How to Plant Citrus Trees From Start to Finish (COMPLETE GUIDE) 🍊

If you've ever wanted to start an orchard, but you don't even know how to plant
a tree, then this video is for you. Kevin Espiritu here from Epic Gardening, where it's my goal to help
you grow a greener thumb. And I could not be more excited because
right next to me is the very first tree that's going to be going into the
orchard here at the Epic Homestead. It's a Washington navel orange. So today's video is all about planting
a citrus tree from start to finish. We're going to talk about tree selection.
We're going to talk about climate. We're going to talk the exact
process of how to plant in the hole.

And at the end of the video, we'll even give you some post-care
tips for pruning and just a couple things that might be a little
hard to do as a fruit tree owner, but are necessary to ensure a solid
harvest for many years to come. So without further ado, cultivate that Like button and I will
personally make you a fresh orange juice straight from my orchard and
let's get into the video. The very first consideration
of course, is your own climate. Does it make sense to plant your citrus
in the ground like I'm about to do or should you be growing
it in a container? Now, citrus loves a warmer climate and
so I would say unless you're in zone eight or above, it's probably a
good idea to keep it in a container.

Maybe put it on a dolly so that you can
move it in and out in accordance with the natural swings of temperature. As you get to fall and winter it's
just not going to like to be in those conditions. Now, there are some things
you can do to control that. For example, if you have a big brick
wall or something like that, you could actually plant it pretty close
to that wall and that wall will radiate some heat and you can bump your climate
up just a little bit by doing it like that. So you can push maybe a zone seven to
a zone eight or maybe even grow it in a greenhouse and you get a
little bit of buffer there. But I would say in those colder
climates, citrus in containers, where you can move it in and
out, is a good idea.

Now, if you're in a climate more like mine
then in the ground is the ideal place for them. They're going to absolutely
love it. As far as location, I've selected a very exposed
area here right next to the old citrus tree. This is a grapefruit and
a lemon, sort of combined together. We're going to be doing a video about
that at some point cause they need a lot of love. But I'm about three or four feet away
from here and I'm going to keep this very well pruned, which we'll talk
about again in the future. But this is my location. South
is this way. North is this way. We've got good exposure and now
we want to get it into the ground. But because this is one of my first
times planting a potted fruit tree from scratch, I've called in my friend Cameron from
the busy gardener to help provide some pointers.

So here's the man himself,
Cameron from the busy gardener. I've learned a lot from Cameron and you're
gonna learn a lot from Cameron as we talk about planting this citrus tree.
So Cameron, you've done a lot of citrus. You've got what like 80 trees and bushes. At your place? Yeah, it has gotten
a little nuts. It's gotten crazy. And you know, he's infected me with
the bug. So what do we need to know? Just the bare-bones basics when
you're taking a potted tree like this, not a bareroot, potted fruit tree,
citrus. Where do I even begin? Yeah well, a citrus is a wonderful
option.

It's an evergreen option. And so we want to plant that into
place, like all of your fruit trees, where it's going to get a lot of sun.
This is a great location right here. But when you're planting it, especially
when it's a young tree like this, you want to ensure
you're planting it with, if there's a bud union where
you notice where the main areas have gotten grafted on, you want that to be facing to the north
because that's an area that can be experiencing some damage. So you want to face it to the north
because it's going to be a little more shaded from the sun.
It'll be more protected.

Yeah, exactly. And that can, you don't want any area for that
tree to get opened up to anything. You want to make sure
that the planting depth, sometimes as you look on the tree you'll
see that there is an area where it's been grafted onto an existing rootstock. So you'll see a different
type of wood below. You always want to make sure that
that part is planted above the ground. And so I like to say that those things
should be planted a few inches above the ground and then you're able to
then mound soil up if you need to.

Right. And that's different from,
I mean in the annual garden you're, most of the time you're just matching
your transplant height to the height of whatever container it's in. So if I've got this much soil in my little
pot and I'm putting a broccoli in the ground, I'm just going
to match it right there. And so it's a big difference in citrus
as you're actually bumping up this.

