By Urban Harvest
Don’t have the time or energy to be a vegetable gardener? You are in a very large club. However you can still be a first class gardener by planting and tending fruit trees. The good part about fruit trees is that they take very little care and produce huge amounts of fruit for years and years. Pound for pound, fruit trees are economically great investments to go along with providing much needed nutrition by just walking outside, pulling a few fruit off the tree, and eating them right then and there.
Okay, so how easy is fruit tree gardening? Purchase a fruit tree variety that is well suited for metro Houston, dig a hole in a sunny well drained area, plant the tree in the hole, back fill with the native soil, mulch around the tree with leaves or store bought native wood mulch, water once a week or less often if it rains. The first few years water regularly and protect the young tree from too much sun and too much cold.
Then wait for the tree to grow and start producing. Yes indeed, some fruit trees require a little more care. For instance, some citrus trees need some winter protection if there is going to be a hard freeze, so wrap with a blanket, or pile leaves up the trunk as high as you can get them. Some trees will need pruning in the winter. All fruit trees will benefit from fertilizing once or twice a year.
Growing fruit trees can be great for young families who can enjoy the growth of both children and fruit trees at the same time. The children learn about good nutrition, by first hand experience of harvesting and eating.
The most important issue with fruit tree gardening is purchasing varieties that work well in our climate. Often, commercial stores carry fruit trees that need more cold in the winter than we ever get, or that are grafted on rootstocks that do not like our climate. To be sure you get fruit trees that will be successful, purchase the trees at the 17th Annual Urban Harvest fruit tree sale on Jan. 14. Local fruit tree experts have selected trees that will thrive and produce very well in our climate. Most of these trees are grown by local wholesale growers, with input from local fruit tree experts.
The Urban Harvest fruit tree sale will have a big selection from which to choose. Go to fruit planting advice on the Urban Harvest website www.urbanharvest.org. Read up on the trees that will be available, select the ones you want, arrive early at the sale and scoop up those you want. Aside from the sale being a once a year exciting happening, you will leave with trees that bring you pleasure for years and years.
Fruit tree information on the location, date, time, varieties, prices is on the website under the Urban Harvest events tab. A presale talk, along with fruit tree description handouts are offered prior to the sale to help you decide what to purchase. Many local fruit tree experts will be working the sale to help with any questions. There will be several classes related to fruit tree care offered in January and February. See the Urban Harvest classes calendar.
This article is provided by Urban Harvest, Inc. To learn about gardening classes, farmers markets, school and community gardens and more go to www.urbanharvest.org or call 713-880-5540 for more information. This article was written by Ray Sher, who a vegetable and fruit gardener, and teacher of many fruit and vegetable classes.