips On Fruit Tree Care In Winter

By Teo Spengler

For many fruit tree diseases, prevention is easier to accomplish and costs less than a cure. Just a few well-timed and well-chosen sprays can do a lot toward controlling fruit tree problems. Learn about winter treatment for fruit trees in this article.

What Is Fruiting Maturity – Understanding Maturation Of Fruit

By Amy Grant

If you have ever tried to eat a green banana, you probably noticed it was hard and not sweet. The producers of bananas pick them mature, but not yet ripe. This lengthens the shipping time. So what is fruiting maturity? Find out here.

Understanding Different Fruit Types

By Amy Grant

We all know some of the most common types of fruit, but the actual botanical classification of fruits contain some surprises. So what are the different fruit types? What actually makes a fruit a fruit? This article will explain.

Bush Vegetable Plants: Using Bush Vegetables For Urban Gardens

By Amy Grant

Not everyone has a large veggie garden plot. For this reason, you will find miniature and dwarf plants for the urban gardener. Did you know there are many bush vegetables too? What are bush vegetables and which ones work for a small garden? Learn more here.

What Is Self-Fruitful In Gardens: Learn About Self-Pollinating Fruit

By Mary H. Dyer, Credentialed Garden Writer

Nearly all fruit trees require pollination in the form of either cross-pollination or self-pollination in order to produce fruit. If you have space for only one fruit tree, a cross-pollinating, self-fruitful tree is the answer. Learn more here.

Fruit Tree Pruning: How And When To Prune Fruit Trees

By Bonnie L. Grant, Certified Urban Agriculturist

Timing and method of fruit tree pruning can enhance the amount and quality of your crop. Proper pruning methods and timing is the key to bountiful crops and healthy trees. Read this article for some tips and techniques on fruit tree pruning.

What Is Parthenocarpy: Information And Examples Of Parthenocarpy

By Bonnie L. Grant, Certified Urban Agriculturist

Parthenocarpy in plants is a relatively unusual condition but it does occur in some of our most common fruit. What is parthenocarpy? Read this article to discover what causes parthenocarpy, or seedless fruit in plants.

How To Protect Fruit Trees From Birds

By Kathee Mierzejewski

Birds can do so much damage to fruit trees, especially once the fruit ripens. There are plenty of things you can do to protect fruit trees from birds and this article will help. Click here to learn more.

Cherry tree, an easy and generous fruit tree

Cherry trees are among the most common fruit trees found in our orchards.

Key Cherry tree facts

Height – 20 to 50 feet (6 to 15 meters)
Exposure – full sun
Soil – ordinary

Foliage – deciduous
Flowering – April
Harvest – May to July depending on the variety

Planting, pruning and caring for them are all practices that will let you grow a bountiful cherry harvest.

How to Plant, Care, Prune and Harvest Blueberry Bushes

Site Selection for Blueberry Bushes

Light: Full Sun to Partial Shade

Soil: Moist, acidic, organic, well drained soil. Highbush blueberries require a soil pH of 4.0-5.2. If you do not have acidic soil, it can easily be changed by working with a local lawn and garden supply store to help lower your soil’s pH. The pH of the soil can also be lowered by adding finely ground straight elemental sulfur or elemental sulfur in pill form. Aluminum sulfate and iron sulfate are no longer recommended, because they cause plant toxicity with certain soil types. A range of 3-20 percent organic content is best. To increase the soil’s organic content, amend with organic mulch, wet peat moss, well-aged sawdust, straw or leaf litter.

Pollination: Blueberries are self-pollinating. However, cross-pollination produces a better crop, creating larger berries and larger yields. It is best to plant 2-3 types of blueberry with the same bloom time. (Note: Rubel and Bluecrop both bloom mid-season).

How to Plant Northern Highbush Blueberries

For best results, plant your blueberry bushes in early spring. Once your plants arrive, plant them immediately. If you cannot plant immediately, keep new arrivals cool and roots moist. To keep cool, it is recommended that you store in refrigerator or cool place.

  1. Unpack and Soak: Unpack your blueberry bush and soak in water for 3 to 6 hours just before planting.
  2. Cut Broken Roots.
  3. Dig Hole(s): The width of the hole should allow you to spread roots. If you are planting multiple blueberries, dig holes 4'-6' apart. If you are creating several rows dig holes 7'-12' apart.
  4. Spread Roots in Hole
  5. Shovel Dirt Back in Hole and Add Amend Soil.
  6. Do Not Tap Soil: Don’t step on the soil or tap it down.
  7. Water: Give each plant 1"-2" of water.

How to Water Blueberries

Blueberry plants have a thread-like root mass with no root hairs. Because they have no root hairs, they are sensitive to fluctuating soil moisture. Deep, low pH mulch like peat moss, pine needles or well aged sawdust conserves water and minimizes soil water fluctuations.

Water blueberry plants during the day. Keep the soil moist but not soggy. Give them at least 1" per week during growing season and up to 4" per week during fruit ripening. Keep the soil moist to a depth of 1". Water evenly on all sides of the plant. Insufficient water when the buds start to grow in late summer and when fruit is developing the following summer can lead to smaller berries. Too much water can lead to large, bland fruit.

How to Control Weeds Around Blueberries

Weed control is essential. Eliminate weed competition prior to planting if possible. Blueberry plants are shallow rooted, so do not hoe or cultivate around the bushes deeper than 2". Pull the weeds out.

How and When to Fertilize Blueberry Bushes

Blueberries do not fertilize the first year. During the following years, fertilize with ammonium sulfate or a complete 10-10-10 fertilizer (for acid loving plants) in spring. Split the dose, one as buds open and the second a month later. Increase the amount as the plants mature. Only nitrogen is required on an ongoing basis. Never apply nitrate containing fertilizers such as ammonium nitrate or calcium nitrate as these can be toxic to the plant.

How to Prune Blueberries

Do not prune for the first 2-3 years except to remove damaged or rubbing canes. Remove the fat fruit buds the first year to force vegetative growth and help the root system get established. Upright blueberry shrubs tend to become dense in the center causing shading.

After the third year, a mature cultivated blueberry plant has 15-18 canes which originate from the crown. Pruning controls the crop to increase fruit quality.

When the bushes are mature after several years, remove older central canes and prune inward pointing laterals back to the main cane. Prune when dormant in late winter or early spring. Fall pruning is not recommended, because the new shoots could be killed by a cold winter. If necessary, thin out the dormant fruit buds to get fewer but larger berries.

How to Protect Your Blueberries from Birds

Netting is the most effective solution to prevent birds from consuming your crop. Put it on as the fruit starts to ripen. Tie securely around the base of the plants to exclude rodents.

Blueberry Picking

These northern highbush cultivars ripen mid-season, but will not produce a crop until at least the second season.

When to pick your blueberries: Blueberries taste sweeter if left hanging on the bush to fully ripen. Pick 3-7 days after the berries turn completely blue all the way around for maximum sweetness. The stem should be blue not green or red, berry skin dull looking, and the berry detaches easily.

Refrigerating your blueberries: Refrigerate in a shallow container or freeze right after harvest. Do not wash the berries until ready to use. Refrigerated blueberries are best when used within 3-5 days, but storage life can extend 7-10 days. Blueberries will stain clothing.

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