Sunday, March 1, 2015

Fruits, Nuts, and Berries For The South 2015



Fruits, Nuts, and Berries For The South

Most fruit trees require pollination and chilling temperatures from November to mid-February to break dormancy in the spring. Pollination is the process of pollen from one flower being transferred to another flower, required by certain plants and trees. The process of pollination can be by insects, animals, wind, or humans.  Most fruit trees need pollination for good fruit set, which occurs when a recommended fruit tree, (pollinator) is planted nearby. A plant or tree starts to go dormant when exposed to chilling temperatures. Chilling temperatures for a plant or tree are when night time temperatures drop to 45°F or below. Chill hours can be described as the number of hours the plant or tree receives temperatures at or below 45°F. Chill hours are required by the plant or tree to trigger the development of leaf and flower buds. Listed below are a few cultivars and pollinators for southern fruit trees, nuts trees, and berry plants. 

Apples – All apples require chilling hours and a pollinator depending on the variety. Fertilization should not begin for at least 3 months after planting. A root stimulator or Super Thrive can be used at planting time. These products help the plant or tree to establish new roots. Recommended fertilizers for apple trees is an 8-8-8, or a 12-12-12 that is applied in the spring. Spread the recommended amount of fertilizer uniformly from the drip line to the trunk of the tree. Avoid fertilizing after June, new growth is more susceptible to winter damage. Recommended fertilizer rates for Apple trees is: 1st year – ½ pound per plant and apply at bud swell (February – early March). After 1st year 1 pound per plant per year of growth up to a maximum of 10 pounds per plant. For example: your tree is 12 years old, you would apply 10 pounds per plant. Keep the planted area free from grass 2-5-feet away from the trunk. Spacing: 20 – 25 feet apart. Listed below are a few cultivars and pollinators for apple trees. 

Anna - requires a pollinator with another cultivar. Dorsett Golden is a good pollinator for the Anna cultivar. Chilling Hours: 200 – 300. Anna fruit is crisp with excellent flavor, which ripens late June. Height and Width: 15’ H x 15’ W.

Dorsett Golden - requires a pollinator with another cultivar. The Anna cultivar is a good pollinator for Dorsett Golden. Chilling Hours: 200 - 300. Dorsett Golden is a heavy producer of sweet, crisp, high quality golden fruit, which ripens late June. Height and Width: 15’ H x 15’ W.

Ein Shemer – self-pollinating and very productive, but fruit production increases with another apple tree planted nearby. Ein Shemer bears crisp, tart apples with a good quality flesh. Fruit ripens early June. One can use Anna or Dorsett Golden as a pollinator. Chilling Hours: 200 – 350. Height and Width: 15’ H x 15’ W.

Fuji – requires a pollinator and tolerates summer heat. Yellow Delicious is good for pollination. Fuji fruit is high quality and ripens late September to October. Chilling Hours: 100 - 400 hours. Height and Width: 15’ H x 15’ W.

Gala – self-pollinating and very productive, but fruit production increases with another apple tree planted nearby and tolerates summer heat. Yellow Delicious, Red Delicious or Gala can be used as a pollinator. Gala fruit ripens late August and is a great tasting dessert apple. Chilling Hours: 500 - 550. Height and Width: 10 – 15’ H x 10 – 15’ W.

Granny Smith – self-pollinating and very productive, but fruit production increases with another apple tree planted nearby and tolerates summer heat. Red Delicious or Golden Delicious can be used as a pollinator. Granny Smith fruit is excellent quality with a tart-sweet taste, good all-purpose apple. Ripens in early fall. Chilling Hours – 500 – 600. Height and Width: 15 - 20’ H x 15 - 20’ W.

McIntosh - self-pollinating and very productive, but fruit production increases with another apple tree planted nearby. To increase fruit production you can use McIntosh, Granny Smith, or Yellow Delicious. McIntosh apples are juicy with a slightly tart, sweet flavor. Ripens early September. Chilling hours – 900. Height and Width: 20 - 30’ H x 15’ - 20’ W. 

Red Delicious – requires a pollinator use Golden Delicious or a Crabapple. Red Delicious has sweet fruit good for eating fresh, cooking, or cider. Ripens late August. Chilling Hours: 900. Height and Width: 20’ H x 15 – 20’ W.

