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How to Grow and Care for Your Commercial Sweet Cherries

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Let's see how you grow and care for your sweet cherries to enjoy maximum yield and return.
Table of Content

I have grown and managed cherry orchards for many years. In my journey, I have realized that you have to take care of your cherries for maximum yield and returns. 

The good news is, you are in luck! Growing and caring for sweet cherries is simple. In this article, I  will tell you:

  • Where to plant your cherries
  • Types of sweet cherries varieties, planting,
  • How to care for your cherries
  • Protective rain covers

Let’s see how you grow and care for your sweet cherries to enjoy maximum yield and return.

What is Sweet Cherry?

Sweet cherry is a small edible stone fruits plant. The fruit is rounded, small, and originated from Asia. It is closely related to other stones fruits, for example,

  • Peaches
  • Almonds
  • Apricots
  • Nectarines
  • Plums

Sweet cherry is very nutritious – it is rich in vitamins, fiber, and minerals. It:

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  • Has a meaty texture
  • Is rich, juicy with a sweet flavor
  • Is eaten either fresh, frozen, cooked, or dried.

Growing Your Sweet Cherries

You begin growing cherries by a careful selection of when to plant, varieties, sites, soils, planting before you harvest.

1. When to Plant?

Sweet cherry trees will grow well during the warmer months. This is especially when young. After they are well established, they will adapt to the seasons.

You are recommended to plant it in spring so that it can become established over the spring, summer, and early fall. If you live in a warmer climate, then you can plant in late winter.

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2. Select Popular Varieties

If you are looking for sweet cherries, these are the most popular ones.

  • Bing
  • Stella
  • Ulste
  • Lapins
  • Cavalier
  • Viva

3. Choose a Site on High Ground

Choose a higher ground to grow your cherries. This is because low areas receive the most frost. Your early sprouts of growing cherry trees are delicate and susceptible to frost damage

4. Go for Soils that are not Waterlogged

Your cherry trees will grow on different soils. However, they will not tolerate waterlogging. Make sure you avoid heavy clays. Also, do away with shallow or dry out very rapidly during summer.

5. Maintain Temperature at 45 

Cherries are light-demanding. So ensure you plant your tree in a sunny area, where they will receive at least 6-8 hours of direct sunlight a day.

Sweet cherry varieties need 700 to 900 total hours of chill or temperatures of 45 degrees Fahrenheit.

6. Plant Grafted Rootstocks 

Plant your grafted cherries to a rootstock and plant in straight rows in your orchards. Many planting systems are available for your commercial production.

The system chosen will depend on factors such as the site’s topography, available machinery, and labor. Planting densities range from around 100 stems per acre for “vase” type systems, to around 1500 stems per hectare for single stems on dwarfing rootstocks

7. Ensure Your Cherries are Pollinated

Pollination is essential for your production because cherry trees are not self-pollinating. You need to plant two varieties of cherries must be planted in each orchard at a ratio of 9 to 1. Honey bees are the main pollinator for your cherry orchard.

8. Be patient for your Cherries to Mature

After you plant your orchard, it takes about 6 years until it produces its first major crop. Your cherries for the fresh market are harvested by hand leaving the stem, or pedicels, intact. You can tell by the color change when they are ready for harvest.

9. Store Your Cherry Harvest in a Cool Dry Place 

Your fresh cherries have an extremely short shelf life and must be handled carefully to reduce bruising. As soon as you pick your cherries from the trees, take them to a packing facility where they are immediately cooled using chilled water.

They can then be sorted by size and color and packed into boxes for shipping to markets around the world.

Caring for Your Cherry Trees

 Take the following steps to care for your cherry trees:

1. Water your cherry tree 

This is a major part of caring for your cherry especially when they are young. Maintain the soil by using deep watering. You can also use organic mulch to help maintain soil moisture.

2. Fertilize your soil

Give your cherry trees enough nutrients to ensure health and fruit production. You can spread a layer of compost around your cherry to support growth.

3. Pruning 

Keep your cherries healthy and fruitful by pruning. You should cut away dead stems and branches. This will keep the shape of your cherry tree. Prune your cherry trees every year in late winter. Avoid pruning your cherry in the fall.

4. Thining 

Thinning the fruit is not necessary for cherry trees, as they thin naturally in early summer

Protect Your Cherries from Threats

Your cherries are vulnerable to rain as they near harvest. Other threats include

  • Diseases for example bacterial canker
  • Insects namely fruit fly, Japanese wood borer and aphids
  • Birds like starling
  • Other pests eg flying foxes

These threats lead to cherry damages such as

  • Cracking
  • Rotting

If you’re going to reap maximum returns from your cherries, take action to protect them from the threats. And what is the best protective measure?

Cherries are vulnerable to rain damage when they near harvest. The volume of your every year’s cherry harvest each year varies depending on the weather in your region.

Cherry rain cover tarpaulin is the best measure because it eliminates the cherries cracking caused by rain and frost. The covers also come with the following benefits:

●       Improve microclimate by controlling light, temperature,  moisture, and water

●       Improve yields and quality of cherries

●       Provide a safe method of managing insect pests

●       Provide a safe method of managing insect pests

●       Reduce reliance on pesticides that impact environmental and human health

The rain cover is made of the core material of virgin High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE). The main features and benefits are shown in the table below:

  Feature Benefits
1 100% HDPE virgin weaved fabric with LPDE laminate 100% Waterproof
2 high strength and durable Reinforcements
3 reinforced selvage For easy installation
4 Varied Colors clear, translucent or black
5 UV treated Long-lasting and durable
6 GSM Lightweight cloth

Conclusion

Growing cherries is a major undertaking. From growing, caring, and protecting your cherries for a successful production. You will mitigate against weather factors so that you get maximum returns from your investments.

Eyouagro brings technical and agriculture know-how, accumulated through over 15+ years of service and cooperation with fruit and cherry growers. The company understands and anticipates your problems and needs as cherry growers.  We customize our netting products thanks to the flexibility of our manufacturing process.

If you want an order of information, inquire at info@eyouagro.com. We are happy to assist.

Hey, I’m Kevin Lyu, the founder of eyouagro.com , Family-run business
An expert of agriculture protection textile specialist .
In the past 26 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.
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Kevin Lyu
Agrotextile Specialists

Hey, I’m the author of this post,
In the past 26 years, we have helped 55 countries and 150+ Clients like farms, orchards, and vineyards to protect their plants and crops. 
If you have any problems with it,
call us for a free, no-obligation quote
or discuss your solution.

We are at your disposal for any technical or commercial information

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