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When Is The Best Time To Plant Seedlings Of Fruit Crops?

, Admin

Many gardeners, especially beginners, ask this question. Usually this is how it all happens: the family buys a house with a plot and immediately removes everything from there, and then begins to think what, where, and most importantly - when to plant. At first the sight falls on the seedlings of fruit trees. There are many of them in the pictures: apples, pears, cherries, plums and so on, appetizing, large, juicy, tasty.

When is the best time to plant seedlings of fruit crops?
Saplings of apple trees


  • Where to buy seedlings?
  • Pros of planting seedlings in the fall
  • Timing of seed crops in the fall in different climatic zones
  • Spring planting of fruit seedlings in different regions

Where to buy seedlings?

Let's say you own a plot in autumn and want to plant on it a pair of apples, different terms of maturity, a couple of pears, cherries, a couple of cherries and plums.

First of all, let's divide this batch into pome and stone fruit trees. Seed refers to apple and pear, all the rest - stone fruits, that is, if you do not live in the south, and the happy inhabitant of the center of Russia or more northern regions, then planting stone fruits necessarily postpone to the spring, but the seed ones (apples and pears) can plant in autumn.

Always a BUT. This but sometimes spoils everything, and sometimes it helps. The gardener is always dealing with a choice: what if in the spring the choice of seedlings will be so small, in terms of varieties, or the quality of the planting will be so unimportant that it simply will not satisfy the gardener? Reasonably, then it is necessary to go to the nursery and take seedlings there.

Why the nursery? Because it is created in earnest and for the long term, it is not a seller, which tomorrow you may not see. More often the sellers sell their goods with leaves (usually very droopy, limp, which already begin to evaporate water from shoots and even from the central trunk, especially large-leaf stone fruits like cherry).

Any variety will be sold at the market, just to buy it, because its fruiting will begin years later. In fact, seedlings should be bought exclusively without leaves (and preferably with roots in putty and not in dry sawdust).

Leaves are usually defoliated (defoliation) manually and does no harm to seedlings, by specialized nursery staff near the end of September, when the leaves themselves are already ready to fall off. So it's not traumatic for the seedlings, but on the contrary, useful. They get to the nursery already devoid of leaves, and if the roots are in the putty, they can even slowly absorb moisture without evaporating it.

Pros of planting seedlings in autumn

Pros of planting in autumn can only be in seed crops, and stone fruits are in a deep rest, they can not have time to get new roots, which would have absorbed moisture for the winter. Shoots will not be able to get enough moisture and will freeze during winter or banal drying will happen, when the sun is able to evaporate all modest amount of moisture from shoots, reflected from the muck as from a mirror (that is why it is desirable to break muck in a garden). Seed crops, on the other hand, develop a suction root system (it is located at the tips of the roots, often light colored) very quickly. That's why, when planting in autumn, they need to be watered abundantly, even with the help of rain. Then you will fully enrich soil with moisture, seedlings will be saturated with water and they will not be afraid of winter drying.

Damp soil will freeze slower, and having frozen, will not react to provocative thaws, launching processes of swelling in generative (flower) buds in winter.

And we shall also help them by wrapping trunks with white lutrasil (because while whitewashing with lime the burns can still occur, and the rain, even occasional and short-lived, can reduce all the works on whitewashing to zero). Let's also put protection against rodents in the form of netting (up to the first skeletal branches), cover bush area with dry leaves, and throw fir brushwood on top (so it can delay snow). © Greenman Ken

Timing of seed crops planting in autumn in different climatic zones

What about timing, in the center of Russia seedlings planting can be done starting from the end of September, in the south - from the middle of October or a little earlier, in the north - at the very beginning of September (and again, we are talking about seed crops).

If you plant annuals in the fall, do not crown them (you cut the top off in the spring, in mid-April and be sure to cover them with garden varnish afterwards).

Benefits of planting seed crops in the fall:

  • a huge selection of both seedlings and varieties in a private nursery with a good reputation, where you can choose any variety zoned in your region (this is very important, bearing in mind zonation); If it is a seed varieties, you should plant, and if stone varieties, then dig behind the house, where more snow, covering the above-ground part, when the cold weather starts, completely with lutrasil;
  • lots of moisture in the soil, well, and we podol′em, of course, although sometimes the fall is poor in rain, then have to pour more (5-6 buckets per plant);
  • a lot of free time: the harvest is gathered and put in storage, and the planting itself does not take much time;
  • the plot is usually cleaner, the soil is dug without problems, does not stick to the shovel, and the planting process itself is fast;
  • Autumn is easier to separate the sides of the world, relative to which the sapling grew (it should be planted that way); It is easy to understand this, as the bark is darker on the south side, and lighter on the north; but if the sapling is too disproportionately developed, that is, has "gone" all to the south side, it is better to turn it around than to correct it later by pruning;
  • in autumn there is no need for support pegs and the soil settles less, though, if the garden has even a slight slope, a support peg is necessary in autumn.

