April Gardening Checklist: Fruit Trees
With the help of many gardening friends I have attempted to offer on these pages some useful information to help you with your own garden. Gardening is sharing. Any corrections, comments or suggestions are appreciated and will improve future information. Fruit trees are the focus of this NoteStream. Also see our NoteStreams on Ornamental Plants, Edible Plants and more.
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The information, dates and techniques in this blog are as accurate as I can currently offer. During the past three decades I have cared for, nurtured and observed tens of thousands of plants.
With the help of many gardening friends I have attempted to offer on these pages some useful information to help you with your own garden. Gardening is sharing. Any corrections, comments or suggestions are appreciated and will improve future information.
• Apply your second feeding to avocado trees this month. A mature avocado tree should be given between ½ and 1 pound of actual nitrogen per inch of trunk diameter. (Example: 15-30 pounds of 20% nitrogen if a six-inch trunk; 30-60 pounds of 10% nitrogen if a six-inch trunk, etc.)
• Avocados are putting on quite a bit of new growth right now and the plants should look at about their healthiest of the year.
• Don’t be alarmed by a lot of leaf drop on mature plants. Avocados produce a lot of leaf litter nearly year round. This is a normal condition.
• Irrigate as needed to keep the soil moist, but not wet.
• This is a very good month for planting avocados. Being sub-tropical plants, avocados prefer to be planted at the beginning of the long warm half of the year.
• Be sure to keep a very thick blanket of mulch, compost or fallen leaves under mature avocadoes at all times. Avocadoes need a cool root-run for good health.
• Most varieties will not have fruit ready for harvest this early. However, some varieties, like ‘Gwen’ and ‘Whitsell’ often have fruit at unusual times.
• Citrus are growing pretty well this month and many varieties will still be flowering.
• Continue fertilizing this month and every month from now until July. Use a fertilizer that is rich in such trace minerals as iron, zinc, manganese, copper and others. These ingredients are usually well represented in organic fertilizers like Dr. Earth.
• Honeybees are the primary pollinators for citrus. Be sure to encourage these very beneficial insects and avoid any pesticides that might discourage or harm them.
Citrus Trees (Cont.)
• Continue periodically checking for ants. Control them from climbing up the trunk of the tree or onto the branches. Although not directly harmful to the citrus, they are “farming” such pests as scale, whitefly and mealybug, which are all common on citrus.
• Lemons and limes may have some ripe fruit this month. The first ripe kumquats are also appearing now. ‘Kinnow’ tangerines are about done and ‘Kara’ tangerines should be ripe pretty soon.
Deciduous Fruit Trees
• Apply the second and final fertilizing this month. Apple, apricot, peach, plum, etc. should be given between about ½ pound of actual nitrogen per inch of trunk diameter. (Example: 15 pounds of 20% nitrogen if a six-inch trunk; 30 pounds of 10% nitrogen if a six-inch trunk, etc.)
• Do the first thinning this month, the earlier the better. Twist off the excess fruit, leaving one per cluster and about one every six inches or so.