Do pesticides stay in fruit trees forever?
One of the most pervasive worries in home gardeners is the safety of buying and planting fruit trees. Pests, diseases, and other issues present a formidable hurdle to producing fruit trees in home gardens. Many home gardeners have the misconception that pesticides stay in fruit trees and leave for decades after you’ve harvested the fruit. Pesticides and other products used to keep fruit trees in check can be damaging, so how safe are our home garden fruit trees?
Are fruit trees really safe?
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the American Fruit Industry warns consumers about the dangers of pesticides that could impact the health of your family and pets.
It’s best to use pesticides with safety features and never in direct contact with the fruits and vegetables. You should use these precautions with pesticides you apply in the garden:
Use a spray bottle, so you don’t come into contact with your eyes or mouth.
Use gloves to keep hands safe from the spray.
Read and follow all labels to learn how to use these products correctly.
If your fruit tree has been treated with pesticides or other pest control products, keep them in a plastic bag in your fridge for no more than two weeks to minimize exposure.
Your safety when buying fruit trees
Whether you buy fruit trees from your local nursery, a mail-order company, or a garden center, you need to follow their guidelines for purchasing and planting fruit trees.
Fruit tree selection
Before you buy fruit trees, learn about the size, bloom, fruit, and production time of the fruit trees you want.
Select trees on the following factors:
Trees should be disease-free, with no holes or pests.
Trees should be healthy looking with no wilting or yellowing leaves.
Leaves should not be curling or curled.
Sour cherries can cause problems with the leaves and roots.
Trees should be heavy bearing, so the fruit should have good size, color, and shape.
Fruit should be ripe, but not so ripe that it’s soft.
Plant at a time that is appropriate for your area.
Grow in well-drained soil, and it should be a sunny area.
Use pest controls to keep unwanted pests at bay.
Fruit trees care and maintenance
You’ll also need to make sure your trees receive the best care possible before you plant them. Fruit trees require the following:
Warmth. Keep the area where you plant fruit trees at 75 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, preferably 80 degrees Fahrenheit, year round. This helps your trees to develop strong roots and leaves.
Water. Keep soil well-drained to help fruit trees stay healthy and thrive. Fertilize your fruit tree’s soil to support healthy growth.
Pruning. Prune the fruit trees to allow good air circulation and keep plants from growing too close to one another. Prune back in the early spring to reduce winter damage, and then again after the first heavy frost in the autumn.
Fertilizing. Use a deep-reaching fertilizer at the beginning of the season to boost your fruit tree’s growth.
Fruit trees come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and colors. Look for trees that are in-season so you get a sweet cherry that’s ripe enough to eat.
Select a location in your home’s yard for a tree that can endure a cold winter and a heat-loving summer.
Choose a warm, sunny spot with good, rich soil.
Wait to plant your fruit trees until after the last frost, as trees are more prone to diseases if they’re frozen solid.
When you plant your fruit trees, use a good all-purpose soil-based fertiliser such as Peters Natural Plant Fertilizer for trees and shrubs. The Peters Natural Plant Fertilizer is made especially for gardening in North America. It is a fast-acting fertilizer that will enrich and strengthen your plants. Peters Natural Plant Fertilizer is water soluble, so it doesn’t leave any harmful residue behind.
Tender perennials that like a sheltered, sunny location
Perennial plants come back year after year, which means you can enjoy their beauty all year long. But, perennials like:
All of these will grow well in sun to partial shade. Their compact nature means they’re easy to care for.
They’re easy to look after and can make lovely additions to your landscape.
As a rule of thumb, plant a few tender perennials in a flowerbed in spring or early summer when the weather is warm and dry, and plant bulbs in autumn, when the weather is colder and dry.
Give the soil around the plants plenty of time to settle, and be sure to give your bulbs a drink of water when they’re in the ground.
What’s the difference between planting bulbs and planting perennials?
A bulb is a corm that stores food for the plant, and is planted under a pot, to be planted into the ground in spring.
Perennial plants need to be planted in the ground in spring or early summer, before the soil starts to harden, and are grown on to flower in autumn.
What bulbs should you plant in your garden?
Here are a few good bulbs to plant in the garden. These are the kind of bulbs to give away as gifts or to be enjoyed at home in spring and summer.
Bulbs will give you a bright splash of colour, and are a real asset to a landscape.
Where to plant bulbs:
As a rule of thumb, plant bulbs in a flowerbed or a shaded area, where the soil is light, and where they won’t be constantly battered by hard winter