The soil ends probably right here in the
pot and I'm going to bump it to about there. I'm going to plant
only one there so. Yeah. And frankly, depending on the
type of soil that you have, if you have like you mentioned,
you have more clayish soil here, which doesn't drain as quickly and you
want to make sure that it doesn't drown because trees need to
breathe as well. Yeah. So the reason you want to put that up
a little bit is it's going to prevent, allow some water to kind of run off of
that and not drown those roots. But, and you're able to make up the difference
with some mounded soil if you need to. That's what I was going to say is the
natural question I think someone has there is then, okay well aren't a ton of the
roots just sticking out of the ground? And is that going to damage the plant? Yeah.

You want to make sure, you want to make sure you do that
because when you plant in the ground like this, you're going to notice that
over time it's going to settle. All of that soil that you disturbed
underneath it is going to begin to settle and so even though you planted it two,
three, four inches above the grade, you'll notice that over time it's
going to settle a little bit as well. Okay. So what we want to do now is I've
got a bunch of chips here on the ground. We'll grab the rake.
We'll clear the chips off, kind of look at the planting site and
then we'll get to digging. Let's do it. All right. I've got my bow rake here.
I'm going to clear this mulch away, but I thought Cameron, we should talk because I think a
lot of people are going to say, wow, there's a tree right here.

That seems a
little close. Citrus can get really big. So maybe you could share a
little bit about spacing, some soil considerations
as we clear this area out. Yeah, for sure. Yeah. So citrus is a wonderful type of fruit
in the sense that it grows almost more as a shrub than it does like
your traditional tree. I know you often will see them sold in
these garden centers as you see this trunk going up and then this
huge canopy up there. But they, if you look at the commercial growers, they will generally go all the way down
to the ground with evergreen foliage. And so these can actually
be trained as a shrub. And so what you're going to be doing
Kevin is eventually as we plant these things, kind of making, making a
hedge as, as your option here. Yeah. And it's going to be a
wonderful evergreen hedge. Well, what you were telling me that I thought
was really nice was I'm growing a lot of different fruits on this property. And
citrus, like you said, it's evergreen, especially here in my zone.

And so if I plant it as this hedge and
keep them low and grow it down below, right, I get this nice sort of
blockade from the street from the, from like the urban environment. So I
get this sort of oasis type of planting, right? Yeah. And if you plant some
things that are deciduous, you'll always have that green
backdrop which is there. So that's one really nice thing
about citrus is being able to plant, and the way that they grow
is as an evergreen hedge. You can even come through with hedge
clippers really and just keep it trained like that. A nice thing is that as you plant a
number of them you can just plant them pretty close. And that's what we're
going to be doing. Right. Planting three, minimum of three feet. But you know,
you could do five feet, eight feet, whatever. And then they
grow into each other. Yeah. How am I looking? Is there a rule on, on, on width when I'm planting or am I fine
with this like maybe three square foot area? That's actually even more than enough, you usually want to go about twice as
big as the width of the pot that you're planting.

Okay. This 15 gallon
pot is maybe 18 inches across. So having like two, three
feet across is perfect. We're going to go to about the
depth of the actual pot itself. So we're not going twice, twice
wide, twice deep like some. People would recommend. That's right.
Yeah. Yeah. You really want depth. A lot of these roots actually travel
laterally instead of just going straight down like you'd sometimes
think a tree would. Okay. So this is a great time
to start digging. Yeah, in terms of soil considerations,
they like a well draining soil. And so when you've got clay, you're going to want to probably plant
it a little bit higher than you would in like a very sandy loam type of soil.

Okay. So if I was in sandy loam,
which I'm not unfortunately, I would plant maybe a couple
inches above. And in this case, maybe we go three or four? Yeah, I think so. Okay.
Yeah. They like to, ultimately they like the soil to be
moist but they don't want to be wet. So they prefer like a deep watering
that then kind of has a chance to dry a little bit as opposed to just
like always being wet.

Okay. Yeah. Okay. So let's get to digging
then. Fortunately it just rained so. The soil comes in actually really easy.
Come on, I'm so jealous. Look at that. You've seen my soil is just full of rocks
so to see a shovel go all the way down and come up is incredible. Well, we timed this very perfectly because we
got probably most of the rain we'll get this spring, just a little bit
ago. Yeah. And so I even see. Did I see a worm? Did I see an
earthworm? I totally saw one. I think I saw a worm.

Here's a worm.
You have a bunch of worms in here. Oh my God! Look at this. Oh
dude, this is actually crazy. You know what guys. This is the power of the mulch. If
you watch the Homesteading channel, a company came and cleared all
the mulch off my neighbor's yard. And I just said, hey, instead
of bringing it to the dump, just mulch it directly into
my yard.

