For the last few years, I’ve been letting my fruit trees and berry bushes grow as they please, not doing much maintenance other than pruning. But most of them have been in the ground for 3+ years now and are starting to produce, so I wanted to follow a better care plan to ensure a good harvest.
I am doing a modified version of this checklist by Michael Phillips. It looks daunting at first, but is actually pretty simple. So far, I’ve been using a spray of neem, effective microorganisms, and fish/seaweed fertilizer. Once the trees dropped their flower petals, I added Surround to the mixture (I’ll probably only use the surround on the fruit trees and not the berries. The berries don’t seem to have the same bug problems as the trees.)
I’ve so excited to see how this works. We are a fruit loving family, so the more the merrier! (Oh, I’m also using the fertilizer spray on the strawberries and roses.) I’ll keep you updated.
Addendum: I’ve noticed that the two pear trees have some black spots on them that only appeared after using the neem. I think it may have burnt them a little. I’ve read that you can use neem on pears, but also that new growth can be susceptible to burn from neem. I’ll hold off on neem-ing the pears for now.