As summer draws to a close and the cool weather drifts in, it’s easy to think that gardening season is over. However, did you know that fall is the best time to plant fruit trees? With a simple planting process, you can set your fruit trees up for success.
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Why Add Fruit Trees to your Garden?
Growing apple or cherry trees, for example, can produce high yields with very little maintenance. Budget conscious? Fruit is a high value crop, and the taste of fresh-picked fruit can’t be denied.
Why Plant Fruit Trees in the Fall?
Fall is a better time to plant fruit trees in climates with hot summers and ground that doesn’t freeze until December or later.
That’s because summer heat and dry weather can be taxing to a newly planted tree. In a hot climate, summer-planted trees need more water to get established, and rarely get enough to establish a strong root system.
On the other hand, a fall planting of fruit trees follows the natural growth cycle of the tree. During the fall and winter, a tree draws into a dormant stage, and it’s far better to transplant a tree during this stage.
I like to plant fruit trees using a permaculture technique called a fruit tree guild, in which the fruit trees are underplanted with plants that benefit them. For example, the under-plantings might naturally fertilize the soil while also providing mulch. Or they might provide nectar for pollinators and attract beneficial insects.
Read more about how I planted my cherry tree guild for pest control.
If your fruit trees will be fairly neglected and won’t be planted with compost or supporting plants, I recommend adding fruit tree fertilizer at the time of planting.
See my 5 steps to planting a fruit tree over at The Herbal Academy, and discover some of my favorite tips to help fruit trees thrive.
Hint: Plant them anytime! Though fall plantings are the best, planting fruit trees in the warmer months is still okay. Plant them on a cloudy day and keep them well-watered during their first season.
Need more ideas for growing a permaculture garden?
The following articles will help you on your journey toward a vibrant and productive garden.
Learn more about permaculture in my article What is Permaculture?
Permaculture Homestead Design Tools:
- 3 Reasons to Hire a Permaculture Designer for Your Landscape
- 6 Maps to Draw for the Permaculture Designed Homestead
- Implementing Your Dreams on the Permaculture Homestead
Permaculture Deep Thoughts:
- Do You Make These 3 Permaculture Mistakes?
- How to Choose the Right Permaculture Class
- Why We Don’t Keep Chickens (Yet)
Permaculture Gardening Techniques:
- 10 Reasons to Plant a Hedgerow
- How to Plant a Hedgerow
- Benefits of the Edible Forest Garden
- Create a Food Forest for Low-Maintenance, Edible Rewards
- Here’s a Quick Way to Terrace a Hill
- How to Kill Poison Ivy in 5 Steps
- The Circle Garden for Low-Maintenance Gardening
Growing Perennials Permaculture-Style:
- 4 Berry-Producing Shrubs that Fertilize, Too!
- 20 Perennial Crops for Wet Soil
- How to Grow and Use Currants
- How to Grow a Jelly Garden
- How to Grow Perennial Sunflowers for Mulch
- Contour Gardening to Minimize Irrigation & Maximize Yields
- Front Yard Rainwater Catchment
- What is a Swale & Why You Need One
- How to Construct a Swale in the Residential Landscape
The Power of Permaculture Herbs:
- 5 Reasons to Grow Chives
- 5 Reasons to Grow Yarrow
- 5 Weeds You Want in your Garden
- 6 Flowers to Grow in the Vegetable Garden
- 6 Reasons to Grow Oregano
- 7 Reasons to Grow Calendula
- 7 Ways to Fertilize the Garden with Comfrey
- Does Comfrey Really Improve Soil?
- Does Your Permaculture Garden Need Daffodils?
- Grow Chives for the Best Strawberries
- What is Comfrey and How to Grow It
- When Weeds are Good
Would you like to learn more about improving the biodiversity of your garden, reducing maintenance, and increasing yield?
You’ll find loads of information just like this in my book, The Suburban Micro-Farm.
What fruit trees are you planting this year?