Yellow Delicious – self-pollinating and one of the best pollinators. Yellow Delicious has a mild, sweet flavor and the fruit ripens in late summer. Chilling Hours: 600 – 700. Height and Width: 20’ H x 15 – 20’ W.

Avocado – Avocados are self-pollinating, but fruit production increases with another Avocado tree planted nearby. Avocado trees should be planted in a well-drained area. Keep the planted area free from grass 2 – 5 feet away from the trunk. Fertilize newly planted trees every 2 months for the first year starting when new growth appears after planting. The second year after planting fertilize 3 to 4 times a year ending in October. Use a fertilizer recommended for Citrus, Avocado, and Mango or a 10-6-4 or a 6-4-4. The Haas cultivar is cold hardy and the fruit is an excellent choice for salads and guacamole. The fruit matures on the tree.

Bananas – are heavy feeders and require sufficient amounts of water. Keep the planted area free from grass 2 – 5 feet away from the trunk. Fertilize every month with a fertilizer recommended for Citrus, Avocado, and Mango, or a 10-6-4, or a 6-4-4. Bananas are clumping by nature and keep at least 5 to 6 mature banana stalks. Any new growth or suckers should be removed by cutting down to the soil line. When a banana blooms, it is the flower that forms the fruit. Once the banana produces a flower and fruits that stalk will die. When harvesting bananas, cut the banana bunch off the tree, and then cut the entire banana stalk to the ground. Then, let a new sucker replace the one that was just cut down. One can tell when the bananas are ready to be harvested when the fruits start to turn yellow in color. If, the bananas start to split before harvesting has occurred increase the water times or the amount of water received by the plant. 

Blackberry – All blackberries are self-pollinating, will tolerate poor soil, and will produce fruit after the second year of planting. Apply 8-8-8 or 12-12-12 fertilizer blend in early spring (February-early March) at bud swell and in mid-July apply ammonium nitrate ½ pound per plant will increase vigor and fruit set. Apply ½ pound per plant the 1gr year and after the 1 F year apply 8 ounces per plant. The canes produce fruit only once on two year old wood and should be removed and cut down to the ground after harvesting the fruit. Spacing: 2’ – 6’ apart. Listed below are a few cultivars.

Apache – A thornless variety that produces the largest berries and highest yield. The berries ripen during the month of June and have a good flavor. Chilling Hours: 400 – 500. Height and Width: 6’ H x 6’ W.

Arapaho – A thornless variety with large firm fruit and small seeds. The berries ripen in early May with good quality fruit. Chilling Hours: 400 – 500. Height and Width: 6’ H x 6’ W. 

Brazos – Thorny, upright plant that produces big crops of large, high quality berries in June. The flavor is tart, acid. Chilling Hours: 350 – 400. Height and Width: 6’ H x 6’ W. 

Blueberry – All blueberries are self-pollinating, but will produce more blueberries if pollinated by another variety. Blueberries need an acid soil and one can use Miracle-Gro’s Selection of soil mixes (MG).  MG Azalea Soil, or MG Rose Soil or the Humus and Cow Manure Mix. Also, add mulch or pine straw to help with the acidity of the soil. Apply a slow-release Azalea or Camellia fertilizer in early spring (March) and summer (June). Recommended fertilizer rates are 2 ounces per plant, per year, per age of plant, up to a maximum of 8 ounces per plant per year. Apply ½ the recommended rate in March and ½ in June. Spacing: 6’ – 10’ apart. The cultivars Brightwell, Climax, Pink Lemonade (Premier, and Tifblue are recommended for the south and make excellent choices for the home gardener.

Brightwell – Tall and spreading growth that produces large, firm fruit, which ripens early-mid June. Chilling Hours: 350 – 400. Height and Width: 8’ H x 8’ W.

Climax – Upright growth and one of the earliest ripening varieties with medium, dark blue fruit that ripens at one time. This variety makes a good pollinator for the other varieties mentioned. Ripens late May – early June. Chilling Hours: 450-500. Height and Width: 8’ H x 8’ W. 

