So you want to grow Apples, Plums, Pears and some orchard type fruit trees. Well stone me these are right pips fresh from our garden tips.
Novice gardeners can expect to get fair crops from Fruit trees and bushes without too much effort. With extra care a great deal more can be achieved.
Go for well know fruit types do not start off with the exotic.
Buy good quality plants from a local nursery. Ask nurserymen what varieties grow well locally and do they need other trees as pollinators.
Give them enough space to grow in fair soil with some sunshine. Do not just cram them into a small corner space.
Trees need time to establish themselves but get better with time so do not rush the crops.
Bushes and canes will produce a crop quicker.
Prepare the Ground
Remove all perennial weeds
Double dig the soil, that is two spits deep. If the ground hasn’t been cultivated for several years ‘Bastard trench’ by removing the top 10″ of soil to a top-soil pile then double digging incorporating lots of humus and drainage material, then return the top soil.
Organic matter will help increase the humus levels.
As you only access the soil under a fruit tree once I would lime the soil and add slow release fertilizers.
Tips on Cultivating Fruit Trees
The best time to plant trees, canes and fruit bushes is November when there is residual heat in the ground to aid root establishment. In heavy soil bare rooted stock can still be planted through March before bud burst.
Plant shrubs, trees and canes at the depth they were grown in the nursery. The old soil level mark should be obvious.
The hole should be wide enough and deep enough to accommodate the roots without bunching or bending.
Firm down soil as you backfill.
Most trees benefit from stake support for at least 2 years and permanently for dwarf rooting stock. Tie a flexible support one third and two thirds the way up the trunk with the head able to blow in the wind.
Protect from rabbits and deer with netting if damage is likely.
Unless you are a ridgid organic gardener I recommend a spraying regime to protect against insects and disease.
For soil fertility read Organic fruit growers year.