If you love the idea of having fresh fruits and a bountiful harvest, you need to provide an ideal environment for your trees. Apples, Hass avocado, peaches, macadamia, tangerines, lemons, mangoes, and other citrus are some of the easiest fruit trees to cultivate. Whether you are a fruit farmer, a researcher, or a nursery propagator, you need to understand that soil plays a vital role in fruit farming. The trees have specific soil requirements and may not perform well if planted outside their ideal environment. You need to understand your soil, research the soil requirements of the fruit tree you want to grow, and make any necessary arrangements to make it suitable for fruit farming. Besides, you need to embrace sustainable practices to maintain soil health and fertility. So how do you make your soil ideal for fruit farming with few chemical inputs?
Here are a few tips that will help you know how you can create the best soil conditions for fruit production!
Fruit trees have almost the same soil requirements, whether you are a conventional or organic grower. They require a delicate balance of content, acidity, texture, and depth, although it’s pretty challenging to achieve them together. Generally, most fruit trees such as Hass avocado and macadamia flourish in deep, well-drained soils with a sandy, loamy texture. Clay soils are not ideal due to their poor drainage, although the soil can be readjusted to support fruit production.
To grow to their maximum height and put down strong roots, fruit trees require plenty of depth and a balanced application of nutrients. Besides, they require adequate drainage to prevent fungal infections and diseases like root rot. Also, you need to check for soil-borne diseases such as nematodes, Fusarium wilt, and Verticillium wilt.
Apart from the soil texture and content, you need to understand its pH levels. The acidity or alkalinity of the soil has a significant impact on fruit health. Most fruits perform well in a pH range of between 5.5 to 7.5. It’s essential to test the pH to implement effective ways to create the ideal conditions for fruit farming. In commercial gardens, growers invest in regular soil testing to understand their soil conditions. This enables them to provide their plants with all the required nutrients.
The soil’s organic matter determines the performance of the trees and influences the uptake of nutrients.
After conducting a soil test, you can use the following soil-improvement techniques:
- If the soil is too acidic, you can add lime to raise the pH to the required levels. Alternatively, you can add sulfur to lower the pH if the soil is too alkaline.
- Add organic manure, compost, and other organic matter to enhance soil fertility. This enables optimum growth of the trees.
- Plant cover crops.
- Add fertilizers at a controlled rate to provide the necessary nutrients. After applying fertilizers, ensure that you water your trees with enough water.
- Plant cover crops to improve the soil structure and build up its fertility.
- During land preparation, try and use low-tech tillage.
With suitable soil, it can be easy to manage an orchard. After conducting a soil test, you will know what you need to add and what you should reduce. Besides, you will understand its drainage and how to regulate your soil pH levels. At OxfarmAg, we offer exceptional soil testing services to help you succeed in fruit farming. We also provide tailored extension services to assist you in managing your farm in the right way.
Reach us through;
Nairobi – 0769623300
Eldoret – 0710588060