GardenSMART Newsletter Signup
 
Visit our Sponsors!
Visit our Sponsors and win.

HOW TO GROW PLUMS

Anne K Moore
Photograph Anne K Moore

It will soon be fall, the best time to put trees in the ground.  When you are considering flowering trees, don’t overlook using fruit trees.  Plums in particular come in several sizes well suited to the home landscape.

There are three kinds of plums.  Each has a different characteristic.  Native plums are cold hardy but the fruit is only suited to making jams.  The native plum rootstock is most important for grafting many European and Japanese plums, in order to make these trees hardier in their non-native habitat.

European plums are the cold hardiest, suited to growing in USDA Zones 5-7a.  They do not tolerate high heat and humidity and are prone to more insect and disease problems, the warmer they are grown. 

Japanese plums do not need much in the way of winter chill to bear fruit.  They will stand up to heat and humidity and are healthier with less care in the warmer environments.

Most plums do need a pollinator, so you will need room to plant a pair if you want a good fruit crop. 

There are three heights available to the home fruit gardener; Standard trees are about 15 feet high, dwarf trees are about 7 feet high, and semi-dwarf trees grow to a height in between.

If you want to eat your plums fresh out of hand, then the Japanese plum trees are the best to grow, if your climate will allow it.  The plums they produce are sugary sweet.  They will reward your taste buds with succulent, dripping flesh. 

Since European plums are firmer, they are good for cooking and canning.  You can also eat them fresh.  These plums dry well.  They are the favorite for making thick, sweet prunes.

Check the pH of your soil.  If needed, add lime to acid soil or sulfur to alkaline soil to bring the pH to 6.5.  These soil amendments need to be worked into the planting bed six months in advance of planting.  It does no good to spread this on top of the soil.  Both need to be dug under in order to react with the soil.

Dig a hole large enough to hold the roots and wide enough so that you can spread the roots out in the planting hole.  Dig it just deep enough so that the trunk flares at the soil line.  Planting too deep is the number one killer of trees.  Do not put down fertilizer in the planting area or in the hole at planting time.  Wait until the tree is established and the buds are about to open in the spring before you fertilize.

Be sure to tamp the soil in around the roots, but do not stomp on the planting hole so hard that you compact the soil.  Roots need air to breath!  Lug the hose to the planting area and water the roots thoroughly by filling the planting area with water.  Wait until it drains away and then fill it again.  This should thoroughly wet the root area and wash soil into any air pockets left around the roots.

Put down a one to two inch layer of mulch to keep weeds out of the planting area. 

Your very best resource for which variety to plant in your area and how to care for it through its life is the University Cooperative Extension Service in your state.  Either the Extension agents or Master Gardeners in the office are ready and willing to give you sound gardening advice.


All articles are copyrighted and remain the property of the author.

Article URL:
http://www.GardenSMART.com/?p=articles&title=How_To_Grow_Plums


Back to Articles List                               

   
 
FEATURED ARTICLE
GardenSMART Featured Article

By Natalie Carmolli, Proven Winners ColorChoice, Photographs courtesy of Proven Winners

There are few things more satisfying than seeing your beautiful garden in full bloom...and it's especially thrilling to see it abuzz with the activity of butterflies and bees. Want to bring more activity to your garden? Here's a guide to choosing unique, colorful, easy-care plants that provide a much-needed place for pollinators of all sizes to do their work. Read more...


Jump into Spring with savings up to $2200 on this Exclusive Cruise of the Rivers of Holland & Belgium with Eric Johnson Host of GardenSMART from PBS

Sail right into the pages of a storybook on our European garden tour through Holland and Belgium.

MAY 6-16, 2018

As low as $3799 per person/do, Price includes airfare from New York, Atlanta, Seattle, Chicago. CALL FOR OTHER CITIES THROUGHOUT THE USA

> Click Here For Details <

Watch filming and be part of the fun, telling your favorite...and not so favorite Dirty Tales. 2 Nights Amsterdam & 7 Nights River. Visit Amsterdam, Holland, Belgium, Kinderdijk, Antwerp, Bruges, Keukenhof Gardens, Rotterdam and More!

This Exclusive, Five-Star, Cruise & Garden Tours Vacation Includes:

  • 2 nights in Amsterdam including gorgeous hotel, wonderful tours and daily breakfast
  • 7 nights on the new, flagship Amadeus Silver III river cruise ship Incredible excursions in Arnhem, Kinderdijk, Rotterdam, Antwerp, Ghent, Bruges and Utrecht
  • All of your meals on board the ship, including wine with dinner
  • Deluxe motorcoach transportation
  • Transfers and luggage handling in Amsterdam
  • Hosted by Eric Johnson of PBS' GardenSMART
  • Fully narrated so you won't miss a thing!

Reserve space now by calling toll-free 206-935-6848 or make a reservation here.


 
   
  Click here to sign up for our monthly NEWSLETTER packed with great articles and helpful tips for your home, garden and pets!  
   
   
   
 
   
Copyright © 1998-2012 GSPC. All Rights Reserved.