Pink Lemonade – Vigorous, upright growth habit. Spring flowers with a pink tint, followed by green fruit that changes to a deep pink when ripe. Berries ripen mid-June. Low Chilling Hours: 150 – 250. Height and Width: 5’ H x 5’ W.

Premier – Is one of the more popular varieties for its higher yields and early ripening. The fruit ripens in mid-June producing large, bright blue fruit of excellent quality. Chilling Hours: 500 – 600. Height and Width: 8’ H x 8’ W.

Tifblue – Most productive variety that is widely planted because of berry quality, high yields, and overall appearance. Upright, vigorous plant producing medium, light-blue berries that maintain their quality on the plant. Berries ripen mid-June. Chilling Hours: 500 – 600. Height and Width: 8’ H x 8’ W. 

Citrus – All citrus are self-pollinating and requires well-drained soil. Fertilize with a citrus fertilizer such as 12-10-10 and the fertilizer selected should have micro nutrients included. Start fertilizing new planted trees when new growth starts. For older citrus trees, fertilized 4 times a year, but no later than October for the last application. Keep the planted area free from grass 2 – 5 feet away from the trunk and do not use mulch because the mulch will cause fungus problems, but use pine straw instead. Fruit ripens on the tree.

Fig – All figs are self-pollinating. Easy to low maintenance and produce heavy amounts of fruit. Fertilize with an 8-8-8 or a 12-12-12. Fertilization should not begin for at least 3 months after planting. A root stimulator or Super Thrive can be used at planting time. These products help the plant or tree to establish new roots. Recommended fertilizers for Fig trees is an 8-8-8, or a 12-12-12 that is applied in the spring. Spread the recommended amount of fertilizer uniformly from the drip line to the trunk of the tree. Avoid fertilizing after June, new growth is more susceptible to winter damage. Recommended fertilizer rates for Fig trees is: 1st year – ½ pound per plant and apply at bud swell (February – early March). After 1st year 1 pound per plant per year of growth up to a maximum of 10 pounds per plant. For example: your tree is 12 years old, you would apply 10 pounds per plant. Keep the planted area free from grass 2-5-feet away from the trunk. Spacing: 10’ x 10’ apart. Did you know that the houseplant Ficus benjamina, or Ficus tree, is related to the Fig tree? Figs natural growth habit is a large shrub, but can be trained as an espalier. Listed below are a few cultivars recommended for the South.

Brown Turkey – Fruit is medium size, bronze skin with white flesh, very sweet and is good for making preserves. This variety is very prolific and bears on young wood. Long ripening season from mid-July to mid-September. Chill hours: 100. Height and Width: 15-20’ H x 15-20’ W.

Celeste – Medium sized fruit that bears on two year old wood. Celeste is the most widely planted variety and is a large tree, up to 20 feet. Ripening begins in June and will continue for 3 to 6 weeks. Chill hours: 100-150. Height and Width: 20’ H x 20’ W.

LSU Gold – Golden medium sized fruit of good quality. LSU Gold has a more upright growth than Brown Turkey or Celeste. Ripening begins in July. Chill hours: 100-150. Height and Width: 20’ H x 20’ W.

Grapes – All grapes are self-pollinating, and need to be supported by a trellis. Fertilize in the spring (March-April) when vines start to leaf out with a 10-10-10 or a 12-12-12 and apply Ammonium nitrate ½ pound per plant in early summer (mid-June). Grapes are not heavy feeders. The first year, apply ¼ of a pound per plant, second year apply ½ pound per plant, third year apply 1 pound per plant, after the third year apply 2 pounds per plant. Spacing: 10’ – 15’ apart. Listed below are a few cultivars.

Concord – Excellent, bluish, black grapes good for juice or jellies. Fruit ripens September. Chilling Hours: 100. Height and Width: 5’ H x 60’ W.

Niagara – Very large, light green fruit with a tangy, delicate flavor. Good for eating fresh. Fruit ripens September. Chilling Hours: 100. Height and Width: 5’ H x 60’ W.

Mars – Fruit is medium to large, deep blue, seedless that is good for eating fresh, jellies, or juicing. Chilling Hours: 100. Height and Width: 5’ H x 60’ W. 

