July 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.
The new growth on avocados is slowing down a bit now, although the plants still should look pretty good.
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 part of the year.
Many early-fruiting varieties, like ‘Anaheim’, ‘Hass’, ‘Littlecado’ and possibly ‘Reed’, may have fruit ready to harvest.
Remember that avocado fruit does not ripen on the tree; it must be removed and should ripen indoors at room temperature. 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.
Citrus should have healthy green leaves now.
If chlorosis is noticed apply an iron-zinc-manganese supplement. Apply your last feeding of the year this month (unless your plant are potted, in which case you should continue feeding with a ½ to 1/3 dose application through the fall. 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.
Citrus Trees (Cont.)
Be especially attentive to irrigations now that the weather is warm.
The best application method is probably by flooding the root basin and letting it soak in once or twice. Do not use sprinklers, especially if they wet the trunk of the tree. Tangelos and Valencia Oranges should be about ripe now. Take a sample and check for sweetness. Keep ants out of your citrus at all times. If they are crawling up the trunk of the tree apply Tanglefoot (a sticky, waterproof substance) to stop them.
Deciduous Fruit Trees
Monitor the soil moisture and irrigate as needed.
Flooding the soil beneath these trees or using a drip system are both excellent ways to irrigate these. Avoid the use of sprinklers and do not regularly wet the trunk of the tree to reduce the potential of certain diseases. If you want to reduce or limit the overall size of any of these trees the correct time to prune them is immediately following the fruit harvest, which may be now. Pruning in winter is important for the purpose of fruit production and tree structure. However, winter pruning will not limit the size of a tree; summer pruning will.
Deciduous Fruit Trees (Cont.)
Several varieties of peaches, nectarines, plums and apricots are ripening this month.
Birds often take their toll on ripening fruit, especially soft varieties like peach, apricot, nectarine and plum. If this toll is too great, drape thin nylon “fruit tree” netting over the canopy of the tree a few weeks prior to the ripening date. Remove the netting once all the fruit has been harvested.