And they did that. And so we've been sitting on probably
six to eight inches of wood chip mulch plus getting the rains, which means the microorganisms
are gonna start coming in. Those worms that we see
here are going to come in. So honestly it is a little clay, but I think the citrus will probably
be pretty happy it's living soil. Totally. And putting that mulch on there makes
such a difference in terms of helping the soil beneath it to start breaking
down, being friendlier to planting, bioactivity, things like that. Yeah. Cool. Hey, I'm stoked. This is actually a lot easier to dig
into than I expected It would be. That's so wonderful! We'll just kind of keep this because this
is probably a good time to talk about it. A lot of people are going to say,
what are you going to put in that hole? Are you're juicing it up with compost? Are you juicing it up with bone
meals and certain amendments? And it seems to me that the theory is
don't do that too much because you're going to condition the plant to
be in its safe little bubble.

Get it used to the native soil and maybe
top amend? Just like you're saying. The traditional wisdom used to be to
amend everything and almost just put compost in. And now they're saying that you actually
shouldn't put anything in the hole at all. And if you're going to do anything, to do some stuff over the top after
you've put the mulch back. Frankly, they even are saying, like UC Department of Agriculture says that you shouldn't
even fertilize them for the first few, till you see a few inches of growth.

Because that's going to contribute to
a lot of leafy growth and stem growth where you really want the
plant to emphasize lots of
root growth and really get established. Especially in its first year,
right? Yeah. Yeah. Okay, cool. Let's finish digging this hole out
and we'll get to planting. Okay. I think we have a deep
enough hole, especially, cause we're burying it
a little bit higher, but the easiest way to check of course
is to just grab the pot and give it a test fit. That's probably a little high still. Yeah. Yeah. We've got about
six inches more to go. Yeah. So let's grab it a little
bit more down here. And maybe Cam, while I dig this out let's talk a little
bit about how do I get it out of that pot in a way that doesn't damage the
roots, doesn't damage the plant. Yeah. So when it comes to a
potted plant like this, one way that a lot of times is recommended
is to, with like a sharp knife, especially if you're dealing with
a thinner like five gallon pot, is to use like a box cutter to be able
to just slice down the pot and try to kind of peel it away from it.

Cause you're trying to not damage
that root structure underneath. But what I also like to do, and we'll
demonstrate this in a little bit, is to put it on its side, kind
of near the edge of the hole, roll it around and kind of hit the sides
of it to let the soil detach from the sides and kind of loosen
up around the edges. And then once we get nearer the pot, we'll be able to gently kind
of tip this and guide it out. One thing you never really want to
do is to pull a tree up by its trunk. You never want it supporting that
weight cause it'll often damage the root structure underneath with that
heavy soil ball beneath it. Ideally, you're going to want to,
especially on a smaller pot, just cut that thing straight
open. Okay. Where on this, just loosen up the sides,
roll it around gently. And then once we're ready for
it we'll be able to tip in.

Something as you're digging. Kevin is it's going to seem like when
it's in the pot it's a lot higher, but a lot of times you'll lose some
of the soil. So you'll find it. You get a couple of inches there. So here's a question that I think people
are going to have is I'm now starting to struggle, right? Because
it rained but it didn't rain. It didn't permeate that deep.
How do I loosen up that soil? Is it a good idea to grab the hose,
fill it up, sit there for an hour, let it drain through and then
just keep digging it out? It could.

I mean, it really
depends on your soil. If your soil benefits and loosens
up from having the water, then yeah, you could do that. Yeah. You could go through kind of like you're
doing right now with your shovel tip and just kind of wiggle it around to
get yourself a little bit more purchase. You could use, I think
we brought some out here, either like a little cultivator. You could use something
like this cultivator to go
through and just kind of dig in there and just kind of bust
up the bottom. But I mean, you're going to have the
most leverage with a shovel. So even though it starts becoming
a little bit harder work. Yeah. I'm just going to come in around and like
hug in the side and then pulling out, getting a little scrape going
and then just shoveling that out.

Yeah. And because we're going for width, once you get really the middle
of it kind of cleared out, it's okay if there's a little bit more
soil on the sides. Okay, cool. So let's, yeah, let's bring our shovel or
two out of there and see if this, how this thing sits in there now. Yep. So last shovel and then
we'll do a test fit here again. I think I probably got at least a
couple more inches out of there. Yeah. I think that's going to look pretty
good.

