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8 Tips of Cherry Growing – You Need to Know

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Manage Cherry Orchard
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You might be hearing about them for the first time, but we can assure you once you taste them you will want to have a steady supply of these red plum juicy, and sweet fruits.

They are grown for two reasons. First, they are a delicious fruit, and second for their lovely blossom in the springtime. 

Cherry
It’s a fleeting season for cherries, so we’ve got to make the most of it

Luckily you can grow and maintain cherry trees. Growing is some undertaking if you have to end with a great cherry. 

But fear not!

In this article, we are sharing tips on growing cherries in your garden, orchard, or backyard and enjoy a fresh supply of these cherries

Choose the Right Location for Your Cherries

Ensure you plant cherries in high areas. If you plant in low areas they will be affected by frosts. The frost damage lowers your cherries produce. 

Timing is important. For example, sweet cherry flowers earlier than the sour variety, making them more susceptible to frost damage.

Besides, plant your cherries in areas that get plenty of sunshine in the day. They grow best when exposed to 6 – 8 hours of sunshine. Just avoid planting near trees or buildings.

Research suggests increasing your intake of cherries can help lower the risk of gout attacks.
Research suggests increasing your intake of cherries can help lower the risk of gout attacks. 

Make sure you’ve fertile, deep, and well-drained soil. If your soil is poor, you can add compost and dig deeper.

The cherries also thrive in moderately acidic PH ranging 6.5-6.7. You can get an officer from agriculture to test your soil.

 Planting Your Cherries 

When it comes to planting, keep in mind the 2 main types of cherries.

  • Sweet cherries. You can find this mostly in the markets. They have a thick and rich texture. 
  • Sour cherries. They are often not eaten raw. They are used for preserves and other cooking uses. 
Types Of Cherries
Types Of Cherries

Space Accordingly

When planting cherries, the spacing for sweet cherries should be 35 to 40 feet. Plant the sour varieties at 20 to 25 feet.

Graft Your Cherries 

Like many trees, you can graft cherry trees. If you decide to go grafting, select the T-budding technique. Set your cherries on rootstocks with the graft union inches below the soil level.

Seedlings

Plant two to three pits in a container. Place in a sunny area and keep them watered. Once seedlings are two inches tall, you thin to retain the tallest one. 

If you go for bare-rooted cherries, place the rootstock in the center of the hole. You can then spread the roots.

Take care not to bend the roots. Finally, backfill with soil.

Pollination 

The sour cherries are self-pollinating. This means you do not require more than one tree to produce the fruit. However, if you plant the sweet type, you will need a few trees for pollination.

Manage Your Cherries

You need to be prepared for some management practices for the proper growth of your cherries. Here you go!

Manage Cherry Orchard
Manage Cherry Orchard

Apply Fertilizer

Apply a low nitrogen fertilizer once a year before flowering. Add 2 times per year apply compost. Make some allocation to Fertilize each spring until trees start to bear, then fertilize only after harvest each season

Water Regularly

If you’re in a dry season, you can water once a week. Take care, not to saturate the roots and soil.

Prune for Better Fruits

Properly pruned cherry trees produce better fruit and in more quantity. Thin your cherries by removing some of the immature fruits. Also, remove dry branches and sprouts.  Prune twice a year, once in early spring, and once in late summer. 

Protect Your Cherries from Insects and Birds 

Keep your eyes on your cherries. Otherwise, the insects and birds will enjoy your cherries.

Insects

Always check for insects. Be aware of aphids, caterpillars, borers, thrips beetles, and fruit flies.

The best way to control insects is through the netting.

Birds

Birds love cherries. You’ll have to cover your tree to prevent the birds from getting at your fruits. Birds eat your cherries when attached to stems and peck at each fruit. They leave behind rotting fruits attached to the stem. The netting is recommended  during the ripening season 

Protect Your Cherries from Cracking Caused by Rain

The rain causes ripening sweet cherries to crack. The cracking lowers the quality of cherries making them unmarketable. Some factors responsible for cracking include 

Cherry Cracking
Cherry Cracking
  • Irregular water supply
  • Foggy weather without rain. 
  • Temperature 

Here is how you control the cracking. 

  • Select varieties that are not highly susceptible to rain cracking. 
  • Water regularly through drip 
  • Ensure good drainage in the planted area 
  • Blow off the water that sticks to fruits
  • Install cherry rain covers in your garden 

Netting and Covering Your Cherries

Rain and insects are the main threats to cherry production. Other threats include diseases, weeds, hail, and wind. 

