By Gabe Nelson at Fruit Growers Supply
Fruit yield will mostly depend on the type of fruit tree you are cultivating; however, there are general methods that apply to many varieties. Here are 5 ways to increase your fruit supply:
- Know your soil. Plants and fruit trees are a lot like people. Different plants have different needs for nutrients and soil pH. Do a soil sample on the location you want to plant your fruit trees. A soil sample will reveal contents of trace minerals and what you need to fill in to make a healthy soil appropriate for your desired plants or fruit trees.
- Fertilize the soil well and regularly. Adjust your fertilization according to the soil type, type of fruit tree, and the location of your plants.
- Protect your plants from pests, insects, and animals.
- Protect your plants from aphids by spraying vinegar to the stems.
- Use a net to protect your crop from birds. Wrap pantyhose on bunches of grapes to protect them from bird attacks.
- For larger fruits, wrap each piece with paper. Do not use plastic because it tends to overheat and destroy the fruit. This works well with apples, pears, and mangoes.
- Putting mulch on soil discourages rodents from burrowing in the soil. Apply mulch during autumn and more in winter months. Allow space in between the trunk and the mulch.
- Use diluted white latex paint to paint the trunk of fruit trees susceptible to sunburn or burrowing insects. The paint prevents certain pests from penetrating through the trunk.
- Correct pruning methods can help your plants flourish. Fruit trees will have to be trained to grow according to the shape and height you want them to become. Pruning fruit trees should be done at the end of winter just before small leaves spring up. Avoid pruning too heavily because this can lead to reduced resistance to bacterial invasion. If you see new leaves that are beginning to soften, it is too late to prune the tree.
- Use espalier when planting fruit trees near the house. This is beneficial for easy care and trimming. Also, plants near the house add beauty during the blossoming of flowers from the fruit trees. Using an espalier can save space and gives you easy access to the plant to treat any problem that may arise.
When you have attained your goal of increasing the supply of fruit, make sure you harvest every last piece of fruit. This will send a signal to the fruit tree to produce just as much or more in the next growing season. If you leave out a few unharvested fruits, it will signal the tree that it has overproduced during the present season and will produce less volume of fruits the next season.