Aug. 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.
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.
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.
Irrigate as needed to keep the soil moist, but not wet. This is still an ok month for planting avocados, but don’t delay too long. Being sub-tropical plants, avocados prefer to be planted during the long warm part of the year.
Some early-fruiting varieties, like ‘Anaheim’, ‘Hass’, ‘Littlecado’ and ‘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.
Citrus should have healthy green leaves right now. Continue fertilizing for another month or two. 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.
If not already picked, valencia oranges should still be ripe on the tree. Continue periodically checking for ants. Control them from climbing up the trunk of the tree or onto the branches immediately. Although not directly harmful to the citrus, they are “farming” such pests as scale, whitefly and mealybug, which are all common on citrus.
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.
Deciduous Fruit Trees (Cont.)
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. Several varieties of peaches, nectarines, apricots and plums may still be ripening this month. Some apples and pears varieties will also be producing now.