Cons of planting in the fall:

  • possible sudden onset of cold weather, which can kill seedlings, especially in northern regions and for those gardeners who plant the garden on hills, due to the presence of close standing groundwater;
  • "dishonest" nurseries sometimes put second-rate planting material on the forefront in autumn, leaving the best for the spring, so you need to be careful about the proper quality of seedlings;
  • autumn can be prolonged and very dry, you have to spend a lot of watering, literally pouring the seedlings;
  • usually in the fall seedlings are much more expensive, because in the spring the remainder is sold, which is usually thrown out if not sold, and in the fall for seedlings are in line;
  • you should look for places to bury seedlings if you got quality;
  • obligatorily in planted seedlings to protect trunks from hares and mice, wrapping them with plastic mesh to the first branching.

But here came the spring, which can be quite different. It can start suddenly almost in February, or cold and frozen ground can keep it up to May, so it is impossible to get anything out of the dug-out because everything is covered with ice. But in the spring there is usually a lot of moisture, primarily moisture from the melted snow. Consequently, there is no need to carry buckets and watering cans, no need to throw hoses into the rootstocks to save the plants from drying out.

When is the best time to plant seedlings of fruit crops?
Cherry tree seedlings. © Herb Campbell P.S.

Spring planting of fruit seedlings in different regions

In southern regions planting is sometimes as early as late March, in the center it is April or very early May, in the north -mid May, sometimes near the beginning of May.

Spring is just the time to plant stone crops, those that we with you dug in a secluded corner, where there is a lot of snow and few rodents.

So as soon as the soil begins to crumble well in your hand, you can proceed to planting. There is plenty of moisture in the soil during this period, but if you have dug a planting hole and the soil does not look moist enough, you can pour a bucket of water into it. The main thing when planting stone fruit crops in any case do not deepen the root neck.

Even after the settling of the soil it should be a couple of centimeters above the soil level, otherwise the plant will be banned and will die. In seed crops, the root neck also can not be deepened, but here, its deepening will affect the timing of entry into fruiting -fruit will wait for five years longer.

Proses of spring planting

  • dishonest nurseries will please with the first-grade planting material, which they saved for spring, because they know that in the spring trade is not as intense and all sorts of nonsense will not sell; but we must carefully inspect the seedlings: Whether they are not frozen, not dried out, because who knows where and how they were stored;
  • in the soil, as a rule, a lot of moisture (this is moisture from melting snow), but you can always add it, the main - have time to place seedlings before budding, so the root system quickly started working in the soil and activated the growth of the above-ground mass of plants;
  • Spring -is a perfect time for planting stone fruit crops, they take root by 100% if the seedlings are not damaged and not sick;
  • spring is warm and pleasant to work in the garden, no icy wind penetrates, therefore all planting work is done, as a rule, more qualitatively, but not "hurry to plant somehow and... into warmth", as in autumn.

Cons of spring planting

  • "honest" nurseries all quality material and the best varieties sold in autumn, and now - leftovers, second variety and not standard, even if cheaper, but probably with defects, so one should be careful when choosing;
  • All the same, in the nursery, in case of improper storage the seedlings can be sold already with buds unblown; it is not worth to take them even with a great discount, the probability that they will not take root is high;
  • Spring is a madly transient time, you must have time to plant seedlings before the buds open, otherwise it may not take root;
  • Spring can be different, sometimes rich in moisture, and sometimes the soil as sand in the desert; then after planting the watering is mandatory, the plant should literally poured until it starts to grow until the young shoots appear, but with particular caution should be treated to stone crops: If water stagnates at the root neck, the neck can begin to wither and the tree may well die;
  • often in the spring the soil is not as dense as in the fall, so it is necessary to provide for the installation of supporting pegs, otherwise a gust of wind or careless handling of the seedling can bend it; And if it is not noticed in time, it will grow crooked;
  • In spring, immediately after planting it is desirable to set pheromone traps and you can preventive treatment with 3% Bordeaux liquid.

That is basically all advantages and disadvantages of spring planting of seedlings of pome and stone fruit crops. Based on this and make a decision: either now (when autumn) run to nurseries for seedlings or wait until spring.