One of my main goals in gardening and landscaping my yard is to produce food, lots of food. I can hear my dad saying “there should be food wherever you look”. He grew up in a different era and he has always stressed the importance of self-reliance. At the time I did not understand all of the reasoning behind have food abundant in my yard, it’s likely that he tried to tell me and I ran off to ride my bike or play with Legos. Sorry Dad! Years later however, I got the message loud and clear. I remember showing him around my new backyard, with the landscaping I painstakingly planted. He asked, what’s that? He was pointing to…. an ornamental palm. He was a bit disappointed to say the least, he breathed in deeply and said, it should be food, you need to plant more food. Thankfully that palm eventually bite the dust all on its own and I have been planting fruit trees ever since!
I understand now that growing your own food puts power back into your own hands. You are able to provide nutritious, pesticide free, FRESH food to your family. You are not completely reliant on the grocery store. You have the knowledge and skills to produce food for your family’s survival if you need to. I remember as a young adult when I started grocery shopping, I was utterly shocked at the price of raspberries at the grocery store. They are sooo expensive!!! My parents dedicated a whole corner of the yard to raspberries bushes, I used to just eat, and eat, and eat them until I was satisfied. I would probably eat a $50 worth of raspberries at a time! It is possible to provide for some of your family’s needs on a small plot of land. I grew up eating raw vegetables straight from the garden, in suburbia. Fruit trees and fruit bushes are an easy low maintenance way to get started.
I like to buy fruit trees from my local landscaping company. While it is possible to grow fruit trees from seed, it takes a long time and you have to be sure to do it correctly or you may never get any fruit. Purchasing a small fruit trees provides you with a much needed head start since it may take a few years for the trees to provide a substantial harvest.
I use fruit trees throughout my yard like some people would use palms or other medium sized trees. I use them to frame the yard and anchor landscaped areas. Fruit trees have leaves throughout the year so they do triple duty. They provide screening from unwanted views, they provide shade (once they get tall enough) and they provide FOOD! Fruit trees are the ultimate landscaping tool. Below are planting instructions to ensure a healthy and happy fruit tree, I hope you enjoy your fruit trees as much as I do!
Planting instructions. Also review and follow the planting instructions provided with the fruit tree/bush you have purchased.
- Find the proper location in your yard.
- Dig a large hole. It should be twice as wide and 1 ½ times as deep.
- Using your hose, drench the hole with water until it is completely soaked. Start putting a little soil back in the hole, keep running the water. Never plant a plant in a dry hole. The plant is already in shock from being transplanted, we don’t want it to further struggle to get sufficient water on its first day in the ground! It takes a long time for the water at the surface to reach its roots. Help give it a head start using this method.
- Next, take the tree out of the pot and loosen the soil and roots a bit, be gentle.
- Place the tree in the hole. Make sure it is not too deep in the hole and that it is straight.
- Soak the hole again.
- Keep the hose running (this is easier as a two person project) as you fill in the hole with soil.
- Once the trees is planted in the soil, make sure there is flat area (about 1-2 feet in diameter) surrounded by a small mound of dirt. This will help the water stay in place to better water your new tree.
- You should water it every day for the first two weeks and then once a week thereafter, depending on its specific water needs.