There’s nothing better than biting into fresh fruit, and you won’t find fruit much fresher than the one you pluck right off the tree. Planting an orchard is a long-term investment that your household will enjoy for years to come. However, orchards take both hard work and careful planning. Taking the time to research what to do before planning an orchard can spell the difference between a bountiful harvest and a fruitless one.
Test the Soil
Not all soil is suitable for every type of plant growth. Some soil is more suitable for planting fruit trees than others. Fortunately, it is possible to ascertain what kind of soil you have before planting your orchard. A soil assessment will determine your soil’s pH and nutrient levels, drainage properties, texture, and other attributes that may impede your ability to plant in the area.
The soil test will be able to tell you whether you will need to add additional nutrients to your soil to grow specific trees. For instance, if the soil is too acidic, you may need to treat it with lime. If the texture is too hard-packed, you may need to add gypsum.
Observe the Sun
Just because a tree is outside doesn’t mean that it is getting adequate sunlight. This is especially true of young trees. Take the time to observe the position of the sun in relation to the area where you want to plant your orchard. Does the level of sunlight that reaches that spot change much throughout the day? Do nearby buildings or trees obscure the area? Remember, the ideal orchard spot gets as much direct sunlight as possible for as long as possible.
Research Your Trees
Even if you have incredible soil and sufficient sunlight, some trees just won’t grow well in central Texas. While this list is not all-encompassing, it may help you narrow down your choices for trees to plant in the Austin area:
- Fig trees
- Plum trees
- Olive trees
- Red and Golden Delicious apple trees
- Moonglow, Kieffer, and Warren pear trees
- Ranger, Belle of Georgia, and Fayette peach trees
Along with regional differences, you should also research the needs of individual tree species. Look for information on optimal planting times and how many years you have to wait until you can harvest the fruit. You will also need to research the best practices for pruning and trimming your tree varieties. Trimming in the fall and spring can result in a more bountiful fruit yield.
Prepare the Space
Once you have established where you are going to plant your orchard, it’s important to prepare the area. If the space where you intend on planting is full of underbrush and old tree stumps, it may be necessary to clear out the area. Reach out to SID Mourning Tree Service. We provide professional lot clearing here in Austin, TX, to help you make your landscaping dreams a reality. From there, you’ll be able to take the first steps toward planting your orchard.