New Challenges Require Better Preparations
The Fruit Tree Program’s Updated Planting Recommendations
by Janis Norton
Here at The Urban Farm Nursery, are very aware that the conditions our trees face these days are hotter, drier, and harsher. We’ve experienced losses and struggles too and know the heartbreak of having to remove a tree that did not thrive. We are also hearing from our customers who share their concerns, asking us to help out and to save their trees. We care too much to not do something about it and help our customers take the steps towards fruit tree success.
We have been working with experts having many decades of experience at our nursery suppliers and testing products from our trusted local fertilizer and amendment suppliers. We have experimented with a new Nutritional Program that expands on the traditional fertilization recommendations, even going so far as to watch the difference between trees and plants on the program and off. Gathering all our research and personal experience, we have adjusted our planting recommendations to give our trees the best starting point in their new homes in your yards, urban farms, and orchards.
Dormant, bare root trees can be better prepared for planting by treating their roots with nutrients. Citrus trees do not go dormant and can benefit from additional nutrients while protecting the root and soil microbe structure already in place.
The following instructions are amended to include the use of liquid amendments before planting and additional quantities of dry amendments in the planting soil.
Step 1) Prepare the trees and the hole for planting.
For BARE ROOT trees and plants – Prepare 1-5 bare root trees as follows using a five-gallon bucket, tub, or basin:
For CITRUS and potted plants – After digging the hole, prep each hole by generously spraying the sides and bottom with this mixture:
Step 2) Dig the hole and prepare the soil mix.
Take 40% of the soil from the hole and mix with planting mix, amendments and fertilizer as follows:
- 40% Native soil (from the hole)
- 60% Farmer Greg’s Planting Mix (boost your organic material with quality ingredients)
- TWO portions of Urban Farm’s Starter Amendments which includes
- 2 pounds worm castings, and
- 2 pounds AZOMITE, and
- 2 ounces of mycorrhizae
- 2 lbs. (2.5 cups) ORGANIC fertilizer such as BioFlora Crumbles or Tank’s SuperMix (ONLY USE ORGANIC)
Step 3) Plant tree according to our guidelines and apply remaining solution.
After planting pour any remaining solution on tree mound and before filling basin with woodchips. Follow with deep watering.
- Bare root solution in the five gallons can be divided for up to 5 trees.
- Citrus solution is 1 gallon per each tree.
Step 4) Fill the basin with wood chips, and plan to plant a living ground cover.
The best living ground covers are plants that work well on the same watering schedule as trees and grow well during the summer such as sweet potatoes and or cow peas. This step is essential to prevent moisture loss, regulate soil temperatures, and build new soil. You can use a variety of methods to keep the wood chips in the basin, there is no hard rule about the best way.
By following the above recommendations, your trees will be better prepared to thrive in our extreme desert climates. Shade, planting depth, and watering needs are also important considerations which we cover in our fruit tree classes and other articles. For those who have purchased a tree from us, if problems arise contact us early with photos and a description of the care steps you are taking so we can assist you.
About this author:
Janis Norton. General Manager of The Urban Farm
Shop for supplies at: Store.UrbanFarm.org