Guidelines on how to Grow Large Juicy Fruit
For many beginners at fruit tree growing, the biggest disappointment is that their first crop of fruit is mostly composed of small fruit instead of the nice large plump fruit seen in the local greengrocers. This is frequently upsetting for those new to fruit tree growing, and can often deter them from making any further efforts in this direction. If this applies to you, relax, it isn’t your fault, it is quite natural for this to happen. If you want those large juicy fruits you CAN have them without genetic engineering or non-organic fertilizers. Its not magic, it just needs a little experience and some advanced fruit growing tips and techniques.
The first step, which needs to completed when the fruit tree is still young, is to carry out a little ‘fruit-thinning’. The reason this is done is based on the idea that the fruit tree has a fixed amount of ‘fruit growing resources’ and if you allow too many fruits to remain on the tree, they will end up small and stunted. Remove some of these early and you will ensure that the ones that remain are plump and juicy. Opinions differ, but a good starting point is to remove approximately one third of the baby fruit in order to encourage the fruit tree to grow the remaining fruit to a large size.
The second fruit growing tip is ‘fruit spacing’. For most fruit trees, whether apple, pear, orange or lemon, the health and size of each fruit is heavily dependant on how far away it is from the next nearest fruit. When you are removing the baby fruit, in the fruit thinning process mentioned above, try to ensure that each fruit is at least 6 inches away from the adjacent fruit. Although it might look good when you friends come round, having a tree that is loaded with fruit is NOT the best way to encourage large fruit!
In many cases, the problem of ‘small fruit’ might be due to events that are beyond the control of the fruit grower. Weather, for example, can influence the growth of fruit dramatically. If there is a cold spell during the early growth stages of the fruit it can cause serious growth retardation to all the affected fruit trees. Even a sustained spell of bad cloud can affect fruit growth as it reduces the trees ability to provide nutrients to the growing fruit. In severe cases, or when many ‘weather shocks’ happen simultaneously, the tree may actually drop the fruit far too early, which will result in small fruit that is also probably damaged by the fall. In cases where weather, disease or pest infestation appear to be affecting your fruit trees, you may be able to save the day by doing some more fruit thinning allowing your fruit tree to allocate more of its resources to the remaining fruit.
Even the best fruit growers continue to build their expertise by experimentation, and you should be no different. If your tree is fully grown and hardy, you can pretty much do any degree of thinning that you wish without causing it any permanent harm. go tot he library and read any books you can on your chosen fruit tree. Ask advice from friends and colleagues, paying particular attention to those that have first hand experience. If you keep an open mind, and practice and experiment in a controlled manner, you will soon be producing fruit that is as big, or even bigger, than the commercially grown crops.