Almond trees are a delight to grow, because aside from growing a healthy and delicious snack they beautify the landscape every spring when they erupt with hundreds of beautiful blooms. The flowers vary from soft pinks to white, and pop against lush green foliage. The flowers are extra exciting because they mean that soon sweet nutty almonds are about to start growing. Use the almonds to snack on fresh or add them to your favorite recipes. You’ll be amazed at how much better home grown almonds taste and how easy they are to grow.
Almond trees can be planted at any time of the year as long as your ground isn’t frozen. However, if you plant during a hot summer heat wave, be sure to give your trees enough water to help them become established.
Generally the best planting times are in the fall, six weeks before the first frost to allow the roots time to become established before the winter, or in the spring six weeks after the last frost, to give your tree time to transition into its new location before the heat of the summer sets in.
Almond trees will do best if planted in an area where they receive full sunlight. Generally with almond trees more sun equals more flowers, which will provide a bigger almond harvest. However, if your yard receives partial sunlight, that’s fine. Almond trees will grow in partial shade and only need at least six hours of sunlight a day in order to produce a large amount of nuts. Avoid planting your almond trees in areas of your yard that are prone to flooding or collect standing water.
When you have the perfect planting location scouted out, dig a hole that’s as deep as the root ball of your tree, and three times as wide. Then take a shovel or pitch fork and loosen the soil around the sides of the hole. Once you have loosened the soil remove any debris like dirt clumps, rocks, and grass clumps from the hole. Next, place your tree in the hole and make sure that the root collar is level with the surrounding ground, then slowly back fill the hole and gently tamp the soil down. After the planting process is complete give your tree a long drink of water by holding a hose to its base and counting to 20 seconds.
How often you water your almond trees will depend on your climate. Almond trees like it when their soil is kept moist. Feel the soil once ever few days to determine if your tree needs more water or not. Once your soil feels like it is close to drying out, then it’s time to give it more water. Be careful not to over saturate the soil.
Almond trees will benefit from being fed fertilizer twice a year, once in the early spring and once in the early fall. Use an all-natural, organic fertilizer that’s well balanced like formula 10-10-10. Be sure to give your tree a thorough drink of water after fertilizing it so the water will carry nutrients down to your tree’s roots and to prevent nitrogen burn.
Keep weeds 3 to 4 feet away from the trunk of your tree. Weeds will compete with your tree for nutrients. The best way to get rid of a weed is by taking a firm grip on it in order to pull them out of the ground in a twisting motion. Applying a 3 to 4 inch thick layer of mulch to the base of your tree will prevent weeds from growing. Mulch will also help the soil retain moisture, and regulate its temperature.
Your almond tree may need a pollinator depending on its variety. The NE Plus Almond tree for example needs a mate, like the All in One Almond tree. However, the All in One Almond tree is a self-fertile variety, and doesn’t need a mate. Keep in mind that whether your tree is self-pollinating or not you will get a much heavier harvest if your tree has a mate to pollinate with.
The best time to prune almond trees is in the late winter or early spring, while it’s still dormant. Remove any broken, damaged, or dead limbs. Also remove any branches that are touching or crossing, to prevent them from breaking on their own. When thinning out your tree be sure to study your tree and decide which limbs to remove before you start pruning. Branches that grow straight upwards are generally water sprouts, which are branches that don’t produce fruit. Use a sharp and clean pair of hand pruners or loppers that are sterile, and make your cuts at 45 degree angles facing upwards.
Pests and diseases:
You’ll notice if your tree has a pest, because they will cause hollowed out almond shells to fall through the ground. Remove pests by cleaning up any fruit that drops, and by spraying your tree with an organic, all natural pesticide. If you notice any discoloration of the bark, leaves, or almond hulls, remove them. These signs indicate that a fungus or mold could be growing. Often times removing infected areas of the tree helps to stop the spread of bacteria, but you should also spray your tree with an all-natural, organic fungicide to remove diseases and fungi like blight or shot hole.