Generally speaking, you need a large amount of land to start an orchard. Land is scarce in urban areas; however, if you live in the countryside and have large unused land, you might consider growing trees and starting an orchard. There are many benefits of growing trees and starting an orchard. One obvious reason is you will be saving the environment. Since trees consume carbon dioxide and release oxygen, you will be able to control air pollution and improve the quality of air, as well as leave less carbon footprint, thus eliminating the risk of global warming. Trees also protect our soil by stopping soil erosion.
Trees not only protect our environment but also make us money by giving us timber. You can also grow trees for timber and make money by selling timber. Trees also give us food. You can grow your own food by growing fruit bearing trees and starting an orchard.
If you are living in a rural area or have a farm in the countryside, and already have an experience with planting and maintaining trees, these are already good reasons why you should start an orchard. However, if you have never grown trees, or started an orchard for that matter, this might look overwhelming at first, however, this is fairly simple. All you need is some commitment.
If you have never grown trees, however, want to grow trees, or start an orchard, you might have to consider a couple of things. First of all, you need time to plant trees and look after the trees. Secondly, you need money to buy seedlings. For the people who do not have any experience, I suggest starting small, start with a dozen or half. Once you gain experience and knowledge you can plan something big. It takes many years to
When you are ready to grow trees, you can choose between timber trees or fruit bearing trees. You can also grow both types of trees at the same time. As far as fruit bearing trees are concerned, you can either grow the different varieties fruit trees or choose one type of trees to grow in your orchard. It might be easier to grow the same species of trees as they all need the same kind tending (water, nutrients etc.) You also don’t have to spend more time tending individually to the different types of tree. This will also make your specialist for the certain species of trees. When you grow different varieties of trees, you require different sets of skills and knowledge for individual species.
While growing trees and starting an orchard, the most important point to consider is the local climate. You have to choose trees that are favourable to your climate. Apples grow in the cold climate, mangoes grow in the warm climate. You have to plant the species that are suitable for your climate.
Another point to consider is the soil condition. The type of trees you are growing should be acceptable for the soil in your land. Before you begin planting, you will have to test the soil and plant trees that are good to grow in your soil. You have to treat soil with insecticides so that your plants grow well. You also have to prepare the potting soil by adding nutrients like fertilizer, mulch
When you are growing trees, whether fruit bearing trees or timber trees, you have to maintain them since their childhood. The main areas to consider are:
Adding micronutrients and fertilizers
Planting: You have to plant your trees in a row and follow a proper symmetry. Depending on the types of trees you grow, there should be 5-10 meters distance between the trees. Trees that grow big and tall requires more distance (for example mangoes, lychees etc.) And the trees that are medium size (for example, guava, pomegranate etc.) need less.
Adding micronutrients and fertilizers: Plants need micronutrients and fertilizers to grow healthy. You have to add micronutrients and fertilizers on the soil time to time.
Water: Plants need water. You can either install sprinkle system or an irrigation system. You have to spend more time maintaining sprinkle system, where as irrigation ditch is easy to maintain.
Pruning: Trees require regular pruning. You have to cut down dried branches. You can either prune trees to give them either a fan or an espalier shape. When the side branches are horizontal it is known as an espalier, whereas if they are sloped, it is known as a fan. This is to ensure that more trees can be grown in limited space. However, if space is not your concern, you can let them grow in a traditional shape.
Harvesting: If you have grown a lot of fruit trees, you should also consider harvesting fruits and sending them to the farmers’ market.