Organic gardening is something San Diego residents can enjoy practically year-round. With our mild, sunny climate and temperate weather, it is possible to grow fruits, vegetables, and herbs practically every month of the year! However, there are some months that are better than others for certain organic gardening activities. Purchasing and installing bare-root fruit trees, for example, is an activity that is often best done during January when temperatures are at their coolest.
Fruit trees can be purchased almost any time during the year, but January is a very good time to do so. This is because January is generally when commercial nurseries receive their crop of bare-root trees, and the selection is at its best.
A bare-root tree refers to one that has no leaves or foliage; in fact, it looks very much like a stick! It is difficult at this stage to tell exactly what the tree will look like, but the process of preparing bare-root trees is often the best for later producing abundant fruit.
First, the bare-root trees are grown in a large field. After these small trees lose their regular crop of leaves, they are dug up and the roots are washed with water. This removes all of the dirt and leaves the roots bare, giving these trees their name. The trees are then packed carefully to protect the roots and transported to nurseries.
Bare-root trees are much easier to graft with other trees than full-grown varieties. The roots, called “bottom stock,” are grafted together with different tops to isolate traits that are most desirable for a given fruit. This allows nurseries to easily combine the very best traits of different species to produce trees that will be hardy and give plentiful fruit.
One thing that is important to understand before you select a fruit tree is how many chill hours are necessary for that particular variety to produce fruit. Different species have different tolerances for heat and cold. A “low-chill” variety is generally one that requires less than 200 hours per year of cold temperatures. These varieties are often best for San Diego gardens near the coast. For those in more elevated areas, fruits may be produced from trees with as many as 500 chill hours per year.
In order to select the right tree for your organic garden, it is important to understand which species are best for your particular microclimate, soil, irrigation abilities, and other factors. A professional landscape designer can often help you choose the right trees for your needs, allowing you to produce fresh, organic fruit that your family will love!
At Juniper Landscape Company, we work with our clients to design and build the right landscape based on individual needs and preferences. If you are interested in starting a thriving organic garden in your yard, contact Juniper Landscape Company today. Our professionals are ready to help you begin growing your own organic produce and enjoying a beautiful, healthy outdoor space.