Mango – All mangos are self-pollinating and are very sensitive to temperatures that drop below 40° F for extended periods of time. When temperatures drop below 40° F there will be damaged to the flower and temperatures that drop to 30° F or below will damage the trunk of young trees. Wrap the tree with a blanket or frost cloth to prevent trunk damage.  Mango trees should be planted in an area that has good drainage. For newly planted trees fertilize every month with a citrus fertilizer plus minors, or 6-6-6, or 8-8-8, or 10-10-10 plus minors ending in October. Thereafter, fertilize 3 to 4 times a year. The fruit matures in 3 to 6 months and ripens on the tree. 

Muscadine – Most Muscadines are self-pollinating, and need to be supported by a trellis. The varieties that require a pollinator will be listed below. Fertilize in the spring (March-April) when vines start to leaf out with a 10-10-10 or a 12-12-12 and apply Ammonium nitrate ½ pound per plant in early summer (mid-June). Grapes are not heavy feeders. The first year, apply ¼ of a pound per plant, second year apply ½ pound per plant, third year apply 1 pound per plant, after the third year apply 2 pounds per plant. Spacing: 10’ – 15’ apart. Listed below are a few cultivars. 

Albemarle – Self-pollinating, very productive with medium black fruit that is very sweet. Excellent muscadine flavor. Ripens midseason. Chilling Hours: 150. Height and Width: 5’ H x 10 - 12’ W. 

Carlos – Self-pollinating, early to mid-fall harvest. Very large, bronze fruit that is slightly tart, but sweet in flavor. Fruit is good for eating fresh or for wine. Chilling Hours: 150. Height and Width: 5’ H x 60’ W. 

Cowart - Self-pollinating, early to mid-fall harvest. Very large, black fruit that is excellent quality, and flavor. Chilling Hours: 200. Height and Width: 5’ H x 10-12’ W. 

Dixie - Self-pollinating, mid-season harvest. Very large, bronze fruit that is excellent quality, and flavor. Chilling Hours: 200 - 300. Height and Width: 5’ H x 10-12’ W.

Scuppernong – Old time favorite with medium to large, bronze, sweet flavored fruit. A heavy producer that ripens early. This variety is female and needs to be planted with a self-pollinating variety. Chilling Hours: 150-200. Height and Width: 5’ H x 15’ W. 

Southland – Self-pollinating, producing medium to large black fruit of excellent quality and very sweet flavor. Fruit ripens mid-season. Chilling Hours: 150. Height and Width: 5’ H x 10 - 12’ W. 

Summit - This variety is female and needs to be planted with a self-pollinating variety. A heavy producer that has large bronze fruit, of excellent flavor and very sweet which is good for making wine or eating fresh. Chilling Hours: 150. Height and Width: 5’ H x 10 - 12’ W. 

Triumph – A popular early ripening, self-pollinating variety that produces large bronze, very sweet fruit. Chilling Hours: 150-200. Height and Width: 5’ H x 15’ W. 

Peaches – All peaches are self-pollinating, but benefit from another variety to be more productive. Recommended fertilizer for peaches is a balanced fertilizer such as 8-8-8, or 10-10-10, or 13-13-13. All peaches require chilling hours and are listed below. Fertilization should not begin for at least 3 months after planting. A root stimulator or Super Thrive can be used at planting time. These products help the plant or tree to establish new roots. Recommended fertilizers for peach trees is an 8-8-8, 10-10-10, or a 13-13-13 that is applied in the spring. Spread the recommended amount of fertilizer uniformly from the drip line to the trunk of the tree. Avoid fertilizing after June, new growth is more susceptible to winter damage. Recommended fertilizer rates for Peach trees is: 1st year – ½ pound per plant and apply at bud swell (February – early March). After 1st year, 1 pound per plant per year of growth up to a maximum of 10 pounds per plant. For example: your tree is 12 years old, you would apply 10 pounds per plant. Keep the planted area free from grass 2-5-feet away from the trunk. Spacing: 20 – 25 feet apart. Listed below are a few cultivars of peach trees.

