Thursday, April 24, 2014
Here’s how it’s actually done. You dig a wide hole, about four feet across and about 18-inches deep. Plant the trees two to three feet apart in a triangle in the hole, leaning gently away from each other. Then you prune out branches that would be crossing between the trees. L.E. Cooke Co./Courtesy diagram
This diagram illustrates planting three varieties of one type of fruit in a single planting hole. The trees are trained and pruned as they grow together. You can select varieties with different ripening dates to spread your harvest through the summer. L.E. Cooke Co./Courtesy diagram
There are lots of great plums, and interesting new hybrids like the pluots (apricot-plum), pluerries (plum-cherry), and peacotum (peach-apricot-plum) are now available for home gardens. But the old Santa Rosa plum, introduced by Luther Burbank, is really a garden workhorse. Productive, with excellent flavor, it needs no pollinizer. Better still, it can pollenize most other varieties of plum as well as most pluots. Courtesy photo
EZPick is one company’s growing technique that makes your training easier. A field worker has simply walked down the row early in the growing season and headed back the young whips to induce branching. Now you can start selecting a few of those branches to remain, thinning the young tree out as it grows, and keeping the fruit within picking range. Courtesy photo
A peach hedge? Try several varieties, including some nectarines, and have fruit from June through September! You can fit fruit trees in narrow spaces! Remember, you control the size of the tree. I took this picture at the UC Davis experimental orchards several years ago. Every flower you see can potentially become a fruit, so clearly even heavy pruning can lead to sufficient yields. Courtesy photo