Bounty in the Garden

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Now that heavy fall is upon us, what can we add to the garden that will prove bountiful in coming years? Fruit and nut trees, of course! It’s the perfect time to do a little research about fruit or nut trees that will flourish in your Northshore garden. The best place to find that information is just one click away: “The Louisiana Home Orchard” at lsuagcenter.com. There, you will find information about different varietals that will grow in our southern climate. Most gardeners simply plant the wrong variety of trees for our area. On the Northshore, we know citrus does well, but how about apples? Well, there are not many varieties that do well here, but the Anna and the Dorset Gold are exceptions.

Without getting too specific about each available fruit, let’s think in general about planting any fruit or nut tree. Find a well-drained, sunny spot in the garden. Fruit and nut trees need at least six hours of sunlight a day, and they don’t like their roots to stand in water. They should always be well mulched to protect their roots from cold weather. These trees also need room to grow and most will spread wide as well as tall. You must remember this when planting or problems with soil nutrients and light availability will occur as your trees mature.  

Always follow the instructions for depth on the planting card which comes with your plant. Try not to plant your fruit or nut trees under other mature trees in your garden. Be patient in expecting fruit or nut production. It may take your plant at least three years to bear fruit.

With all of these things in mind, don’t forget the fig, the peach or the pecan. Along with citrus, these will thrive in our area. Not only will the wildlife appreciate your efforts, but you’ll enjoy the wonderful aroma their blossoms release in the spring. Figs in July, peaches in August, oranges, lemons and pecans just in time for the Thanksgiving table can all be grown right outside your own front door. What a bounty these garden additions will provide for you in the future!

Email your gardening questions to Lisa at shakeslyons@aol.com.



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