How to plant an orchard:
There are many important steps to planning, planting, and maintaining an orchard.
- Planning: an orchard should be placed in an area that receives full sun for the majority of the day and also where the soil is well-drained. Make sure to take into account the full size of the trees and allow lots of space between them. Fruit trees cannot survive in freezing temperatures, so trees should be placed in positions where they see the sun and the temperature doesn’t get too low in the winter.
- Planting: orchard trees thrive best in soil that has added organic matter for nutrients, trees should be watered thoroughly after planting to settle the soil, and a layer of mulch added.
- Maintenance: monitor your orchard for pests or diseases. The best way to deal with pests without harming other wildlife is to encourage beneficial insects, such as ladybirds that eat aphids. Being sanitary and using good pruning techniques can also minimise disease spread. In mid to late Spring and Autumn, it is advised to mulch a new tree for the first 3 or 4 years to conserve moisture and reduce weed competition. Some fruit trees also need fertilisers, such as Apple and young Pear trees needing nitrogen fertiliser annually. Established Pears, Cherries, and Plums need a balanced fertiliser in the early Spring.