- Special Sections
- Public Notices
Our climate is what determines the type of fruit that will grow successfully in Brunswick County. The climate must be compatible with the growing requirements of the selected fruit crop. Before you start your garden, make sure the fruit you choose can grow successfully in your area.
As an example, if you choose to grow apricots or cherry trees, they may grow well with careful management but will not bear fruit consistently. Different crops require different levels of management. Low maintenance crops such as pecans, figs, and persimmons require little attention as far as training, fertilizing and insect and disease control. On the other hand, peaches and plums are more challenging.
Selecting a good site to grow your fruit is crucial to their success. Make sure your site is located in full-sun (six to eight) hours of direct sunlight) for best fruit production and planted in well-drained fairly fertile soil. Fruit trees do not like “wet feet” so avoid planting in areas with standing water. Raised beds can be designed to accommodate fruit trees but will need to be irrigated frequently during the growing season.
The ideal soil pH should be around 6.5 but North Carolina soils are typically acidic. If you do have acidic soil, adding lime to the soil will reduce the soil pH. Before planting, collect soil samples to determine the needs of your soil.
Adequate air drainage is as important as proper water drainage. In North Carolina, spring frosts and freezes are common, and a small difference in elevation can mean the difference between a full crop and no crop at all. Cold air is heavier than warm air and settles in low areas, so choose a site that allows cold air to flow downhill away from the trees. Avoid low sites commonly known as “frost pockets.”
Most fruit trees buds require 30 percent sunlight to produce high-quality fruit. The exterior of a tree may receive full-sun, but sunlight can be reduced by one-half just 12 inches inside the canopy. Eighteen inches inside the tree canopy, light may be reduced nearly 75 percent, which is below the level needed for successful fruit production.
After selecting the fruit and the planting site, you must choose the variety of fruit to plant. Gardeners often try to plant the same varieties that they see at their local grocery stores. These fruits are produced in areas with different climatic conditions from those in North Carolina. The fruit ends up looking much different than expected or will fail to produce a crop all together. Check temperature requirements and chilling factors before purchasing your trees.