That'll look good. Let's see here. Oh, it looks good. That's perfect. That
looks good actually from the side. Yeah, that looks good. Okay. Cool. Well next step
is to get it out of the pot. We'll talk filling the hole. Again,
we'll touch on some of the amendments, but let's just get to it. Awesome.
Okay. Let's get it out of the pot. Probably like a fraught sensitive
moment for a lot of gardeners. This is the moment of truth!
You've spent some money on this, this plant and you don't want to damage
it before it even begins its life. So let's do this in the gentlest. Way possible. Okay. So we want to tip this kind of
and lay it against the side here. And we almost want the pot to take
on a different shape a little bit.

Almost kind of get a little,
little more oval, and that'll help. Move your hand and I'll hit right
where your hand is at. Okay. Sometimes I'll rotate it a little bit
and let it loosen up on the other side. Okay. Now this, I'm supporting
this trunk. I'm not yanking it. What I'm doing is I'm just trying to
help guide it. So if you're able to. I'll grab these little
drainage holes. Yep. Yep. And I'm even kind of going around
the side a little bit here. Or I can get a purchase there.
Okay. And I want, aha. There you go. So we're just guiding this out.

Now if I'm a solo gardener, before we
keep going, can I just cut this out? Yeah. Yeah. Okay. That's easier. If you're finding that this is really
scary and it's not working out, get something sharp, be safe with it and
cut that thing. Exacto, straight down. Okay. All right. Ready? Here we go. Wow. This is awesome! So let's talk then about why it's awesome. What's going on with the root structure? I'm seeing not a lot of
pot boundness here. Yes. Yeah. That's exactly it. What we're seeing is the
roots are starting to kind
of find the signs where the pot was, but not having any of that swirling going
on that can be so damaging to a tree after it's planted. Dare I say it almost feels like the
perfect time to have been repotting this, right? 100%. Yeah. Something that you do
want to do with these is to, you do want to agitate the sides. We want these roots to not be comfortable
with the size and the shape of that pot.

And so what we do is
we just, with our hand even, you can just disturb the
roots, the bottom of it, and that'll get them kind of activated
and looking for some, for some. Here's the question. Maybe you're not as lucky to have a
pot or a potted citrus that was this optimal and you are rootbound. I think we're very comfortable pruning
the tops of our plants and our trees but we're very scared sometimes
to prune the bottom. What should someone know about pruning, root pruning I guess before
it gets into the ground? Is that something I need to do? Yeah.

pexels photo 9660872

So that can be
something that you do. If you have a tree and you notice
that the roots are totally rootbound, there's heavy binding. There's a lot of roots here and you're
not able to easily just break it up like we are in this case, you can do
that with a nice sharp knife. You can go into a couple
inches of that root, you know start maybe halfway up the tree
and just cut a couple inches into the soil, into the roots and just cut
those up.

At least on two sides, you can do three, four.
And look, a little worm. Got some worms in there too. What about,
so like a really potbound plant, right, is going to have some
circling at the bottom. Would you come through and just
cut through it and leave it intact? Or would you actually like trim off
a really clumped mass at the bottom? What you may want to do is to come
through and just cut it straight down the middle. And if you're able to, you notice that even as we're doing this
we're trying to get the roots to look out. Yeah. And so if you
notice that that's there, try to just open that system up. I mean, if you're getting a tree that's
really root and potbound, the odds are stacked a little bit more
against you than they are in this case.

So you're really doing all that you
can to get that tree doing okay. Now what you might experience, let's say
that the tree gets stressed from that. It doesn't die but just get stressed.
You may experience some leaf loss. You might experience some fruit drop if
you're planting one where you're wanting a bunch of fruit on there. Just know
that you might see some negative effects. That doesn't mean it's dead. It just means that it's kind
of not feeling that great. And it may find its way out of there.

Okay, cool. Well, we need to tease the rest of these roots
out and start kind of test fitting it into the ground. Yeah. This
is, this is gorgeous. Yeah. I'm looking at all these little feeder
roots here, look really nice. Perfect. And the soil. Yeah. It's a good
mix of everything here. Do a 180. Get the bottom. I guess we can just do
it on this side. So how are we looking? So here's something that I know a lot
of people will do is they'll mound the middle of the hole and let
the roots sort of fan down. Is that something we should be
thinking about with citrus or no? Yeah, if you notice that your citrus
has roots that are open at the bottom.

