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February Food Garden: Fruit Trees for North Texas

In our ongoing series about the February Food Garden, we’d be remiss if we didn’t feature fruit trees. Here in North Texas, winter is the perfect time to plant fruit trees while they are dormant. Whether this is your first year to plant fruit trees, or you’re ready to expand your existing orchard, you’ll always find varieties here at North Haven Gardens that are well suited for our climate. We even carry a couple of dwarf varieties that are perfect for small spaces and even containers.

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Texas A&M Peach Introduction ‘Royal Zest Three.’ Image courtesy Texas A&M AgriLife.

How do I plant?

Fruit trees must have six or more hours of direct sunlight per day, so choose a sunny location. As with all trees, plant directly into native soil. Dig a hole that is twice as wide and just as deep as the root ball. Backfill with the native soil, then water well and apply Nature’s Guide Organic Root Stimulator.

When can I harvest?

Depending on the variety you plant, you will typically need to wait several years to harvest your fruit. Because the fruiting process drains the baby tree’s energy while it is trying to get established, it’s best to remove all of the initial small fruits that are produced for the first and often second year in the ground.

Peaches are one of the faster producers: By the second year, you can thin the fruit and leave some to pick and eat. By the third year you’ll be well on your way to a fruitful harvest. In the meantime, you’ll have a beautiful blooming specimen in the landscape.

'Tilton' Apricot in bloom
‘Tilton’ Apricot in bloom

What should I plant?

There are many fruit trees that grow well in our area. Peaches, plums, pomegranates and figs are some of the easiest to grow. But you can also grow pears, apples, citrus and certain cherries. We’d love to introduce you to a few of our favorite selections. Visit us at the garden center for a tour of the fruit varieties, such as:

Texas A&M Peaches have been bred specifically for our challenging Texas climate and mild winters, requiring no more than 550 chilling hours. Great news for those of us who love peaches! Be sure to try these varieties for their delicious flavor and hardiness to our area.

Columnar Apples: we love columnar varieties not only for their delicious fruit, but also because they are perfect for small spaces and containers. At only 8 to 10- feet tall and 2-feet wide, these are the perfect varieties for small landscapes and containers or as an accent at an entryway. Plant two varieties for necessary cross-pollination and a great harvest.

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Fig trees withstand our hot Texas climate like no other. This classic fruit tree is known for its tolerance to pests and diseases in mild-winter climates and the beautiful leaves have an interesting shape. Come see all of our fig varieties in stock!

Read more about winter gardening:
Year-round Vegetable Gardening in North Texas
Homegrown Gourmet: Asparagus How-To
February Food Garden: Grow Rhubarb and Horseradish

Take a look at our Fruit Tree Planting Project List for tips and our garden advisors are always happy to answer your questions.

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