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    »Selling at Farmers Markets«

  • TorontoSEO 11:35 PM on June 21, 2010 Permalink |
    Tags: , , , , , Orange, orange trees, oranges, Selling at Farmers Markets, , , , ,   

    Selling at Farmers Markets

    Usually the main motivation for planting a fruit tree is just the joy of maintaining a tree and eating the delicious fruit that comes from it. However, in my personal experience it is possible to go on a quite lucrative venture with fruit trees by operating a fruit stand or participating in a farmer’s market.

    When I moved to Florida, I was slightly depressed at the fact that I had just left behind years and years of hard work to get my lawn to the point it was. However, I was able to healthily channel this depression into the desire to get a new and more beautiful garden and lawn setup going. The house I moved into was nice, but the previous owner obviously had no gardening prowess. The lawn was barren of any features besides grass. Lots and lots of grass.

    I decided that since I was now in a new climate that I had never experienced before, I would grow some trees that I didn’t have the opportunity to grow before. I decided to do the truly Floridian thing to do, and get a few orange trees. It was a lot easier than I had imagined. I’ve had some rather disastrous experiences with planting trees in the past, and planting the orange trees was no problem at all. I decided to go with Valencia oranges, just because they are the most popular orange to grow and almost everyone is able to grow them successfully.

    After I picked out what type of orange I wanted, I decided to get three trees. It took me about 3 days to dig all the necessary holes and install the trees. It was a flawless operation, and I truly felt like an expert. The trees grew healthy and straight, and produced fruit at the time of year they were expected to.

    For the three or four years, my orange trees didn’t produce very much fruit. Sure I never ran out of oranges for my own personal usage, and I drank almost nothing but orange juice, but I didn’t have the ludicrous amount that you might expect from 3 trees. I wouldn’t say I was disappointed with my trees. I was happy to be getting any fruit at all. But I had heard of people getting thousands and thousands of oranges from several trees, and I was slightly baffled as to why I wasn’t so fortunate.

    About a year after that, my orange trees really took off. I walked outside one day to see about 5 times as many oranges as I had grown in any previous seasons. I thought I was seeing things, but they all stuck around. I harvested so many oranges that year, I hardly even knew what to do with all of them. That was when my neighbor suggested to me that I sell at a farmer’s market. I found out the time that they go on, and rented a spot for my truck (some farmers markets allow you to come and sell for free, but mind charged rent just to park your truck).

    Within the first day at the farmer’s market, I had made back all the money I spent on the original trees. My oranges were truly a hit, and I was getting more customers than any of the other participants. After that week, I didn’t miss a day at the farmer’s market. It wasn’t enough money to live off of, but it was a good amount for just selling some oranges. Besides, what else would I have done with them? I certainly couldn’t have eaten them all by myself. So if you have an excess of fruit, you should never throw it away or try to eat it all by yourself. Take it to the farmer’s market and try to get some extra cash for your gardening labor. If your products are delicious, you might just be a hit with the consumers.

     

  • »Removing Old Trees«

  • TorontoSEO 11:35 PM on June 20, 2010 Permalink |
    Tags: , , , , painful choice, power line, Removing Old Trees, , , , , , , tree removal,   

    Removing Old Trees

    Sometimes a tree gets to the point where it is necessary to say goodbye to it. It can be a painful choice to make, but sometimes the tree gets too close to the house, gets too diseased, gets an incurable infestation of some pest, or grows too tall and gets close to a power line. If any of these things occur, its best to do the right thing and get rid of the tree. Although you might have spent hours and hours getting the tree to where it is today, it is almost dishonorable to the tree to allow it to suffer in bad conditions.

    Once you have made the choice to remove the tree, you need to plan its removal. I can’t begin to count how many windows I’ve seen knocked out or cars I’ve seen crushed because of poor planning in the tree removal process. Decide what direction you want it to fall, and accurately measure to make sure it will fall completely clear of anything else that it could possibly cause damage to.

