I am so excited to announce that we have planted the first fruit tree on the Homestead! I know you fellow homesteaders know that kind of weird excitement I am talking about. The kind that makes you want to tell everyone you meet that day about your new addition. The kind of excitement that makes your kids roll their eyes, your husband question your sanity and the mail man raise his eyebrows in concern. Don’t judge, I wouldn’t have told the mailman if he hadn’t have walked up just as we were finishing planting.
It might be my first tree but I grilled the nursery professional on the proper way to plant him. Did I just say him? Yes, my daughter, who is the namer of all things on the homestead, has dubbed him Finn. I know, I know, but I am so glad I have a child with a wonderful imagination. She changes my days from black and white to colored! So Finn it is. Fig trees do great in this area. The variety I planted was Brown Turkey but Celeste is also a good variety for our area. If you want to find the best varieties for your area contact your local agriculture extension center. With Texas A&M in our state we have it made as far as plant variety advice.
Now is the perfect time to plant fruit trees in Dallas, Texas and this is the proper way to plant them.
1-Dig a hole. Preferably make one of your strong sons do it. Hee hee. Dig it twice the size of the root ball or container the tree is in. Be careful not to dig the hole too deep though. Planting a fruit tree or any tree too deep is certain death for the new fledgling.
2. Hoe away all the vegetation(grass or weeds) about 3 feet around hole. Grass and weeds compete for moisture and put more stress on the tree.
3. Look to see if your tree is pot bound. Meaning that the roots run around and around in a circular direction. If you observe this than rough up the root ball with your hands a little spreading out the roots so that they will branch out.
4. Watching carefully that you don’t plant the tree too deep, put tree in hole and back fill with the dirt you took out of the hole. It is tempting to add fertilizer and compost at this point, but don’t succumb to this temptation. The roots will want to stay in the nice soil/compost you added and not branch out into the surrounding soil.
5. Spread a good rich compost in a 2 inch layer around tree where you have cleared the vegetation away. That’s right, I said compost, not bark mulch. Believe it or not trees don’t like all that bark mulch we like to put around them. It can cause a fungus among us.
So get out there and plant a fruit tree and increase the likelihood that you will have a sweet treat in your future. Let me know what kind of tree you planted this Fall. If you send us a picture I am sure my daughter would be glad to name it for you!