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Appropriate Drainage for Fruit Trees

Although each species of fruit tree differs, the same general rules for caution apply to all fruit trees grown in home orchards. Fruit trees need adequate light, nutrients and water to be able to make fruit. To be able to stay healthy, fruit trees need to be planted in soil with proper drainage. Planted in poorly draining land, fruit trees are vulnerable to disease, like root decay.

Testing Soil Drainage

Properties that take a very long time to dry out after a rain might have poor soil drainage. You can test soil drainage for yourself by digging a hole 1 foot wide and one foot deep. Fill the hole with water once and allow it to drain. When the hole has fully drained, fill it again and assess the thickness of the water. After waiting 15 minutes, assess the soil thickness again. Multiplying the gap by 4 will inform you just how much the soil drains in one hour. Less than 1 inch of drainage per hour is poor.

Amending Soil to boost Drainage

Peat moss and other organic matter will improve land drainage and also add nutrients at precisely the same moment. Soil amendment must be finished weeks before you plant your tree. To do this, dig up the soil from the location where you hope to plant, and then blend the native soil and the organic matter. Put the amended soil back from the ground and then give it a week or two to settle. Test the soil again before planting the tree to make sure that drainage has improved.

Planting on a Mound

Soil that doesn’t enhance with soil amendments isn’t adequate for planting a fruit tree. However, small types of fruit trees might be planted on a mound set above the native garden soil. The mound must at least 1 foot high, 3 feet wide and comprised of a combination of native garden soil, sand and organic matter. Larger mounds are better since they will give the tree’s roots more room to expand.

Container Planting

Proper soil drainage is especially critical for fruit trees planted in containers, since containers retain soil moisture and impede drainage. Container fruit trees must only be implanted in soil-less growing medium, formulated for containers. In addition, the container itself must offer appropriate drainage. Plastic containers will hold water and must have numerous drainage holes, and also shouldn’t have a drainage tray. Clay containers are an excellent alternative because they are porous in nature. Regrettably, large clay containers are heavy when filled with soil and can be expensive. As a result, many gardeners turn into containers made of timber. Wooden vessels drain nicely, are lighter weight than clay and frequently less expensive.

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