6 Tips for Growing Orchards in Larger Gardens
If you have enough room, dedicate an area of the garden to the orchard. A well-drained position in full sun is best. A north-facing slope is ideal.
- 1. When you’re planning your orchard, bear in mind that most fruit trees take two years to begin cropping, and that trees grown from seed may take seven years or longer.
- 2. Fence off the orchard to keep animals out. Before planting, establish windbreaks on the south, west and east sides of the area.
- 3. Don’t plant your fruit trees too close together or they will compete for sunlight and nutrients. They will also be stressed, susceptible to insect and fungal attack and will not crop well. To work out how much space to leave between them, check the mature size and height of all the varieties you’ve chosen.
- 4. If you decide to have grassy paths between the trees, make sure there’s enough access for a lawn mower. Plant in straight lines to make mowing easier.
- 5. Think about grouping fruit trees with similar pest and disease management needs. For example, treating citrus trees suffering from citrus leaf miner will be easier if all the trees are together.
- 6. Nectarines, peaches and plums are ideal for bottling. Alternatively, turn your excess crop into jam.