Mini Grove Culture
Today more than ever, people are seeking fresh organic fruits. Growing your own fruit allows you to control how they are grown. You can enjoy fresher, healthier and more nutrient rich fruit right from your backyard. You know what you sprayed on the trees and you are in the best position to grow your food organically.
What exactly is Mini Grove Culture?
The objective of Mini Grove Culture is the prolonged production and harvest of fruit from small trees. You can achieve this goal by planting many fruit tree varieties close together which ripen at different times, and keeping the trees small by pruning and proper fertilizing. How small? Well how about arms reach. Keeping them small also means using low quantities of nitrogen fertilizer. Too much nitrogen means little if any flowers and remember no flowers means no fruit.
When and how often should I prune?
Pruning is most important during the trees first three years. The shape and size of a fruit tree is established during this critical period. It's easier to keep a small tree small than it is to make a large tree small. Once you decide to follow this concept, choose a tree size and keep that tree that size! It's up to you!!
Small trees are obviously much easier to spray, thin, prune and harvest than larger trees. Small trees, benefit you by providing a greater number of trees on the property. Growing many smaller trees means you can have several varieties. You can enjoy a longer fruiting season and you won't break your back doing heavy work.
How do I get started?
A good way is to buy young starter trees like the ones we offer. Our smaller trees will come in a plastic
(3.5 inch by 9 inch pot on average and sometimes a bit larger) the pot protects and directs a downward growth of the roots. For best tree growth, we suggest the following. After about two weeks to a month of receiving your starter tree it should be transplanted into a deep 3 gal pot or a fabric tree pot and cared for until about 3-4 foot tall. At that point you can plant it in the ground. The deep pot or fabric planter pot helps to avoid the roots from circling and later girdling the tree. Most fabric containers are designed to air prune or contact prune the roots to avoid roots circling and girdling the trees. You can find fabric pots here: https://amzn.to/3R4btx0
You can purchase larger trees that come in 3, 7 or 15 gal sized plastic containers. With the larger size containers you need to be more concerned about the roots and how they affect the health of the tree. After removing the tree from the pot, cut gently along the sides of the roots with a sharp knife to help them spread out in the planting hole. Keep in mind that a bent or damaged tap root could be a setback to the development of the tree. Sometimes a weak damaged tap root is better pruned back.
With fruit trees it is wise to begin pruning for shape and height as soon as you plant your tree. The idea is to begin cutting the top of the tree and all the new side shoots on a regular basis. Your goal is to create a bush not a tree! A small tree/bush that is pruned regularly will be a healthier and more productive tree. You will enjoy more fruit and less work. The trick is to be consistent and keep maintaining your tree small.
How would you like to have a living fence that grows Guava and Carambola. Well, you can do it. Here's how. Plant two Guava trees in a row about four feet away from each other. Place a few posts in the ground to help support the branches as you train them to grow. Keep topping the tree as it grows and allow side branches to grow horizontally. Your living fence can be 4-5 foot tall and have plenty of tasty guava hanging from it several times a year. Do the same with your carambola trees. Try other fruit trees as well.
Why not plant three Avocado trees in one hole. This method requires that the trees all be pruned to the same height at planting time. Plant the trees about 24-48 inches away from each other on a raised bed. While the trees grow, always keep them pruned and do not allow any one tree to dominate or shade out the others. Never prune while trees are approaching flowering season. Know your trees!
How about this Avocado tree combination: Oro Negro and Monroe trees have type B flowers and Catalina and Simmonds trees are Type A. You can create combinations that offer excellent cross pollination for maximum fruit production and the trees growing together will stay smaller. You can enjoy Avocados in winter and summer. Now that's a lot of guacamole!
Be sure to always prune your trees right after your harvest is over. Manage your Mini Grove this way and you will maximize production, enjoy a wide variety of fruits and provide your family with healthy nutritious food from you backyard.
Pruning serves another very necessary and important purpose. Dead wood in a tree is cellulose - a compound sugar. This decayed wood is food for wood boring insects. The dead tissue easily becomes infected and hosts fungal organisms.
The removal of dead, dying, and broken limbs in a timely fashion eliminates many of the problems caused by these organisms.