    Once you have the falling direction planned out, you should climb up the tree and tie two long ropes near the top. Anchor them on the opposite side of the one that you want it to fall towards. This will allow you to adjust the direction the tree is being lowered in, just in case it starts leaning towards anything it could destroy.

    Now that you’ve taken all the necessary precautions, you are ready to begin chopping. If you plan on using a manually operated saw or axe, please step back and consider how insane that is. Chopping down a tree by hand will take you forever, and will not even begin to be as accurate as using a chainsaw. If you don’t have a chainsaw, you shouldn’t even consider doing it without one. Ask around with your neighbors and see if anyone has one that you could borrow. If that doesn’t work, rent or buy one from your local home improvement store.

    Before you start chopping away at the tree, you should wear proper eye and face protection in case any wood chips fly towards your eyes. I had a friend who blinded his right eye while cutting down a tree, so I hope all of my readers do not make the same mistake as he did. Whenever you operate a power tool, always be sure to wear proper protection for any exposed parts of your body.

    When making the cut, you do not want to just cut a straight line into the tree. It is best to cut a sideways “V” into the tree. This is because if you cut the straight line, the tree will end up rolling to one side or the other. If you cut in a “V”, the tree will be able to fall in the exact direction that you want it to fall. Occasionally it might be a few feet off due to human error during the cutting process, but if you have some strong friends pull on the ropes you tied, you can line it back up with the path you wanted it to take. The entire process shouldn’t take more than an hour.

    Removal of the stump can be slightly more difficult. You have several choices; you can rent out a stump chipper that will completely destroy the visible section of the stump. Or you can spend countless hours digging it out. Digging out the stump is much more thorough, but takes forever. If you have kids this shouldn’t be a problem. Kids often find the thought of digging fun, and are excited to go outside and dig all day long with their friends. This was the method I used, and I had the entire stump out within a week. Keep in mind that my stump was about 1 foot in diameter, and digging probably won’t work for stumps much larger than that.

     

  • »Pruning Your Trees«

  • TorontoSEO 11:35 PM on June 18, 2010 Permalink |
    Tags: , , , , , Pruning Your Trees, , , , , , , , Trees Pruning   

    Pruning Your Trees

    If you have just entered the tree growing world, you have no doubt heard the term “pruning” tossed around by the more veteran growers. Well, I have something to admit. For several years, I did not even know what pruning was. I heard the term a lot, but I never felt comfortable asking someone what exactly it was. Even though it would have benefited my gardening and tree growing, I was too prideful to ask. I’ve found that pride is the reason for the failure of many great endeavors; if I had just asked someone what pruning was, I wouldn’t have undergone a few of the disasters that occurred during my first years of gardening.

    Pruning is the removal of dead or unneeded branches to encourage the growth of flowers. Usually a tree will end up devoting energy to branches that don’t need it, while neglecting branches which are bearing more fruit. If you remove the branches that are taking all the nutrients, you will begin to see a flourish in the other ones. Pruning also keeps the tree in shape by keeping the branches even. This prevents it from becoming weighed down on one side. Having too many branches on one side could cause the tree to become permanently crooked.

    Many gardeners don’t even think about pruning their trees until they start to bear fruit. This is a big mistake, and you should never neglect to care for a tree just because it hasn’t yet begun to produce. During the entire process of growth, you should prune the tree in a way that it is even and uniform. Then, when it does start to produce fruit, the results will be significantly greater. It is very easy to tell the difference between a tree that has been pruned regularly during its growth, and one that has been neglected. Generally the shape of the tree is much more natural looking if it has been pruned.

    The first thing to look for when you start pruning is any branches which are dead or diseased. These are quite easy to recognize. Usually they don’t bear any fruit, and might be misshapen or discolored. Don’t hesitate at all in chopping these guys off, as they are nothing but detrimental to the health of your tree. Sometimes a branch can be dead or diseased without making it too obvious. If this is the case, simply wait until the tree is flowering and it will become obvious by not growing anything.

