Fruit trees can be planted for most of the year, as long as it does not freeze. Here we reveal the most important secrets for a successful (trans) planting, from the purchase of the seedling and digging the pit to the actual planting of the trees and their subsequent care.
Do you have little space and want to plant fruit trees in your garden? Fruit trees not only offer juicy and delicious crops, but also contribute to visual pleasure during their flowering. Planted in the orchard or as ornamental and tasting subjects along an alley or on a lawn, they will always delight you. To have a successful plant, however, you must follow a few steps.
When to plant a fruit tree and where
To plant a fruit tree in your garden, preferably take the necessary steps between October and April, outside the frost period. If you do not succeed in this interval or if winter came too early and did not get carried away by one or two, you can do it all year round. However, avoid planting during periods of heavy rain or snow.
Regarding the chosen place, it must be defined according to the space available in your garden. Your fruit trees can be planted in a new or already grown orchard. In any case, choose a sunny or semi-shady area with a deep, good quality soil.
Location of fruit trees
The ideal position for a fruit tree is both in the sun and away from the wind. For small fruits, prefer a slightly shadier location. The presence of wind tends to damage trees, complicate the work of pollinators and damage crops.
Be careful to distance your fruit trees sufficiently depending on the size of their crowns at maturity, otherwise they may influence the way they grow. The planting distance also depends on the shape you will give the tree during its development. Shrubs require more space than bushy trees. The distance between two trees in the same row is shorter than that between two rows.
Choosing the tree
The species and variety of the fruit tree you are going to plant should be seriously studied. Indeed, you will need to adapt properly to the soil and climate of your garden (this is mainly due to the rootstock). In addition, if the tree is not fertile, you will have to have a pollinating variety nearby, otherwise you will not get fruit from lack of fertilization!
Then, depending on how much you hurry with the harvest or, on the contrary, how much you are interested in the size of the young subjects, you will choose one in the form of a twig (a young branch grafted for 1 year), a brood 2 years with lateral branches) or directly a stem shape (a 3-year specimen with 4–5 well-formed branches).
Digging the pit
The planting hole should be dug 2 to 3 weeks before planting. All the material released from the volume of the pit, you will keep it aside, separating the surface layer (rich soil that will be returned at the bottom) from the depth layer (depleted from a nutritional point of view).
The pit must measure at least 50 cm / side and as deep as possible. For more developed shrubs, several years old, up to 1 x 1 m and 70 cm deep are allowed. Bring a thin film of baked or semi-baked compost (or a special organic fertilizer for fruit trees from the store) to the bottom of the pit, which you will mix with the soil at the bottom of the pit.
Preparing the trees
2 operations must be performed to promote a good recovery: First, shaping, “dressing” the roots, consists in trimming the ends of large roots.
If the root system of a plant ready to be transplanted is damaged, if it has developed irregularly or if its development is insufficient, its future feeding will be disrupted and its development will be difficult, if not impossible, and its anchoring in the ground will be weakened. .
To correct these defects, therefore, it is practiced to systematically shorten the roots of the subject to be planted, in order to obtain a homogeneous and well-distributed root system around the trunk, and a densely branched one (secondary roots). Shaping is performed on bare-rooted plants. The cut is made using scissors with sharp, clean and disinfected blades.
Generally, three types of cuts are made. When uprooting plants grown in nurseries, the roots can suffer trauma, so cut the broken segments or those just above the “wounds”.
If the roots are too long, which can prevent safe installation in the pit, they should be shortened. It also shortens the tips of all secondary roots by a few centimeters. The roots function like stems or branches: if we remove their end, ie the place where the cells responsible for the growth of the organ in length are located, the secondary roots can develop harmoniously later.
Please note: root shaping is an operation that must be performed just before planting.
The second activity, soaking, consists of immersing the entire root system in a bucket of mud, a solution sold ready or prepared by you with mud. The goal is twofold: fertilizing and keeping the roots moist.
Mud aims to avoid drying out and to promote good development. Make a mud by mixing clay soil and water so that you get a sticky consistency and thick enough to adhere to the roots; add 1/3 cow dung, if you can find it from somewhere. You can also buy commercially prepared “muds”. In any case, leave the roots immersed in this preparation for half an hour.
The actual planting
Stretch the roots in the pit in their natural position. They should not be flattened at the bottom of the cavity. It is ideal to work with someone else: while one keeps the bush straight, the other can fill the pit with earth.
You can place the bunch of roots on a small mound of earth at the bottom of the pit, if their shape is appropriate. The grafting point should not be buried; it is essential to let it come out 3 or 4 cm above ground level.
Before filling the pit, you must install a guard for the tree whose trunk is more than 80 cm high. It will be placed parallel to the trunk, at about 10 cm, preferably on the side of the predominant wind.
Using a digging spade or shovel, fill the pit with granular surface soil enriched with compost; the spaces between the roots must be well filled. Lightly compact, making sure the grafting point is not below ground level. With a sapaliga, arrange a cover with a diameter of about 40 cm around the stem, intended to receive water for irrigation.
Water abundantly immediately (at least 2 buckets of water), even if the soil is wet or rainy. Water will help the soil in good contact with the roots.