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Hyacinth Plant

Q.Planting Fruit Trees

Zone 10 | Promo3000 added on November 4, 2012 | Answered

I am about to plant 4 fruit trees: peach, avocado, cherry, and plum. My backyard is made of white construction clay and nothing has ever grown in it. So I dug 4 holes about 3-4 feet wide and deep and plan on filling the bottom 1/3 with hay, dried manure, and sand. These are materials I already have and I figure they will all have composted but the time the roots get that deep.

The top two thirds will be filled with a mixture of 40% composted manure, 40% topsoil, and 20% sand. I will also throw a few shovels of the white clay to help with water retention. I will acidify the soil of the peach and cherry trees to 6. 5 and the avocado and plumb to 6.

The trees have full sun all day long and the area is very windy. The fact I dug holes so deep gives me a unique opportunity to do things right, so it is important to me to check these facts. So I have three basic questions:

Am I going about it the right way? Should I add dolomite, gypsum or any organic soil amendment to provide zinc, iron, manganese, calcium, potassium, or phosphorus to the soil? Anything else I can do to create optimum growing conditions?

Thank you so much in advance for the time in answering these questions.

All the best,

Christian Bertacchini

A.Answers to this queston: Add Answer
Answered on November 7, 2012

Promo3000, to answer your first question, yes, you are going about it in the right way. Second, I would add as much compost or humus as possible, up to 30%. Then as much as 40% of white clay, finishing with a 30% mixture of sharp sand, composted manure and top soil. This type combination will allow the roots to have a friable soil at first and make them strong enough to penetrate the white clay later. If you make a nice soft "nest", the roots might not want to venture out. You don't need to use a lot of fertilizer (manure) when planting. Adding compost yearly will give your plants many of the nutrients they need. If the trees are tall, you should stake them, loosely. Use a triangle of stakes instead of a single or double, that way if the wind changes directions, the staking will still be effective.

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