    The second type of branch to look for is the branch that is too close in range to all the other ones. If it grows at such a length and angle that the end is right next to all the other branches, they might end up crowding each other out. Take off the smaller of the two branches to allow the larger one to have the breathing room that it needs. This same rule applies to the weight balance of your tree. Sometimes, for reasons we will never understand, a tree will grow several branches on one side and weigh itself into being lopsided.

    So hopefully I have provided you with a basic knowledge of pruning. There are more situations and types of branches that require pruning, but what I’ve outlined is the very basic parts. These can alter depending on how old your tree is. For example, for the first 3 years of a tree’s growth it requires pruning that follows more “formative” guidelines. After the tree is well established, you will need to use “regulatory” pruning to keep it where you would like it to be. There are entire books written on how to prune trees depending on how old they are. There are far too many techniques for me to go over, so if you want to use these advanced techniques then you should go to your local library and check out a book.

     

  • »Protecting Trees with Bird Netting«

  • TorontoSEO 11:35 PM on June 17, 2010 Permalink |
    Tags: , , Bird Netting, cherries, , , , , Protecting Trees with Bird Netting, , , , , ,   

    Protecting Trees with Bird Netting

    If you have a problem with birds, you have probably tried many solutions. Some of the most popular include plastic animals, scarecrows, wind chimes, or highly reflective tape. All of these things can do a great job of reducing bird problems. I have quite a few cherry trees in my backyard, and I used to struggle a lot with birds. After I applied all of these solutions, my problem went almost completely away. Unfortunately, the solution only lasted a few months.

    Apparently, birds have a natural tendency to get bolder as time goes by. While at first my scarecrow scared them senseless, now I look outside and see them sitting on his shoulder. And munching on cherries from my tree. Those insolent little fiends! I’m not saying I mind birds. I love having them around my yard. But you see, I’ve already designated one tree specifically for allowing birds to eat off of. But it seems that birds can’t be content with what they’re given. They always feel the need to go over to my own trees when there is a tree just for them that doesn’t have any scary things around it.

    I saw many gardening stores marketing a type of bird netting. I decided to use it. Bird netting is basically a giant net that you throw over the entire tree. The holes are about one half of an inch wide. I purchased enough of this to cover one whole tree. It was quite a hassle to install, but it definitely worked after that. I didn’t have any more problems with birds taking cherries from that tree. But one day I woke up and made my daily rounds. On that day, I found 2 birds caught in the netting that had been choked to death. I felt absolutely terrible. I buried the birds and immediately took down that netting. I didn’t want to protect my tree at the cost of the birds’ lives! Sure, I’ll kill off a few bugs, but birds are a little too nice for me.

    For a while I felt too guilty to prevent the birds from eating any more. I thought that I would make it up to them by letting them feast on my cherries. I even took down my scarecrow. But a few months later I saw something in a fabric store that made me rethink my generosity. Almost every fabric store sells a material called “tulle”. It is very fine netting with holes too small for any bird to fit its beak or head into. While it is easy to find, it is also extremely cheap. Buying enough to cover one tree ended up costing less than half of what it cost for the lethal bird netting.

    I installed the tulle onto my tree (I’ll admit it was a lot harder to install than the bird netting was. I had to attach several large pieces together at the seams) and watched it for a day. I wanted to keep an eye on it every second, so that if a bird got caught I could quickly help it out. Fortunately, no bird ever got caught. Tulle is a much safer and cheaper alternative to bird netting, and I suggest it if you have any problems with birds. Just remember to let them have at least one tree for themselves! Sharing with birds is an essential part of being a good gardener.

     

  • »Picking the Ideal Spot for your Fruit Tree«

  • TorontoSEO 11:07 PM on June 14, 2010 Permalink |
    Tags: , , , , Picking, Picking the Ideal Spot for your Fruit Tree, , , , , , ,   

    Picking the Ideal Spot for your Fruit Tree

    When growing a fruit tree, choosing the right place to plant it is very important. One thing that you have to consider is its proximity to a building, electric line, side walk, or any other thing that might disrupt its growing. Once you have planted a fruit tree, the chances of unearthing it and changing its spot without killing it are very slim. Therefore you must always be sure you know which size fruit tree you have (dwarf, semi dwarf, or standard) and how big it will end up being once it is an adult. Dwarf trees need an area with an eight-foot diameter to grow. Semi-dwarf fruit trees can grow up to fifteen feet wide. Standard fruit trees can grow as wide as thirty feet. To keep the size of your fruit tree(s) at whatever level is best for you, be sure to prune them at least once a year.

