Cherry is among the most well-liked agricultural products, given the delicious fruits and flowers it produces. If you frequently incorporate this crop into your pastry, jams, or other dishes, you may want to grow it to save money as well.
So when to plant a cherry tree? Cherry growing is best done during spring or autumn when there’s no frost. Learn more about this task below.
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Best Time to Plant Cherry Trees
1. In spring or fall
The best time to grow cherries is during the spring or fall season. Within either of these periods, start gardening when there’s no danger of frost and when the ground is moist but not drenched in rain.
- For example, since the last frost in Detroit, Michigan usually falls on April 26, residents there can start sowing cherry seeds after this date.
- Similarly, because Detroit’s first autumn frost is on October 17, planting should be done before mid-October.
Aside from looking up the frost dates for your city or county, it’s essential to pay attention to the weather forecast where you live. This way, you can delay gardening if the weather is icy or rainy.
2. When the soil has adequate drainage and pH
Aside from the weather, it’s vital to have the right cherry tree growing conditions in your garden bed.
- First, ensure your soil has adequate drainage.
To test the soil’s ability to release moisture, dig a 1-foot-wide hole with the same depth. Then, pour water into this trench.
If the channel is still wet after half an hour or less, you need to add peat moss to the ground.
Moreover, if you’re growing cherry trees in pots, the containers should have holes to let water out.
- At the same time, it’s important to note that the soil pH is also worth considering.
To be specific, cherries need a pH of 6 to 7 to thrive, so it’s best to purchase a test kit to measure the acidity of your garden bed.
How to Plant Cherry Trees?
There are two ways to grow a cherry plant: by using seeds or using cuttings. The latter is the more complex method, but it is more effective because you’ll end up with a true cherry tree instead of its hybrid.
We’ll explore both of these techniques below.
Method 1: Grow cherry tree plant using seeds
This method is preferable if you already have fresh, non-refrigerated cherries in your home. When you eat these fruits, save the pits instead of discarding them, so we can use these parts as seeds. With that in mind, follow the steps below.
- Warm the pits in a bowl of water and remove any cherry pulp you see. Don’t soak the seeds for too long, as you’ll need to dry them later.
- Leave the pits on a table and air-dry them naturally. Wait for as long as it takes, but usually, a week should be sufficient to release all moisture.
- Once the drying is done, the seeds should be put in a tight jar and refrigerated. Set a reminder on your phone to take the jar out of the fridge after ten weeks.
- When ten weeks have passed, you can take the seeds out, wait for them to return to room temperature, and start planting.
- Put at most three pits in a pot with soil, and give the container six hours of sunlight per day.
- Water the soil to keep it from drying out, and move the cherry plant outdoors when there’s no longer any frost.
- Transplanting should take place when the seedlings are ten inches in height.
Method 2: Grow cherry tree using cuttings
- The first step in planting cherry trees using cuttings is preparing a pot. Find a container with a diameter of 6 inches, and put in it perlite and peat moss in a 1:1 ratio. This setup will be your rooting medium.
- Next, find a healthy cherry tree of the variety that you want to grow. From it, cut eight inches of a leafy branch using shears, but not before ensuring the branch is under five years of age.
- Measure two-thirds of the branch length, starting from its bottom, and remove all leaves in this section.
- Get a big glass and put your rooting hormone in it. Usually, the hormone will be in powder form and require mixing with water. Follow the instructions of the manufacturer, as too much growth hormone will have adverse effects on plants.
- Dip the bottom of the branch into the hormone mixture, and leave it to sit for 24 hours away from sunlight.
- Afterward, move the branch into the rooting medium we created earlier, but before doing so, make sure the pot is moist.
- Wait for the roots to expand and fill the container, which should happen within three months or so. At this point, you can transfer the plant to a 4-liter pot with soil.
- When the weather allows it, move the cherry you’ve grown outdoors. Pick up the plant and put it into a hole two times its own width.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the growing zones for cherries?
Sweet cherries will suit USDA hardiness zone 5 to 7, while sour varieties will do well in zone 4 to 6.
How often should I water my cherry tree?
For the first seven days after planting, water the cherry tree up to twice daily. After this period, once a day is fine.
Do I need to plant two cherry trees at once?
If the variety you want to grow cannot self-pollinate, then yes. In this case, there should be 20 feet between tart cherry trees, 30 feet between sweet ones, and at least 5 feet between dwarf cherry plants.
How long does it take for a cherry tree to bear fruits?
Generally, fruits won’t start forming until the fourth year. So if you’re expecting to use homegrown cherries months after planting them, you need to temper your expectations.
Knowing when to plant a cherry tree is pivotal in ensuring its healthy development.
Once you’ve determined your cherry growing season, it’s vital to follow the right steps in planting this fruit and caring for it. For instance, these tasks may include watering the soil frequently or giving the seedlings appropriate spacing.
We hope you can create a beautiful cherry garden of your own using the tips here. Thank you for reading.