Plumtree planting – when and how
Plum trees symbolise perseverance, hope, and beauty – so of course you want to grow one! They also bear delicious fruit and blossom to signal the start of spring. If you’re wondering what the plum tree planting 101 is, we’ve got you covered. We’ll look at when to plant plum trees, how to do it, and what you need to do to keep the new addition to your household alive and well. Let’s get started.
When to plant a plum tree
You may think of plum trees as thriving through spring to autumn, and you’re not wrong – their blossom and fruit do best in the warmer seasons, but planting your plum tree is best done in early winter. The soil isn’t cold from a long winter, as it would be in spring, and your little plum tree won’t have a dry summer ahead of it – but lots of moisture and warmed up soil. Of course, you can plant your plum tree any time of year. We’ve just found that early winter is best.
Tip! If you’re wondering where the ideal spot for plum tree planting is, then you may be surprised to read that they’re not too high maintenance in this department. Much more important is the kind of soil you plant them in – ideally clay soil. Filling out your plum tree spot with organic material before planting will help if you’re in an area with sandy soil.
Plumtree planting: here’s how
Plumtree planting can be a bit of a grimy business for a tree that is so picture perfect! Here are our best tips – they’re not for the lighthearted, but experienced gardeners will have no trouble.
- Dig a hole deep enough for your plum tree’s roots to be covered later. Fill the hole with well-rotted manure or add some bonemeal. Blood, fish, or bone fertiliser will also do the trick, but you’ll need to wait at least a month before the hole is ready if you opt for this more DIY option (we told you it wasn’t for the lighthearted!)
- Add your plum tree sapling to the hole and fill in the appropriate soil mix around the root ball. Water this well – not too much so that the soil will get water logged, but enough for the soil to be moist for the roots to prosper.
- Fill up the hole with the rest of the soil, so that the ground around the tree is even.
- Add a stake next to your tree, so it has enough support for the first few years of its growth. Secure your tree to the stake using ties from a garden centre.
- Water your tree to help get the roots going and stabilise the sapling.
- Remember to clean your gardening tools after!
Plumtree planting is only the first step in your relationship with this beautiful plant. As the tree grows, you may need to adjust the ties, remove the stake, harvest the fruit, and treat any diseases or pests you spot cropping up. Here are our tips for a healthy plum tree:
- If you know that your little tree is going to be facing freezing temperatures, horticultural fleece might help keep it snug.
- Using pheromone traps can help keep wasps and other pests at bay – if you’ve crafted an insect hotel, consider moving it to another spot if it is too close to the tree.
- When harvesting fruit, keep an eye out for puncture holes. This is usually a tell-tale sign of larvae infestation.
- Plum fruits can be enjoyed fresh, or as part of fruit preserves such as pickles, jams, and chutneys.
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