Strawberries, Raspberries, and Cherries are now in season and that means one thing, it's harvest time! There are some tricks to keep your fruit dwellers (trees, bushes, plants) producing abundantly the whole season!
1. Make sure that you are constantly harvesting all of your fruit production! I know this seems silly but actually, unharvested fruit left on the branch at the end of the season actually signals to the tree or bush that it made too much that year. During the next growing season, the plant will actually produce less as a result.
2. Don't get discouraged if it is young. Fruit trees can take anywhere from 3-5 years after the initial planting to have a good harvest. For the first couple seasons you want to be removing the fruit as quickly as possible so that your fruit producer is focused on growing its limbs and roots.
3. Get rid of the root suckers! Not all growth is good growth. Suckers take nutrients and energy that the tree needs for growth and production. We recommend a product called Sucker Punch!
4. Know what you need in your soil. Giving your plants the proper nutrients and water each year will be beneficial for your harvest and for the growth of the plant. If you have blueberries, they like a more acidic soil and water. The best way to not have to PH your water is to collect rain water and use that. Rain water is typically more acidic. Apple trees, blackberries, and raspberries also like to be in a lower PH so fertilizing your established plants with an acidic fertilizer will make them happy!
5. Encourage cross pollination Fruiting plants benefit and do much better when there are two or more different varieties of the same species and they will cross pollinate each other. Another way is to have different plants that attract natural pollinators like bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds.
6. Proper Pest Control Bonide Citrus, Fruit & Nut Orchard Spray is an organic spray that controls fungus and problematic bugs. You can use until the day of harvest. A faster acting product for controlling problematic pests is Eight Vegetable Fruit and Flower that kills over 100 different types of insects that destroy your crops.