Yeah. Then it's a good idea to fan them out
and have a mound so that way they fan, you want them going away
from the middle of the tree. A lot of times bareroot trees when you
get them are a lot of times like that, but citrus usually comes as a pretty
good, you know, root ball like this.

So yeah, but if you, if you do
have a lot of roots at the bottom, the idea of having just a
mound, almost like a cone, and setting it right on top so that the
roots go down on top of that cone would be. The way to go. Cool. Well, let's score the rest of this
out and we'll be good to go. Do I need to be thinking about
anything on the side of this hole, cause we've created again,
it's semi clay, right? Do I need to sort of score and, you know, texturize the side or do I leave it
as like a sheer clay wall in here? The problem. Yeah, exactly good point.
We can see it here. It's almost very, very smooth and clay, especially
when you go down with a shovel, it creates such a smooth
edge that sometimes those
roots will go out and go, oh, I'm in another pot. You're hitting like
a faux pot. And they'll start circling. So using something like a cultivator or
even just your hands to just break up the sides.

So that way it's
not an entirely smooth surface, but something that is, you know, got some texture in it so those roots
know that they're hitting something that isn't another pot. Okay, great. We're close in here on
the navel orange and we're close in. Because we want to show you, you know,
there is an orientation concern, right? And so let's talk about that. You've
got your rootstock down here below, which is what's growing in the ground and
imparting some beneficial qualities to the fruit above. And then you
have your, your graft, right. And you want your graft to
be in a particular direction. Yeah. This creates, this graft here
is a more sensitive area of the tree. And so we want this to be
protected from sunburn, from any type of opening which would bring
in any types of diseases or anything. We want to avoid all of that so we rotate
this entire thing so that the graft is facing to the north, which is that way. So when someone is saying, okay, well,
I don't even know where the graft is.

How can they actually tell? Well, usually you'll notice there's kind of a
dimple or a bump where the two types of wood meet. You'll notice here
that there's kind of an old. This is the rootstock. Yes. And they prune that off,
prune this rootstock off here, and then here's our
graft right there. Yeah. So you see a departure here. So where
you see the kind of exposed area, you can see that there's a more
distinctively exposed area back here, we want to hide that
from the sun. Okay, cool. So the next step then is to start
actually filling it in with soil, right? Yeah. Let's rotate this around
just a little bit. And yeah, let's get the soil in here. Okay. And we're just using the
soil we dug out. Right. We're not putting any type of amendments,
nothing else in that, in that pot. So I'm just going to start
dumping it in. Any concern? Do I need to be packing
it? Do I need to be? Yeah.

You want to create as little settling
as possible. So you'll want actually, as you're doing this, Kevin you'll want
to put the, put the soil around it. Yep. And every few inches or so you tamp it. It's going to be easier to tamp it in
and kind of just press it down in place. Maybe avoid some of
these big chunks. Yeah. Just break them up a little bit
if you've got clods of dirt. So we'll toss some of this over here. Of course we're going to have some
extra cause we've displaced a lot. And that's okay because we're going to
be mounding it up a little bit as well to protect these side roots that are here.

Yeah, because like you're saying, I mean, a lot of fruit trees will have these
sort of lateral surface feeder roots. And that's actually where most of
the action is taking place. Yeah. A lot of those that breathe, the feeder roots are all often near
the surface than way down below. Okay. So we're getting kind of close.
We're going to have to mound up. Is there any concern then about, I mean I'm seeing some root
structure right here, right? Am I going to want to be covering that
with some soil and how far up can I go? With citrus specifically you want this
to be roughly level with whatever the soil is that you're doing, but you never ever want to
go above where the graft is.

Okay. Nowhere near the graft, but we are getting close to the surface
of the actual citrus tree. Right. Oh, now it would be a good time also, before we do anything else is to just
kind of stand over the top of it and make sure that this tree is straight or growing
in the direction that you want while it's still really low. Good call. So I'm seeing it kind of
edging a little bit out this way. So maybe we'll, we'll
kind of do this. Right, and then you put your foot
back there. There you go. Yep. We'll get it nice and
straight cause remember, you're kind of setting
this in stone for a decade, decades or more so make sure you do it. Right. The mother navel tree that this, all navel trees have come from is still
alive from the 1800's in Riverside, California. Wow. And so these are very long lived
trees when they're taken care of. So you want that thing straight.

