5 Steps to Successful Fruit and Pecans

Dr. George Ray McEachern’s impact on Texas fruit and pecans including the Texas wine industry has been, and continues to be monumental.

We get to share a little bit of that brilliance each year at this time as he spends two hours on the air with us answering your questions. It’s the only time I turn my entire program over to one specific topic.

Dr. George Ray McEachern of Texas A&M and the Texas AgriLife Extension will be my radio guest this Sunday morning 8-10 a.m. on WBAP 820AM in DFW. You’re welcome to call from anywhere in Texas, however.

Sunday, February 3. 8-10 a.m.
Phone number (800) 288-9227
Podcast will be posted on my website by Monday evening.

Five Tips To Success
1. Know the types of fruit that are best suited to your part of Texas. Citrus won’t do well in Amarillo, and apples aren’t going to be thrilled with the Lower Rio Grande Valley. You’re better off sticking with types that have the best chance of succeeding in the soils and climate nature has given you.

2. Determine the best varieties of each type of fruit you want to grow. “High-chill” peaches won’t ever bloom in South Texas, and “western” varieties of pecans will be devoured by diseases if you plant them in humid East Texas. Texas A&M fact sheets available from this website will help you avoid costly mistakes.

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3. Find a reliable source of healthy, vigorous plants. Your orchard will have the best chance if you start with the best plants. Independent retail garden centers and farm stores usually have locally adapted varieties. National chain stores often do not. Mailorder specialists such as Womack Nursery in DeLeon, Texas, and Texas Pecan Nursery in Chandler, Texas, are great resources as well.

4. Plant in full sun. Winter is the only time to plant bare-rooted stock. It is the best time to plant balled-and-burlapped plants. You can set out container-grown plants at any time. Dig the planting hole to accommodate the plants’ root systems without crowding, but plant at the same depth at which they were growing in the nursery originally. Water immediately after planting. Prune as directed by the fact sheets in the link given earlier.

5. Care for your fruit trees and vines regularly after planting. Annual pruning will be needed for some, for example, peaches, plums and grapes. Spraying will be required for many. Irrigation and regular feeding will be important. The better the care you give them the better the results and the longer the plants will remain productive.

Posted by Neil Sperry
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