Spring has arrived for some and is still around the corner for others. No matter what climate you are in, there are still some preparations to be made that can provide successful growth for the year ahead. Be sure to check out our top 6 tips for early spring fruit tree care below!
1. Fertilize – It’s time to start the early spring application of organic fertilizer and layering of compost. Only fertilize if soil is especially nutrient deficient. Over fertilizing with excess Nitrogen can burn the roots of fruit trees or end up causing vigorous vegetative growth and limited fruiting. Phosphorus is the nutrient necessary for bud and fruit development so be sure to choose a well balanced fertilizer. Adding additional compost or microbial inculcates, such as Bokoshi, to the top soil is also advised.
2. Finish Any Last Minute Pruning – Prune back any dead branches and overgrowth from your fruit trees while making sure to not remove more than 1/3 of the canopy. Ensure that branches have efficient air-flow in between and remove any overlapping branches.
3. Weeding – Warmer weather brings growth of all kinds, including the pesky weeds. It’s time to start removing all unwanted competing growth near all of your fruit trees and shrubs.
4. Mulching – After weeding, adding a nice layer of mulch is essential to keep those weeds from growing and to help insulate the ground for controlled moisture.
5. Grafting – Grafting is performed best before bud break so be sure to graft any cuttings onto root stock in early spring to ensure enough time for the tree to fuse and develop.
5. Pest and Disease Control – It is recommended to spray trees with dormant oil spray, neem oil, or alternate organic fungicides right before bud break to keep any pests or disease development at bay.
6. Mason Bee Release – Mason bees make great companions to your fruit trees. They help ensure that proper pollination takes place by buzzing around to all the inviting blossoms to collect and transfer pollen. Chances of fruit development certainly increases with having these flying friends around! Release your mason bees once temperatures are consistently above 55°F and when you begin to see flower formation.
At OGW we offer a diversity of food plants and their companions from around the world. We offer unique and rare fruit and nut trees, shrubs, and vines. We've been sharing our passion for edible plants and organic gardening since 1994. We are a family owned and operated nursery in Portland Oregon. We ship our seeds & plants to all 50 states. At our retail garden center we offer seasonal fruit tasting, preservation and plant care classes as well as hold events in the community. We support local food sovereignty- grow your own One Green World!