Facts and Steps to Plant and Care for a Plum Tree
Biting into the juicy goodness of plums is always a treat. Plum trees can be grown in gardens with ease and are one of the first choices of people wanting to grow their own fruit trees due to the fact that they are relatively adaptive and require a lot less care than most other fruit trees. Aside from giving you the reward of delicious plums, plum trees do a great job at beautifying your garden!
Optimum growing conditions for plum trees
Plum trees thrive in sandy and well-drained soil. They also need full sun. Most gardeners focus on sun exposure, soil drainage, and texture but miss out one important factor that is pivotal to the growth of any fruit tree, the soil pH. It is a good idea to test your soil prior to plantation. Plum trees prefer a soil pH anywhere between 5.5 to 6.5.
Make sure the site you pick for your plum tree has ample space considering that they can mature to a full height of 16 feet while a dwarf variety can reach 14 feet. Additionally, plum trees are prone to late frost damage, so if you live in a northern climate, pick a spot that provides maximum protection against cold winds. During Christmas time, you can decorate the plum tree with lights to keep it warm and celebrate the Christmas spirit.
Planting your plum tree
If you are expecting some tasty plums, you better plant more than one type of plum trees since many plum tree varieties require cross-pollination to produce fruits. There are some varieties that can fruit on their own too. Plant your plum tree in a spot with well-drained and moderately fertile soil that receives full sun. If possible, plant it in a sheltered position like a west facing or south facing spot to protect it from the wind.
If you have a container grown the plum tree, use shears to cut any circling roots after removing the tree from its container. If you have a grafted tree, plant it in a position where the graft union is an inch above the soil. When you’re digging the hole for plantation, make sure you keep its depth a few inches more than the length of the roots. Set the tree in the middle of the hole atop a small mound of soil. When planting multiple plum trees, space them approximately 20-25 feet apart.
Caring for your plum tree
As long as you’re consistent with caring for your plum tree, you won’t run into any problems in the process. Apply a pound of organic fertilizer or manure during March in the first as well as second-year after plantation. You should also add a cup of calcium nitrate in May during the first two years. You must water the plum tree generously during dry weather.
To help the soil retain water, you can add mulch around the tree without having it touch the trunk. Finally, when it’s time to harvest the juicy reward of your consistent care, you need to make plum retrieval easy. For that, you must prune just above the healthy buds and cut away any dead wood.