Belle of Georgia - Self-pollinating, fruit production increases with another peach planted nearby. Old time favorite white-fleshed, freestone peach with partially, red-blushed skin. Fruit is good for fresh eating, low-acid makes flavor very sweet. Ripens second week in July. Chill hours: 850. Height and Width: 25’ H x 25’ W.

Elberta - Self-pollinating, fruit production increases with another peach planted nearby. Large, yellow canning, freestone, sweet fruit. A heavy producer that ripens the third week in July. Chill hours: 850. Height and Width: 25’ H x 25’ W.

FlorDaKing - Self-pollinating, fruit production increases with another peach planted nearby. Early ripening, third week in May. Produces large, yellow-fleshed clingstone fruit. Chill hours – 150. Height and Width: 25’ H x 25’ W. A highly recommended cultivar for the south or USDA zone 9.

FlorDa Prince – Self-pollinating. One of the best peaches for south Texas or USDA zone 9. Chill hours – 150.

June Gold – Self–pollinating. Chill hours – 450 – 600.

Red Skin – Self-pollinating. Chill hours – 750.

Sam Houston – Self-pollinating, fruit production increases with another peach planted nearby. Yellow freestone with high quality, firm flesh. A heavy bearer that ripens mid-June. Height and Width: 15-20’ H x 15-20’ W. Chill hours – 500.

Pecans – All pecans require a pollinator of a different variety for better nut yield. Fertilize with a 12-10-10 three to four times a year.

Plums – Most plums require a pollinator. All plums require chilling hours and a pollinator depending on the variety. Fertilization should not begin for at least 3 months after planting. A root stimulator or Super Thrive can be used at planting time. These products help the plant or tree to establish new roots. Recommended fertilizers for plum trees is an 8-8-8, or a 12-12-12 that is applied in the spring. Spread the recommended amount of fertilizer uniformly from the drip line to the trunk of the tree. Avoid fertilizing after June, new growth is more susceptible to winter damage. Recommended fertilizer rates for plum trees is: 1st year – ½ pound per plant and apply at bud swell (February – early March). After 1st year 1 pound per plant per year of growth up to a maximum of 10 pounds per plant. For example: your tree is 12 years old, you would apply 10 pounds per plant. Keep the planted area free from grass 2-5-feet away from the trunk. Spacing: 20 – 25 feet apart. Listed below are a few cultivars and pollinators for plum trees. 

Autumn Rosa - Self-pollinating, fruit production increases with another plum planted nearby. Heavy producer of medium to large heart shaped, purplish-red skinned fruit. Flesh is yellow with red streaks. Ripens later than Santa Rosa, mid-July. Chill hours: 500. Height and Width: 10’ H x 10’ W.

Bruce – requires a pollinator, Santa Rosa is a good pollinator. The fruit is good for canning and bears at a young age. Bruce plums produces large amounts of brilliant wine red fruit with red flesh that ripen early to mid-June.  Chill hours – 500 hours. Height and Width: 10’ H x 10’ W.

Burbank – requires a pollinator, Bruce or Santa Rosa are a good pollinator. The fruit is excellent for eating fresh or for canning with large, purplish red color and yellow flesh. The fruit ripens mid-July and bears early and sets heavily. Chill hours: 200-400. Height and Width: 10-12’ H x 8-10’ W.

Methley – Medium to large reddish-purple fruit with red flesh. The fruit has a sweet flavor that is excellent for eating fresh that ripens early June. Requires a pollinator, Bruce or Morris are good pollinators. Chill hours: 250-350. Height and Width: 10’ H x 10’ W. 

Morris – Best with a pollinator, fruit production increases with another plum planted nearby. The fruit ripens in June with soft yellow flesh that can be eaten fresh, or in jellies and jams. Chill hours: 800. Height and Width: 10-15’ H x 10-15’ W.

Ozark Premier - Best with a pollinator, fruit production increases with another plum planted nearby. Large, juicy, bright red skin with yellow flesh that ripens mid-June. Chill hours: 800. Height and Width: 10-12’ H x 8-10’ W.

Santa Rosa – is self-pollinating, but fruit production increases with another plum tree planted nearby. One of the most popular large freestone plums with yellow flesh that has purplish to crimson skin. Excellent juicy, tart flavor. Fruit ripens mid to late June. Chill hours: 250-350 hours. Height and Width: 10’ H x 10’ W.

