There are a few things to consider if you want to grow your own fruit in our local area. Although we can grow a good many different kinds in southern New England, the environment is ideally suited for apples, blueberries, ,raspberries (and other brambles),pears, and peaches in some locations.
The primary concern for siting your plants should be how much sun does the area get. To produce the best crops, you will want a location that gets direct sunlight for at least 6 hours during the summer. The next thing to consider is the soil in that location. Fruit plants in general do not like “wet feet”. If your soil doesn’t ever dry out in this area you should consider another location. Another consideration is if you live in a “frost pocket”. Frosts in these areas can occur later in the season. Peaches, apricots and other early bloomers may have difficulty fruiting in these areas.
Planting can take place any time the ground is not frozen. Use of a good, rich compost will help hold water and provide nutrients during the establishment. We recommend our planting success kit that includes a bag of compost and a starter fertilizer called Bio-Tone. Purchase of the success kit doubles our standard one year guarantee. Typically the most stressful time of the year is the first summer after planting. If we do not receive regular soaking rains, you will need to carefully monitor the location and water the plant deeply if the top 3” of soil gets dry. I always form a soil ring basin about 3” deep and at least 4’ across so I can fill it with water and let it seep into the roots once or twice a week. You can also use a soaker hose and bury it in mulch to water easily and deeply.
Most of the trees and bushes sold at Burnett’s are five or more years old, enough to start producing fruit within a year if not sooner. Keep in mind if you choose to purchase smaller and younger plants it could delay your harvest for 2-4 years.
If you want help choosing what’s best for your yard please stop in and speak to one of our horticulturalists to find the right choice for you!
Burnett’s Country Gardens, Route 85, Salem, CT