    Another thing that you have to consider when planting a fruit tree it whether or not it is getting all of the sunlight it needs to survive. You also have to be sure it doesn’t get too much sunlight. If your tree doesn’t get just the right amount of sun, it will die. Be sure that you do not plant it where the sunlight will be blocked by something. Also be sure that it isn’t being constantly hit be the sun at every moment of the day. Either of these can be fatal to the tree.

    An important thing to keep in mind when choosing a spot for your tree is whether your spot will be convenient for watering, harvesting, and pruning. A place that would not be good to plant a fruit tree is close to your house or your fence. Any of these things could get in the way of you harvesting and pruning. If your tree grows over your fence the fruit could drop into your neighbor’s yard, which might seem like a nice thing but would probably offend some people. You should also be sure to plant your tree where it will be easy to water; if you already have a sprinkler system in your yard you could put your tree where the sprinkler could reach it. If you do not have a sprinkler system installed, you should put the tree within reach of your hose.

    One of the most important things of all to keep in mind when planting a fruit tree is whether or not your soil in your yard is suitable for your tree. You have to make sure that is has enough nutrients, it has enough moisture, there is proper water drainage so your tree doesn’t drown, and it is the right texture. If your soil doesn’t have these traits then your tree won’t grow very well or produce good fruit. You can always alter your soil to be more suitable for your tree. One way that you can find out what kind of soil you have is by taking a sample of it and taking it to a lab. It may be expensive, but they can test it for what nutrients it has the most of. You’ll have the results back in a couple of days. If your soil is low in nutrients, you can go to your local nursery, or any other store with gardening supplies, and get fertilizer according to what your soil is most lacking in.

    After you have checked on all of these things, you are finally ready to go choose what kind of fruit tree you want and get ready to plant it. When you are choosing your tree keep in mind the spot you picked, and buy the tree that would do best in that spot. The worst thing that can possibly happen is devoting time and money to growing a tree, only to end up having to remove it because of poor planning.

     

  • »My First Tree«

  • TorontoSEO 11:07 PM on June 12, 2010 Permalink |
    Tags: , , , fence, , My First Tree, , , , , , , , tree planting   

    My First Tree

    Almost everyone’s first tree experience has some embarrassing events. Nobody can be an expert right away; we all make mistakes that sometimes haunt us for years afterwards. Some of us make worse mistakes than others, though. I think that if there was an award for being the most naïve person to ever attempt growing a tree, I would win.

    When I decided to plant a tree of my own, I had the perfect spot in mind. There was a gap between my house and my fence of about 5 feet. It was probably the least traveled area of my whole lawn, and I thought it could use something to spice it up. Maybe if I provided some lovely shade, it would become more used by my family. I envisioned a little picnic paradise in the shade, where my family could go just to be with each other and nature. Boy was I wrong.

    I decided on a nice apple tree. Despite the risk of apples falling on our heads, I thought it would be a treat to sit under the shade and munch on delicious home grown apples. Just the thought of this romantic, poignant activity was enough to make me drive my self to the nursery and purchase the first apple tree in sight. I didn’t know enough about trees to look at the roots or any of the signs that it could be an unhealthy tree. I spent the required amount of money and had the tree delivered right to my house.

    I dug the hole right where I wanted the tree. This took almost the rest of the day. Holes are an easy thing to underestimate. It’s easy to say that a hole will only take an hour or two, but once you actually start digging it usually progresses a lot slower than you would have estimated. By the time I actually got the hole big enough to fit the ball of roots, I certainly didn’t feel like digging another few feet around the perimeter as most tree planting guides suggest. I was just ready to place the tree. With the help of my morbidly obese neighbor, I lifted the tree across the yard and dropped it into my hole. Then, it was time to fill in the hole.

