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Posted By: Plant Magic

Growing a Fruit Garden

Taking some time to think about how to organise a fruit garden will provide healthy and happy plants. When growing fruit,such as hydroponic strawberries, there are a few things to keep in mind, such as how to plant the shrubs and trees and what diseases to watch out for.

Planting Fruits

The first step to plant fruits is to prepare the soil and choose the best spot while making sure to avoid areas in which the soil is wet or tends to get waterlogged. Cranberries generally tolerate more watery conditions, however, growing fruit in these conditions tends to be very difficult. Similarly, extremely dry areas of soil should be avoided.

Plants need shelter from cold and windy weather to allow flowers and buds to grow properly and pollinators to successfully visit fruit flowers. Fruits tend to love sunlight; however, currants tend to be happy with a bit of shade.

Regardless of whether berry bushes or fruit trees are planted, a layer of mulch of around two or three inches spread over the soil and around the plant is necessary. The mulch will help the soil keep its moisture and allow less watering, in addition to helping control the weeds.

Bare-root fruit tree plants, in particular, might require stakes to prevent them from tipping over in windy conditions. After the first or second year, the stakes can be removed to allow them to grow sturdy roots and stems or trunks.

Using a single stake as tall as the fruit tree at around 18 inches of depth and six inches away from the planting hole is ideal. Heavy wire needs to be wrapped around the tree with a piece of an old hose, to prevent the wire from digging into the plant. This shouldn’t be done too tightly, as the tree should still be able to move slightly in every direction when pushed against.

A high-quality Bloom Boost for optimum fruiting is ideal for soils to avoid nutrient excess; nitrogen in large quantities, for example, can make fruiting shrubs and trees flower and fruit less, giving a smaller harvest.

Peaches in Tree

Common Issues to Watch Out For

Poor Drainage

Fruit bushes may not grow properly due to the roots being saturated with water. If the soil is waterlogged, plant roots are very likely to rot. Clay and heavy soil typically have poor drainage, however, repeatedly cultivated land can sometimes prevent water from draining properly.

To test whether soil has poor drainage, a hole of an approximately 50 cm depth and width should be dug and filled with water. Should it take longer than three hours to completely drain, then the soil has poor drainage. To fix this issue, soil must be thoroughly dug and organic matter incorporates so that the soil is opened up and has better drainage.

Late Frost

Due to a wide variety of fruit bushes flowering in early spring, there is a real danger of late frost affecting plants. Late frost can cause plants to die, which leads to trees or bushes not providing fruits. Having fruit plants in sheltered areas and avoiding south-facing planting can help, as the latter makes plants develop a bit later.

Common Diseases That Affect Fruit Plants

Fruit plants are often vulnerable to a wide variety of fungi and bacteria that prevent natural growth and can kill plants. To improve disease resistance and to promote root and shoot growth, plants need boosts such as a catalyst seaweed extract.

Red Fruits

  • Fireblight. The bacteria affect pears, apples, and similar fruits. Symptoms can vary between slime oozing from infections in plants, blossoms wilting, and cankers. Plants are more susceptible between late spring and until autumn.
  • Scab. Caused by fungus, apples, pears, and other fruit shrubs and trees get affected from mid-spring and onwards. Some main symptoms can be scabby and dark marks appearing on fruit.
  • Apple canker. This fungus forms cankers from mid-spring onwards, presenting as oval or round areas with sunken or dead bark. Stems may be girdled and killed in one season, branches can die above the cankers, and fruits can rot and fall.
  • Codling moth. Mainly affecting pears and apples, although quinces and walnuts can also be infected, this moth’s caterpillar bores into fruits and feeds from them between June and September. The affected fruits have a small caterpillar in the core, which becomes more apparent when fruits are cut open and both tunnelling and the caterpillar’s excrements are visible.
  • Powdery mildew. Both flowers and fruits can be affected by this fungus, which makes plants get a white and dusty coating on their flowers, leaves, and stems. Plants are susceptible from spring onwards.
  • Peach leaf curl. Affecting peaches, apricots, nectarines, and almonds, peach leaf curl is a fungus that attacks plants in spring. Plants often display white fungal spots, distorted leaves, and rapid defoliation.
  • Brown rot. Plums, pears, cherries, apples, and other ornamental fruit trees are susceptible to these fungi around mid-summer. Fruits present brown and rotted spots in wounds caused by birds, apple scab, and codling moth. Blossom wilt is also a possibility around flowering time.

At Plant Magic, we have a wide variety of nutrient products to give fruit plants the best chance at growing. Get in touch with our team on 01695 554 080 to know more about our products – we’re always happy to help!

Our Blog: Hydroponic Tips & Tricks

Whether you are an expert who already has a thriving crop of healthy plants, or you are trying to grow your very first hydroponic yield, we can help you to grow the strong and healthy crops you have always wanted.

Here at Plant Magic Plus, our team of gardening experts work very hard behind the scenes to provide you with the high quality nutrients, additives and growing media that will help you to get the most out of your growing plants.

But we understand that successful horticulture is about more than just having good quality chemicals, nutrients or fetilisers, that's why we have written this blog to provide you with the insights, tips and techniques you will need to give your garden that extra magic touch.

From helpful advice about watering your plants in soil and a guide to magnesium nutrients, to top tips about growing hydroponic vegetables and a comprehensive overview of microbes, we’ve got everything covered.


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