Pomegranate – All pomegranates are self-pollinating. Apply a root stimulator or Super Thrive at planting time. These products help the plant or tree to establish new roots in the ground and help with transplanting shock. After establishment, apply a balanced fertilizer such as 8-8-8 twice a year, in March and October or November. For young trees 3-5 years, apply 2 -2 ½ pounds of 8-8-8 a year, 1-1¼ pounds in March and 1-1¼ pounds in October to early November. For older trees 6 years or older, apply 4½ to 6½ pounds of 8-8-8 a year,  2¼ to 3¼ pounds in March and 2¼ to 3¼ pounds in October to early November. Listed below are a few cultivars of Pomegranate trees.

Wonderful - Orange-red blooms in summer followed by red fruit in early fall. The Wonderful variety makes an excellent shrub or small tree. Chill hours: 150-200. Height and Width: 10’ H x 10’ W.

Russian Hardy – This variety will take extreme cold down to -6°. Beautiful orange-red blooms followed by full-sized fruit similar to Wonderful. Chill hours: 150-200. Height and Width: 10’ H x 10’ W.

General Care Instructions: For Fruits, Nuts and Berries Plants please recommend the following ingredients.
Choose an area for planting that is sunny or will receive at least 6 hours of sun a day.
The planting area should be well-drained, except for Bananas.
The planting hole should have a 50/50 mix of 50 percent original soil from the planting hole to 50 percent soil amendments. The reason for a 50/50 mix is that when the planting hole does not contain some of the original soil mixed with the soil amendments the roots do not grow outside the original planting hole.
After planting, water the original root ball of the plant and the planting hole, thoroughly. After watering apply a root stimulator to help reduce planting stress, and apply once a week for the first month, thereafter, once a month for the first six months.
Apply tree stakes, at least 3, to the tree for faster root establishment. Remove in three to six months after planting.
Apply mulch one to three inches deep, except on Citrus Trees. Apply pine straw instead on Citrus Trees.
Newly planted trees should be watered two to three times a week for the first month, after the first month water once a week until established.
Keep newly planted Fruit Trees, Nut Trees, and Berry plants should be free from grass at least two to five feet away from the original root ball.


©Cheryl Ann Meola 2013.  Texas Certified Nursery Professional (TCNP) #1282.

Friday, February 27, 2015

March Gardening Calendar 2015



March Gardening Calendar
Fertilize winter flowering annuals with a blooming type fertilizer. Water in all granular type fertilizers.

Tattered Liriope leaves can be cut either with a weed eater or your lawn mower set on its highest setting.

Lawns should have lime at least yearly. Have you limed your lawn lately? Use 40 pounds per 1000 square feet.

Start spring flowers and tomatoes from seeds indoors. It takes about 6 weeks to get strong seedlings.

Spring is a good time to prune your boxwood shrubs.
Peach and Apple trees need to be sprayed with a fungicide recommended for fruit trees, and spray the trees while the blossoms are on the tree.

Prune back Holly shrubs that have gotten too large. If needed, you can prune back to 18 inches.

Need to divide your Hostas? When the leaves start to show you can divide and plant elsewhere in a shady part of the garden. Use a solution of SuperThrive as a root stimulator for best results after planting.

Fertilize Pecan Trees with a fruit tree fertilizer and water in well after.

Check for scale insects on Camellias and Euonymus. Spray with a horticultural oil, if you detect the insects.

March is the last month recommended to prune Roses to half their original size. Fertilize with Bayer Advanced Rose Fertilizer after pruning and apply once a month. Click Here For More Information on Roses.

There is still time to plant winter veggies. Click Here For More Information. All vegetables can be grown in large containers. I prefer to grow my vegetables in containers. Click Here For Cedar Planters.

Fertilize shrubs with a shrub and tree fertilizer and water in well.

Flowering shrubs such as Winter Honeysuckle, Quince, and Forsythia can be pruned after flowering.

One of the best time to plant fruit and nut trees is in early spring. Nurseries have a good selection of these trees in spring, but hurry the selection usually goes fast.

Cheryl Ann Meola Texas Certified Nursery Professional #1282