    I couldn’t have been happier once I filled in that last shovel load of dirt. I stood back to admire my work. That was when my 3 year old daughter said something that crushed my spirits, and haunts me to this day. “Daddy, that tree stands up like grandpa!” My father is a great man, and if she had compared any other aspect of the tree to him I would have considered it an honor. But unfortunately his back has been deteriorating lately, and he can’t stand up very straight. I noticed that my tree did indeed have a similarity to his posture.

    Thinking this was a problem that the tree would naturally outgrow, I decided to leave it for a while to see what happens. Every day I went out to check on the progress of the tree; to see if it was any straighter than it was the day before. I daily had my spirits crushed when I saw that it had not improved at all. Not wanting to put forth the effort of removing it from my yard, I decided to just forget about it. I never went over to that side of the house again and almost completely pushed the tree from my mind. I decided that if any problem ever came about from leaving the tree there, I would pack up my furniture and flee the state. That’s how much I was humiliated by my tree experience.

    After about 3 years of completely ignoring that the tree ever existed, I was sitting in my house one day and heard a loud crash. I ran outside to see what the problem was, just to see that my tree had grown to such an unmanageable size that it had taken out my gutter and part of my neighbor’s fence. I moved out of state within a week.

     

  • »Maintaining a Healthy Young Tree«

  • TorontoSEO 11:07 PM on June 11, 2010 Permalink |
    Tags: , , , , Maintaining a Healthy Young Tree, , , , , , , ,   

    Maintaining a Healthy Young Tree

    Making sure that your fruit tree stays healthy is very important, but not as hard as some might think. There are several vital things you need to do: don’t harvest all of the fruit on the tree at the same time; make sure the soil is healthy; watch out for pests; plant it correctly; be sure it is protected when it is young. I will expand on all of these things.

    One way to ensure that your fruit tree will remain healthy is to never harvest all of the fruit at the same time. If all of the fruit is left on the tree, it will grow to an unbearable weight. The combined weight of all of the fruit can get very heavy and snap the branches. So once the fruit starts to grow, you should always pick some of them before they are completely ready. Even if you don’t want to pick the fruit before it is ready, it will be beneficial to your tree. While you should do this to prevent it from becoming too heavy, you should also never over-harvest. This can be equally damaging.

    Another part of making sure that your fruit tree stays healthy is planting it in fertile soil. If you plant anything in soil that doesn’t have the proper amount of nutrients in it, it will not grow and flourish as I am sure you would like it to. You also have to be sure that you plant the right tree in the right kind of soil, because some types of fruit trees do better in drier soil while some kinds or trees do better in damp soil. Just look up what kinds of nutrients your desired tree requires and you’ll know for sure whether to plant it or modify your soil in any way.

    Another way to ensure your fruit tree’s health is to watch out for pests. To help keep the pests away from your tree, try to eliminate places by your tree that pests might be living. Always look for old piles of brush, weeds, old leaves, or any other decaying matter where pests could be hiding. Another way to keep pests away is by using bug sprays and repellents. Also, regularly turn over a little bit of soil around your tree and look for pests that could be hiding underground. Sometimes the ones that are hidden out of sight can be the most harmful.

    If you don’t plant your fruit tree correctly, it could end up being very unhealthy. So to avoid this, always look for instructions before you plant trees. When you are planting a tree, make sure that your tree is perfectly vertical, so it won’t grow to be pointing off in an abnormal direction. When you are planting a tree you should also spread out the roots so that the tree will always be stable. This will help it live longer since the maximum water intake will be optimized.

    The final thing to do in keeping your fruit tree healthy is to keep it protected when it is young and fragile. When you have a young tree you should tie it to a stake to help it to survive strong winds. Don’t tie it too hard, you should always allow room for the tree trunk to grow. Another thing to do when it is young is to put a small fence around it. This can help keep it safe from animals that will eat its bark if given the chance. A fence will also help to guard the base against strong wind and other weather.

