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Select the Best Fruit and Nut Trees for Your Homestead Orchard
Select the best fruit and nut trees for your homestead orchard before you plant! Fruit and nut trees take several years to bear and may produce fruit for years to come. So take some time to research the best varieties of fruits and nuts for your area. Find out what conditions they need and where to plant them for successful harvests!
What are the Best Fruit and Nut Trees For Your Area?
Before you order fruit and nut trees, determine which species will do best on your homestead. Your growing conditions depend on your local plant hardiness zone, microclimates, common pests and diseases in your area, and your soil type.
USDA Hardiness Zone
Start by finding out what USDA Hardiness Zone you live in with this interactive map. Choose only fruit and nut trees that do well in your hardiness zone. Most gardening catalogs list the proper zones for each variety based on average temperatures and chilling hours.
Some fruits and nuts need a minimum of chilling hours (temperatures between 32 and 45 degrees Fahrenheit) to produce a harvest each season. Fruit and nut trees with low chilling requirements (fewer hours of cold) produce better in warmer climates. Some, such as citrus, do not need chilling hours and won’t survive in colder climates unless they are grown indoors. If you often have late frosts, try to choose varieties that need more chilling hours to help prevent frost damage to flowers.
Microclimates are areas on your property that have a variety of different growing conditions. Factors that cause these variations include exposure to wind and sun, low lying areas vs high ground, and heat ‘sinks’ such as a concrete wall that absorbs warmth and holds it. You will find warmer temperatures and less wind next to the south side of your home’s foundation, for example.
You might also be interested in reading A Guide to Growing Luffa by Little Sprouts Learning.