Some really common questions we get about our fruit trees are:
"I want a new fruit tree: which type will give me fruit quickly?
Which size should I order - most fruit trees come in 3-4 sizes?
How do I look after it so it will give me fruit soon?"
OK, you love to grow fruit because you really want to eat it, that's fine.
The first two answers are short:
- It's best to choose a variety based on things like flavour, cooking or eating use and disease resistance suitable for your area.
- Get the right size of fruit tree for your garden or orchard. Half standard & bush trees should crop the fastest and will, in time, crop the biggest, but they may not be the starting size you need.
The important bit is:
How to care for a new fruit tree to get fruit fast!
Think of them as an athlete - before they can get really strong on top, they need strong legs.
Before your tree can make strong crops, it needs strong, deep roots.
This can take time - you must sacrifice fruit to speed it up!
- In their first year of flowering, enjoy their blossom and then cut off all the little (usually green) fruitlets as soon as the petals fall.
- In year two, thin the fruit by about half.
In following years, thin out early fruit that is too thickly bunched.
As it matures and gets heavier, remove fruit that crowds or pulls down weak stems or if you see that it is poorly shaped when you inspect it.
This really is the way to get a big, healthy young tree with large crops on it sooner!
By helping your young plants spend less energy on fruit when they are new, you will ensure strong root growth.
From the tree's point of view, its roots are looking for more than nutrition in the soil, they are looking for survival - it doesn't know that you've been thoughtful enough to buy a tree stake to support it!
Apart from that, mulching in spring, watering in dry periods and keeping weeds down all the time is all you need to do to help your fruit tree settle in smoothly.
Nitrogen based, liquid feeds are very helpful in spring to give the leaves a boost, which is in turn good for the roots & fruits.
Unless your soil is already chalky and alkaline, you can also collect eggshells to scatter on the ground around your trees for their slow release calcium.