    If you follow all of this advice during the early years of your tree, you should have an experience that is nothing but joyful. Hopefully you’ll learn from the mistakes of others, and take great care of your tree. Just remember to always look up information on the type of tree you have, so that you can find out what exactly it requires.

     

  • »Training Branches to go where You Want«

  • TorontoSEO 11:35 PM on June 10, 2010 Permalink |
    Tags: , , , , fruit growth, , , , , , , , , Training Branches, Training Branches to go where You Want,   

    Training Branches to go where You Want

    Many people associate pruning with changing the structure of your tree to fit a different shape or style. However, this is not the case. Altering the structure of the tree is known as “Tree Training”. This is a much better way to develop an alternate form for your tree. Pruning should be used to prevent diseases, prevent lopsidedness, and encourage healthier fruit growth.

    Pruning is also used to maintain the proper shape for the tree. For example, if you have an abundance of branches on one particular side of the tree, then you will use pruning to get rid of the larger segments which weigh down the tree to one side. Think about it more in terms of maintaining rather than altering. While pruning is useful occasionally, most of the time you can use training as a healthier and more efficient alternative.

    Training has not been around for very long. Through tying down branches or propping them up from the ground, one can direct the growth of the tree to take whatever shape they want. This theory is usually used in the early days of the tree to encourage it to develop fully. If you direct the tree and get it started off on the right foot, you’ll save yourself a lot of pruning time later.

    Usually, training occurs during the summer. Rather than just cut off all the branches that aren’t going in the right way, you try to redirect them. The mechanisms you use can be thought of as orthodontic braces for your fruit tree. They pull or push the branches, like teeth, in whatever direction you want them to go. Eventually they naturally grow that way due to your training.

    It can be hard to decide how exactly to train your tree. There are many different forms and shapes to choose from. Some are meant to allow a high density of trees in one orchard, and some are meant to provide maximum fruit bearing per tree. Depending on where your tree is and how you want it to function, you will have to look for different types of forms that will perfectly fit your situation.

    The theories of training can also be applied even if you are growing a tree in the traditional (natural) form. Sometimes branches will grow too close together and block each other out, so training them to grow away from each other can prevent the need to prune them later. This is highly beneficial even if you are just growing a tree in your backyard, in a non professional environment.

    To train a tree, you will need some sort of outside brace to push or pull a branch. Alternately, if you want to push 2 branches closer together or further apart, you can place something in between them or lash them together with rope. Successfully training your branches just takes a little imagination in deciding what to tie things to and what to push things off of. I have found that stakes, fences, or simply an upright two by four leaning away can work wonders.

    There is no tree grower that couldn’t benefit from using a little training in their tree growing escapades. Whether you have decided to give your trees a completely new form, or just optimize the branch placement for healthier fruit, there is surely some way that training can benefit you.

     

  • »How to Safely Spray Pesticide«

  • TorontoSEO 11:07 PM on June 10, 2010 Permalink |
    Tags: , , , How to Safely Spray Pesticide, , Pesticide, , , , , , ,   

    How to Safely Spray Pesticide

    If you want to protect your fruit tree from pests during the summer, this is almost impossible to accomplish without the use of pesticides or chemicals. This might scare some people into thinking that the actual fruits will contain traces of the chemicals. If you do things correctly, you can get rid of all the pests and not infect the actual tree. If you’re going to be spraying chemicals, you most likely will be using either a handheld pump or a hose-end sprayer.

    If you’re using the pump sprayers, you will be able to more accurately determine the mixing of the chemicals. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to spray it very far. Usually it won’t reach the tops of trees. This can be achieved with the hose end sprayers, but getting the correct mix of chemicals is quite a challenge. It all depends on your water pressure to get the correct mixture of chemicals, but water pressure is not constant. One day it might be lower, in which case your chemical content would be higher. The types of materials you buy for hose application are generally in an extremely strong form. They need to be severely diluted before they are weak enough to apply.

