What? Gardening in the winter? Yes! If you have fruit trees, now is the time to prune and fertilize here in the Riverbend. All those beautiful trees full of fruit will entice any homebuyer.
First, trim out all all those watersprouts. The older varieties of trees will need to have plent of air circulating through them. So trim off the branches that grow at odd angles near the center of the tree. Think of the tree as a vase that's open in the center. Some of the old time fruit growers would say you should be able to stand in the center of the tree and swing your hat around and not touch any branches.
Be sure to burn your trimmings. If you mulch these cuttings you could be spreading bug larvae and various diseases to other trees and plants.
Now you should seal the entire tree and all of the branches with a coating of dormant oil. This oil is a bio-degradable oil that smothers disease, spores, and some insect larvae on your tree. Please read the labels and apply at recommended rates.
After you've cleaned up all of your cuttings spread a good 10-10-10 or 12-12-12 fertilizer around the drip line of your tree. For those of you who aren't familiar with this term, the drip line is the area that rain will drip from your branches onto the ground below. Most of the feeder roots will be in this area and the fertilizer will go directly into the ground with the help of Mother Nature.
A good measure of how much fertilizer is a three pound coffee can full for each tree.
Now your done with your winter fruit tree gardening. Be sure to have your selling agent take prospective buyers on a tour of the fruit trees this summer. It's a sure sell!
And for you homebuyers, don't let care of fruit trees scare you from purchasing a house. With proper care your family will benefit for years from the fresh fruit on those trees.