Grow Your Own Fruit – Plant a Bare Root Tree

Does your gardening calendar slow down in winter?  You may be just itching to go outside and do ‘something’ to the garden in winter, but what is there to do?

You can plant bare root fruit trees…

If you live in warmer zones, (like I do), now is the time to plant bare root fruit trees before the weather warms up and causes them start growing.  For those of you who live in cold winter zones, it’s best to plant bare root fruit trees in late winter or early spring.

Just imagine a warm summer day and picking fresh fruit from your very own tree.  Then you take a bite of the delicious fruit, which makes you realize that there is absolutely NO comparison to the fruit you buy in your local grocery store – homegrown is definitely best.

My mother’s farm, just down the road, is filled with apple, apricot, peach, plum and citrus trees.  And, even though my mother is very generous with her fruit, I decided that I wanted to grow my own fruit trees in my garden.  So my husband and I headed off to the nursery and bought 2 bare root apple trees.  Here in Arizona, apples ripen in June and I love to make applesauce with them.

There are a few important things to know about planting bare root fruit trees:

- Don’t let the roots dry out, plant them right away.

- Some fruit trees cannot self-pollinate themselves…they need another tree with the same type fruit, but of a different variety to pollinate them.  Fruit that  requires cross-pollination with another variety of fruit tree include apple (in most cases), pear and sweet cherry trees.  Fruit trees that can self-pollinate themselves and can be planted singly are apricot, peach and plum, with a couple of exceptions.  In general, plant at least two different variety trees for each type of fruit because even if trees can self-pollinate, they produce more fruit when there is another variety of fruit tree nearby.  *For example, I am growing an ‘Anna’s’ and  ’Golden Dorsett’ apple trees, which will cross-pollinate each other.

- Select the best variety of fruit tree for your area.  Some fruit tree do best in areas with very cold winters, while other varieties do well in warmer climates.  Check your local cooperative extension office for a list of fruit tree varieties that do best where you live.

Birds & Blooms has an excellent article “Time for Apples” that is filled with lots of helpful tips including how to plant a bare root fruit trees.

So, even though it may be cold and bleak in your garden – envision a beautiful fruit tree growing filled with delicious fruit and get ready to plant your own bare root fruit tree this winter.

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