One of the questions most frequently asked at the nursery is, “When is the best time to plant my fruit trees? Beyond the most obvious answers of the sooner the better, or three years ago so you would be harvesting fruit now, there are some good guidelines of when to plant and how to choose the right variety of fruit tree for your area.
Although container trees can be planted year round, the best time to plant them is in the fall and winter. The cool weather of this time of the year is ideal for promoting root growth. A fall-or-winter planted fruit tree goes into our stressful dry spring with a vast amount more roots, which gives the tree an added push to get more summer growth.
There are some situations when it is better to plant in other times than fall and winter. Fruit trees that are subject to being lost to freezes, like banana, pomegranate, and citrus can be planted in fall and will be a more stable plant in spring, but they must be protected during hard freezes to ensure the plant is not lost. If you are a busy person and covering plants is difficult, then wait and plant this group in the spring.
Fall and winter are also the best time to obtain the largest selection of fruit trees; many of the most popular varieties, and rarer fruits like jujube, tea camellia and Japanese Raisin trees, are sold to early buyers, so it pays to be an early bird when shopping for fruit trees.
Choosing the right variety that suits your area is key to your success with growing fruit trees in the deep south. Brush up on things like chill hour requirements, pollination and extending your fresh fruit season by reading our guide “Choosing Fruit Trees”.
Growing your own fruit is a fun relaxing hobby that can reward you with unusual, hard to find fruit with fresh-picked flavor. There is no more “Eat Local” than eating fruit out of your own yard.
Got a question on growing fruits? Leave us a note below. We love to help with your gardening solutions!