Steps to Success

A note about fruit trees, desert growing success, &
what kind of guarantee The Urban Farm Nursery offers!

Taking on ownership of a fruit tree is not just about paying for the tree. This is a living creature and needs to be treated as such. The first and biggest step in this process is to observe the space where you want to plant the trees and make sure that, if you were the tree, you would want to live in the space. Go out and stand in the spot for a couple of hours in the middle of an August afternoon to see what it is like. Then plan accordingly to make sure your new adopted trees thrive.

There are so many factors that go into growing healthy trees in the desert and most of them The Urban Farm Nursery has no control over, especially once you pick them up trees from our yard. This is why we offer extensive, free education to contribute to your success!

Here is a little background on your trees before they arrive to you:

First, we only bring in trees that will thrive and produce here in our climate, unless we tell you up front that a particular plant is experimental. The experimental ones are clearly marked in our shopping cart and at the tree yard.  

When we order our trees, we take into consideration many factors including:

  • The amount of chill hours required for each tree to make fruit,
  • Which root stocks will do best here in the desert,
  • The ripening times for each fruit tree (it is very important for most soft flesh fruit to ripen and be harvested off the tree by July 10),
  • The viability of specific trees to actually produce fruit here in the desert southwest,
  • Plus many others.

Second, we offer extensive classes and education about fruit tree and orchard culture in the desert southwest. This begins with our Fruit Tree Launch Extravaganza one early Saturday of September each year. This is a free event designed to bring you experts that share their knowledge about growing fruit trees in the desert. This event is only the first step of the educational process, additionally we offer fruit tree classes both in person and online. PLUS a lot of our content is recorded, and available for you to learn from with your fruit tree program membership. On top of that, we love to reach as many people possible, so if you have a group that would like to have a personal class, we can schedule a special event.To book Greg as a speaker click HERE!

Third, we only work with reputable and proven nurseries to source our products. Our two main suppliers have provided us trees since 1999 and 2004. When your trees arrive, we inspect them to make sure they are alive, healthy and in great shape. Otherwise we send them back, which we have done on several occasions. 

Additionally, when the deciduous trees (NOT citrus) arrive, they need to be pruned and cleaned up. We have an entire process where we inspect each tree and prune them for their best growth. This is all done before you arrive, plus we often recommend additional pruning, which we will help you with, before planting your trees!

Fourth, we have no control how the trees are treated once they leave our lot. We do everything possible to make sure that your trees are packaged properly for their trip home.  Then it is VERY important that you plant them immediately upon arrival home. We recommend that you pre-dig your holes and have the space ready for the trees. We do our best to share with you best practices, however once you have the trees there are so many variables which we have absolutely no control over that can negatively affect your trees.

The bottom line is that we do everything we can to assure that your trees are the best for our climate and the most healthy trees when you pick them up. If you do what we tell you to do there is a much higher likelihood that they will thrive. Hence these are the reasons that our trees do not carry an explicit guarantee except that they are alive when you pick them up.

What you need to do: 

All this being said, I absolutely hate it when the trees that you get from the Urban Farm Fruit Tree Program don’t make it. So this is what we request:

  1. Plant your trees fully following our directions (all of which is laid out in your member instructions that you receive when you picked up your trees):
    a. Dig your hole to the proper size for your tree, generally 12-18 inches deep and about 18 inches wide. Square holes work best.
    . Use a combination of 40% native soil and 60% Farmer Greg’s Planting Mix,
    c. Use the amendments: AZOMITE, worm castings, and mycorrhizae per our instructions,
    d. Plant the tree at the correct depth and on a hill in the middle,
    e. Build a large (minimum 6 foot diameter) basin around the tree, apply our 6″/6′ Rule (DON’T SKIMP) for the basin, 
    f.  Get yourself a moisture meter, and use it,
    g. Water and fertilize per our directions, use our tree care guidelines and schedule.
    h. Document this process on your phone!
  2. The moment that your tree shows signs of stress, email two pictures to, one of the affected area and one standing 8 feet back from the tree. Our goal is to help you have success with the trees you have, not start the work all over again with a new tree; so we will work to assist you in troubleshooting your tree questions early while there may still be time to save your tree and all the time, energy and money you’ve invested.
  3. We are totally committed to your success. If for some reason your tree doesn’t make it after following the above process, we are willing to split the cost of a new equivalent tree with you the following year. To take advantage of this 1-year limited guarantee you need to have followed the above steps and been in communication with us within two weeks of your tree showing stress.

I have spent an extensive amount of time over the past 30+ years learning through experience and research about how to successfully grow fruit trees in the desert. The above is a culmination of this process. I am deeply committed to your success and would love for you to jump on board and become a successful Urban Farm Fruit Tree Program Member eating incredible fruit from your yard.

Your Urban Farmer