Now. At this point, am I
thinking don't fertilize, just add some wood chip mulch on top?
Or could this be a time if I chose, to add some choice
amendments to the top here. You know, the amendments that I would consider for
this would be things that improve the soil more than feed the tree. Yeah. Again, we don't want any leafy structure up top. What we want is the tree
to emphasize its rooting. And so you want stuff that is not
going to provide nitrogen to the system because nitrogen is
going to make this grow. But if there are some things you want to
amend the top of the soil with that are going to go in and help those
beneficial things beneath the soil, it's totally okay to do that. Like we could in theory, do like
maybe an inch, inch and a half, two inches of compost and then throw
some chips on top for some nice like sort of soil life building.

Well, compost is going to feed it. That's, I mean it's so hard because this
tree, citrus loves nitrogen. It's going to need nitrogen, but
NOT when it's first planted. Okay. So this might be a thing if you come out
and notice that you've got six or eight inches of growth, come and bring
your compost all you want. Yeah. Yeah. Okay, cool. Well, it's time
to talk about mulch then. Sweet. So our Washington navel is
in the ground. Actually, I would say it looks a little healthier
than I would expect it to for a new planting. So we're off
to a good start. Now, before we water it in there's
one thing that you can do. It's in this little jar here,
it's called whitewashing the tree. Which basically protects
it from sun scalding, especially a young subtropical tree. So we use this one Cameron and I both
really like, this one from IV Organics. Their 3 in 1 or their whitewash
product. But it's an optional step, I wouldn't say it's absolutely mandatory, but it's going to get a tree off to a
better start by just protecting it.

Right? Yeah. Especially in the
hotter climates. These, these are subtropicals
like citrus and avocado, they're used to growing
among a lot of other trees. And so their bark can be a
little bit more sensitive. And so using a whitewash like this or
even like an interior white latex paint mixed 50% water, 50% paint that can
work too. But an organic option is like. Probably the better option. Yeah. Okay. So now we're watering it in.

Is there anything that we
actually have to know? Like, do we water it for a certain amount
of time where we're trying to get to a certain depth? Or are
we just getting it wet? The idea of watering your
plant in is that as you water, it's going to get all of those air pockets
out of there and allow the roots to make really good contact
with the soil around them. So you're going to want to get a bit of
good deep watering to the point where you feel like it might be saturated
all the way down. Okay, cool. Let's get to it. We're watered in. But like I said, we displaced a lot of the dirt by
planting the actual tree in there. So we have some dirt here. And what we're going to want to do is
just lightly rake this over the top. Because like Cameron was saying, when you water it in you're
removing a lot of those air pockets. We're seeing some root exposure here
after that nice, healthy watering.

And we just have some extra topsoil here
to rake over before we put our mulch on. So we're just going to drag it over. It's okay if we get some chips in there. You don't wanna bury the chips too deeply
cause they're going to start stealing nitrogen, but it's probably not a big
deal to have a few here. And then Cam, is there anything I need to know when
I'm dragging my wood chip most back? First of all, is wood chip mulch the
ideal mulch, is there a better mulch? And if it is, am I going
two inches, five inches? Am I keeping it close to
the trunk? All that kind of.

Stuff. Yeah. Mulch is a wonderful thing. Probably one of the best things
you can do for your fruit trees. And so using a good
hardwood chip mulch is your ideal mulch. Although I kind of like to say the mulch
that's the best mulch is the one that you'll. Actually use. Yeah, the one that
you've got around at least. Yeah. So, but if you're able to, if you've got some mulch or
have access to some mulch, something that isn't dyed, you know. The ideal stuff is what like arborists
will use, landscape guys will create, like what you had sprayed
into your yard here. All the stuff we're actually going
over is probably an ideal mulch. It's a hardwood Chinese Elm
mulch. And it's relatively fresh. It's chopped up to a nice sort of
consistency. And it's a varied texture, which I think is kind of important.
You don't want like huge chunks, you don't want like all
finely ground chunks. When there are different sizes, it
avoids it all getting compacted.

