It often takes people by surprise that late fall through winter and into early Spring is the very best time to plant new fruit trees. The reason is because at this time of year they have gone dormant for winter. Transplanting trees now is much easier on them; they come out of dormancy in your garden ready to take root in their new location.
Fruit trees are often offered bare root (without a pot) at this time of year so you will need to plant them the same day you purchase them. Plant your trees with some good amendments to give them a really great start such as bonemeal, steer manure and peat moss (or bonemeal, homemade compost and coco core) to improve the soil around their roots. You may even want to toss in a cup of organic kelp meal as it is full of trace elements that are so healthy for your trees.
Your new trees will need plenty of water through the first spring and summer. A deep watering at planting time is good to settle the tree in and make sure there are no air pockets and then resume watering every two weeks from the beginning of April until the end of summer.
We have some new, interesting and noteworthy varieties of fruit trees and berry plants this year.
Here are a few of them:-
- Florina - NEW! Dark red nearly covers the apple with a small amount of golden green remaining on this fantastic scab resistant apple. Florina has an excellent, sweet, aromatic and complex flavour making it great for fresh eating.
- Lapin Sweet Cherry - Large, dark purple cherries that have deep red flesh and great flavour are ready to pick and eat mid July. This wonderful self fertile variety also resists cracking in the rain and keeps better than many varieties. Developed in BC at the Summerland Research Centre.
- Juliet Sweet Tart Cherry- NEW! Developed by the University of Saskatchewan this tree reaches only 8-10' making it ideal for a small garden. Self fertile, with dark red cherries of high sugar content making them also good for fresh eating.
- Black Amber - NEW! Super large, beautiful black skinned plum with amber flesh...yummy!
- Yakima - NEW! Very large, oval, red skinned plum with firm clear golden yellow flesh.
- Italian - Medium sized, purple skinned, oval freestone plums with great flavour. This self fertile plum is our most popular and easiest to grow plum.
- Quince trees, originating from Persia and Turkestan, produce very large fruit that are aromatic and perfect for making into jam, jelly and wine. Quince jelly is apparently lovely to spread on cheese and crackers I have often thought that this year I will make some. I will put it into lovely small jars that all match and make a handcrafted label and give it away as a thoughtful gift with cheese and wine at Christmas time to my very dearest friends. It has never happened. Maybe next year...hum
Honeyberries (Lonicera edulis kamtschatica)
- NEW! Introduced by the University of Saskatchewan, but hailing all the way from Siberia these tough little berries are so welcomed to our summer fruit repertoire because they bear in June. That is early in berry season; right at the beginning of the summer with the strawberries. I haven't tasted these yet but they are said to have a flavour reminiscent of wild blueberries, raspberries, blueberries and black currant. Be sure they are ripe before eating. They need to be blue on the outside and deep wine red inside before they are ripe. The berries have many health benefits like blueberries, cranberries and raspberries.
- Pink Lemonaid - NEW! Move over boys and make room for this little pink blueberry to pollinate with you. Like a classic blue blueberry in every way except this variety has pink berries. I haven't tasted this one yet as it is our first year with it but I think it will look amazing mixed with blue, blueberries for breakfast or dessert! I'll still grow lots of blue ones but I have to try a pink one:)