If you wish to add fruit trees in your property, the plum tree is an awesome choice. This fruit tree will not only improve the aesthetic appeal of your landscape, but you will also have easy access to tasty fresh fruit. However, you can achieve the greatest harvest if you follow the tips in caring for plum trees at fourwindsgrowers.com.
Is The Climate Ideal For Growing Plum Trees?
Before you grow plum trees, it is important to find out if the climate is ideal. Fortunately, plum trees are hardy and can withstand harsh conditions. There are also several varieties, so you get to choose the most suitable one for your home area.
For example, the American hybrid variety, Alderwood plum, does well in places with very low temperatures, such as zone 3.
The European plum varieties, such as the Damson, Stanley, and Greengage plums, are not as hardy as the American hybrids, but they can withstand moderately cold winters.
The Japanese varieties, like the Satsuma and Methley plums, are excellent for warmer climates.
Ensure The Soil Conditions Are Ideal
Plum trees thrive in well-drained soils. Choose a location where the fruit tree will receive as much sunshine as possible. Fortunately, soil type is not a problem since these plants grow easily on most types of soil. However, acidic to neutral soils, with a pH of 5.0-6.5, are most suitable.
Before planting, have an expert test the soil to ascertain the pH levels. This way, you will know if the soil is ideal or if you need to take measures to make the soil more acidic.
Only Fertilize When Necessary
If the soil is fertile, you may not need to add fertilizer. This is one of the reasons why soil testing is critical in the care of plum trees. Since soil fertility changes over time, it is best to keep checking the fertility to identify the nutrients you need to add to the soil.
Over-fertilizing tends to result in fast, unwanted growth, which often results in poor fruit production.
In the first year, add organic fertilizer once, preferably in early spring, right before the first leaves appear. In the second year, you may fertilize twice, early spring and at the start of the autumn season.
Mulching will help prevent weed growth, enrich the soil, and prevent evaporation during the dry months. The mulch will also come in handy during winter since it will provide the plum tree with warmth.
Mulch is critical in the first four years of a new plum tree. The best mulching period is mid-spring and in the fall. Mulching in the spring season will help the plum fruit tree start retaining moisture in readiness for the hot summer.
Water Once A Week
Young plum trees only need to be watered once a week. This will help promote healthy root growth. In the dry months, check the soil to see if you need to water the tree more regularly.
An under-watered or over-watered plum tree will start showing signs of stress. Diseases are also likely to start attacking parts of the tree.
When the tree is watered properly, it will develop a strong root system which will help make the tree drought resistant.
Plum trees do not need as much pruning as other fruit trees. However, you will need to prune it to encourage fruit growth and maintain its shape. Trim diseased, broken, or dead branches as often as possible.
You should also clear the suckers or shoots at the base of the trunk. This will ensure that water and nutrients are sufficient for the healthy parts of the tree, especially when the tree bears fruit.
Timing is also critical when pruning. Avoid pruning during winter, summer, or fall because this will expose the plum tree to diseases because the tree is actively growing during these seasons. Instead, prune during periods when the tree is dormant, such as early spring or late winter.
The plum fruits can also overwhelm the tree and even cause the branches to break because of the excessive weight. Pruning helps to prepare the tree for the fruits.
When the tree bears fruit, remove the smaller plums to give the other fruits sufficient space to grow bigger. Fruit thinning also prevents the spread of fruit diseases.
These tips will ensure you make the right decisions when you plant plum trees. The care of the trees is just as important as the choice of the fruit variety. A bumper harvest is guaranteed if you take steps to have a healthy, productive plum tree.