    When you are mixing the chemicals for spraying, you need to follow the directions exactly. You are dealing with dangerous chemicals, so its best to do exactly what the professionals recommend and wear the proper protective gear. When you’re dealing with chemicals like this, you should always wear rubber gloves. Use the exact portions indicated on the label. Estimation won’t work in this case, and you could end up killing your tree or not killing any bugs. You should usually start by putting in the proper amount of pesticide, and then top it off with all the water.

    Now comes the spraying. The goal is to spray the same amount over all the areas. You still don’t want to spray so much that enough builds up to drip off of the leaves. Usually you will want to get a ladder so that you can get within spraying distance of all the portions of the tree. Apply the pesticide in even, full sweeps as to hit every piece. Never go over the same part twice, because that is when you start to drip.

    If you’re dealing with a large and well developed tree, you should stand on a ladder under the base of the trunk. Spray all segments from the inside towards the outside. After you are done spraying the outer canopy, you’re ready to get out from under there and work on the rest. Once you are done cleaning, be sure to fully and thoroughly clean off every bit of equipment you used, including your clothes. Don’t include the clothes you wore while spraying in the rest of your family’s laundry.

    While you’re spraying for pests, the main thing to keep in mind is to avoid dripping onto the ground. When this happens, the pesticides will be absorbed by the roots of the tree and be transported to the actual fruits on the trees. As long as the pesticides stay on the outside and you wash your fruit thoroughly before you eat it, you will have nothing to worry about as far as being poisoned goes.

     

  • »How to Prevent Small Fruits«

  • TorontoSEO 11:07 PM on June 8, 2010 Permalink |
    Tags: , , , Fruits, , grower, How to Prevent Small Fruits, , , , , , tree grower   

    How to Prevent Small Fruits

    The one thing that usually shocks new tree growers is the fact that the fruits produced by their tree are much smaller than the ones they’re used to seeing at the grocery store. “What is wrong with my tree?!”, “My God! What have I done!?” are some cried you may hear from the disgruntled tree grower. However, small fruits are a natural occurrence. But while smaller fruits might be what nature originally intended, it is possible to attain larger fruits without any genetic altering or added chemicals. It is only through advanced techniques that the professionals reach such large sizes with their fruits.

    Usually in the early stages of a fruit trees growing, veterans do something called “fruit thinning”. The theory behind this process is that with less fruits to pay attention to, the tree will be able to more efficiently send cells to the leftover fruits. When there are hundreds of little fruits on one tree, competing for the available materials necessary for growth, you will most likely just end up with a bunch of stunted fruits. To take care of this problem, simply pluck a third of the fruits extremely early on in the process. You should notice larger fruits that season.

    On almost any tree, the success of each individual fruit depends on the spacing. Usually there should not be any fruits within six to eight inches of each other. During the fruit thinning process, this is the distance you should generally aim for to optimize the amount of nutrition that each fruit gets. Any closer and you’ll find they are crowding each other out. Usually this is the first mistake that a new tree grower makes. Having tons of fruit starting to grow is not always a good thing!

    Sometimes small fruits are caused by conditions out of the gardener’s control. During the process of cell division that all new fruits go through, cool weather can be fatal to the largeness of your fruits. Likewise, if the weather is particularly cloudy very early in the season, then fewer carbohydrates will be available to your plants. Occasionally, if the factors are all against the well being of your fruit tree, then the fruits will drop to the ground before they are even ripe. A lack of water or certain nutrients, or excessive pests and diseases can also damage the growth of fruits. If you notice these things going on early in the season, you should do more fruit thinning than normal. Sometimes as much as three fourths of the fruits should come off, to allow full nutrition to those who remain.

    The best way to find out how to gain larger fruit sizes is to experiment. If your tree has been around for a while, there is almost nothing you can do to it to cause it to die or stop producing fruit. Just test different thinning techniques or anything you can think of to make the fruits larger. You might even head down to your local nursery and enquire about what they would suggest. They will be able to give you advice based on your region and specific tree, which is better than anything I could tell you. So don’t settle with small fruits. Go out there and find out what exactly you need to do to improve the size.

     
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