Cherries under cover
Cherries under cover

And how do we reduce these risks?

Nets and covers are used to protect your cherries with the following benefits,

  • Improve microclimate by controlling humidity, light, temperature,  moisture, and water
  • Improve yields and quality of  your cherries
  • Provide a safe method of managing the insect pests
  • Reduce reliance on pesticides that impact environmental and human health
  • Increase market opportunities for the textiles

What are the Available Covers and Netting?

There are a variety of nets and covers for your cherries. They include insects, birds, weed controls, hail, and rain covers.

Materials

The covers are made of HDPE woven waterproof tarpaulin cloth with LDPE lamination on both sides to ensure 100% waterproof. The finished covers are made into custom sizes with reinforced selvage and grommets/eyelets at intervals for easy anchoring to the crop protection systems or structures.

Advantages of using polyethylene materials:

  • It has the longest life over any of the other materials used for netting.
  • It will not rot.
  • It does not shrink and not is affected by humidity.
  • Much lighter weight than nylon or polyester.

Accessories 

The nets and covers are accompanied by a set of accessories to ease installation. For instance clips, brackets, clamps, shoppers, fasteners, tie-down, and ropes. 

Installation 

The installation will depend on the following

Rain Cover System
Rain Cover System
  • The number of trees you want  to protect
  • The pests affecting your cherries
  • What you can afford to buy
  • Your capacity to build
  • The size of the trees
  • Other animals and plants around your trees

Harvest and Store Your Cherries

It gets better with time.

After the fourth year, your cherries will start bearing fruits. Thereafter, they should produce cherries each year. 

The sweet part, when harvesting, tastes the cherries before picking them. 

Chocolate and cherry is a match made in heaven.
Chocolate and cherry is a match made in heaven.

You can tell sour cherries are ripe when they become juicy and soft. Sweet cherries are ready when their color is uniform and have a sweet flavor. 

Harvest your cherries with the stem attached to retain their freshness. Also, they keep better and longer.

Even better, they last for months if they are stored in refrigerators. You can also dry them to lengthen their shelf life

Update Yourself on Cherries Rain Risks and R&D 

Cherries production varies from season to season. What with the changing circumstances changes?

Enter the risks, 

What are the options for insuring them are there more unforeseen problems? And what does the future hold? 

Let’s look at each of them.

Rain Covers 

The cost of growing cherries continues to rise every day. With rising costs, it is important to minimize any rain damage by having some of your orchard under the rain cover.

Cherry Rain Cover
Cherry Rain Cover

Interesting Insurance Option

 There is a risk of rain damage hanging in your fruits. 

And what about insurance of cherries from weather damage. 

Well, tread carefully because of unresolved issues. When is the payout supposed to occur? 

Insurance Policy
Insurance Policy

Let’s picture a situation where an insurance deal was available to cover a rain event. And let’s say 50 mm rainfall during harvest? With a payout if that amount of rain was recorded regardless of the damage caused. 

Would growers risk investing in such a scheme?

Extra Humidity Bring More Pest Problems 

The more humid rain creates more leaf growth. Your cherries become juicy, tasty, and young. 

And who can resist these attractive cherries, certainly not a slug, thrip, and any other insect pest looking for a feed?

Pest Problem
Pest Problem

Boom and bust! Plagues of insects increase suddenly. 

Before you know it, the invasion has taken place. And you are nowhere to take action before the pest causes a problem.

Marketing, R&D and the Future

In the world market, it is quite a challenge for the cherry grower to make a difference (literally). 

You can package in distinctive cartons in hope of standing out. 

But, supermarkets may not show the branding on the box. So zero work or advantage. 

A good way is to inform customers of the health benefits of cherries. Well, what with rising consumer awareness of over-processed food.

Conclusion 

It takes a while to taste your cherry fruit. By the time you taste, you will have sweated to grow and protect your cherries.

But when your cherry trees are finally yielding juicy fruits, you’ll see that it was all worthwhile. Fresh cherries are at top of the list for taste and flavor.

With many tips provided, you’ve got plenty to pick from on your way to fruitful cherry growing.

Kevin Lyu
The Author >>
Kevin Lyu
Hey, I’m Kevin Lyu, the founder of Eyouagro.com , Family-run business
An expert of agriculture protection textile specialist .
In the past 24 years, we have helped 55 countries and 150+ Clients like farms, orchards , vineyards to protect their plants. The purpose of this article is to share with the knowledge related to agriculture growing protection for making the plant healthier and stronger.
We are at your disposal for any technical or commercial information

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