So having something that's a
bunch of varied sizes is perfect. And what you're looking for with your
mulch is about four inches is ideal. Three to four inches is ideal.
You can go a little heavier. You really don't want to go much lighter. But what this is going to do is going
to help with your soil temps, your the, all this stuff happening underneath,
like we saw those earthworms earlier. And it's going to make
your tree a lot happier. It's going to keep moisture there. Keep
that, when that sun is baking down, keep from that root system drying
out. So mulch is a wonderful thing. Do I need to be pulling this away
from the trunk just a bit? Yeah. You want to be about four to six inches
away from the trunk and that'll prevent any fungus from happening or
crown rot or anything like that. So we're in a good spot here then.
Yeah, this looks great.

Okay, cool. So there is one final thing that you're
going to have to do with your fruit trees. It's a painful one and we
actually have the perfect example here. We have a fruit here and Cam I'll let you
say it cause I really don't want to do it, but we're going to have to do it. So tell us what we need to do in the first
couple of years of its life to really give it a good start. Well. Fruit takes energy to make. And what we want this tree to do right
now is to spend all of its energy putting out strong roots and
creating a strong structure. So that means that you've got to,
for at least the first season, remove all of the fruit on your
tree.

It kills you, you bought it, you planted it. I don't like this. I don't
like this, but, but however, I will say we have a Washington navel.
We're actually in the ripening season. And so I'm going to venture to say that
this one's probably either ripe or very close to ripe. And so if we have to do it, why don't we just at least
enjoy it together as we talk
about some final things. So let's get to that.

At this point
we've taken you all the way through, from a potted plant into the ground
with almost every consideration I could possibly think of, thanks to Cam.
I was peppering him with questions. And we have to do the unthinkable, which
is remove this Washington navel here. And enjoy it. But Cam I think there's a couple of
things that we want to talk about. Number one, as I struggle
to get this off here, I think probably just pulling it
would have been a better move, but let's open it up. Let's see what it
looks like. At the same time, you know, first couple of years of growth.

What
am I looking? Oh, that's juicy, dude! That's actually looking
really good. And don't, don't use a knife like I'm using a
knife guys because I guarantee this is probably not the most responsible way
to do it. Half for you, my friend. Oh, nice. Thank you. Let's enjoy this. This looks good. This looks
really good. All right. I'm going cut myself a corner here. But what do I need to know after
just pruning the fruit off right, for the first year or so – general
like year one care tips after. And also another question. Let's say,
you know, a month to two months goes by, am I looking for any signs of like, ooh, I didn't really plant it the right
way or something's going wrong? Yeah. If something's going to go wrong, usually your leaves are going to
be the main thing to tell you that.

And so if you're noticing that the leaves
are kind of folding up on themselves, then they might need some attention.
Something to be aware of though, is that when you first plant a
tree, you want to water it two, maybe even three times the first week
if the water is, if the air is warm. Two times maybe the next week. But
one time after that. Most people, if they're going to do something with
watering, they overwater their plants. Right. Cause you think, oh my goodness,
the leaves are turning yellow.

I've got to water it. And the
thing is drowning and stuff. Yeah. This is amazing by the way. Let me
taste it. Yeah, go in, go in real quick. This is Washington navel season right
now. So good. That's actually so good. Wooh! Reminds me of
soccer when I was a kid. I was going to say the
same thing. I hated soccer, but it does remind me of soccer. It was like the only good part
of soccer for me. But anyways, you're going to look at the leaves. You're going to look for
some symptoms on the leaves.

You're going to make sure you water a
decent amount in the first week or so. And after that, it's kind
of just like going, right? Let it grow. As long as you
planted it in a sunny place. If there are no systemic things going on, you planted it above grade a little bit. Should allow water to run
off if there's too much. You're just really looking
to see if there's something
going on with the leaves. If you're wondering, I think watering probably is the biggest
thing to pay attention to and you can buy like an inexpensive moisture
meter for eight bucks or something.

And a little probe goes down
there. It can let you know. You don't want the soil to be dry
and you don't want it to be wet. If you notice it is moving
toward the dry section, give it a nice deep watering through a
slow hose at a very slow rate so that it seeps down and doesn't just run off. And
this is going to take care of itself. It wants to grow! Wants to grow. Well hey, Cam's channel is a wealth of
information – the busy gardener. It will be linked down below. Thanks for helping me out in the first
tree planting here at the Epic Homestead. So awesome! I can't thank you
enough, my friend. Until next time, good luck in the garden
and keep on growing..

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