Here’s a history lesson for you – humans have been eating cherries since the start of civilization. Archeologists in Europe and Asia discovered fossilized cherry pits in prehistoric caverns reaching back to the oldest civilizations.
The cherry we eat today was brought to us by the Europeans. If you are fond of cherries and want to know they are grown, you are in the right place. Below, we have discussed how cherries are grown and how long it takes to grow the entire tree.
How to Grow Cherries?
Cherries require a lot of room, good air circulation, and regular watering to thrive. On the other hand, individual cherry cultivars may have different climate requirements. Bing cherries are grown in USDA zones 5–9, whereas Black Tartarian cherries are only suitable in USDA zones 5–7 because they need a long winter to bear fruit. Inquire at your local garden center about the best types for your area.
Choose a Location
Cherry trees require full sun, good air circulation, and plenty of space—roughly 30 to 40 feet between trees. Most fruit trees are also available in “dwarf” form, which may be grown in large planters with less space between them and grow to be approximately six feet tall. Semi-dwarf fruit trees reach a height of 10 to 15 feet, while full-size fruit trees (also known as “standards”) reach a height of 20 feet or more.
Prepare the Area
The best soil types are light, sandy, and deep. Cherry trees are vulnerable to root and crown rot in heavier soils that are prone to becoming wet.
Plant the Tree
Dig a hole the size of the root ball to plant a standard-sized cherry tree. Set the rootstock a few inches below the soil surface with the graft union, which resembles a raised scar. Spread the loose roots equally down into the planting hole if the sapling is a bare root tree. Fill in the hole with soil and firmly tamp it down, leaving a small portion of the root ball visible above the ground.
Water the Plant
After you’ve planted your cherry tree, you’ll need to water it every other day for the first week, two to three times during the second week, and then once a week for the rest of the first growing season.
How to Grow a Cherry Tree from Pits?
You can grow cherries in your garden using pits from cherries, but it will take more time to produce fruit through this process. To grow cherry trees from pits, follow these steps:
To begin, you’ll need to obtain some cherries. It would help if you didn’t buy them at the grocery store since they’re kept in refrigerated chambers, making it difficult for the seeds to germinate. Instead, buy the cherries at a farmer’s market or from a local cherry orchard.
Eat them and then soak the pits in warm water for about five minutes, gently washing away any clinging remnants of fruit. Allow three to five days for the clean pits to dry on a dry paper towel in a sunny windowsill.
Place the pits in a Tupperware container and secure the lid. Put it in the fridge for ten weeks after labeling it. You should start this process in January so that seeds are ready for germination in the spring.
This cold period prepares the pits for germination in the spring by simulating what the plant will experience naturally during the winter months. Your cherry pits are ready to become cherry trees after ten weeks in the cold.
Take the pits away from the cold after ten weeks and allow them to return to room temperature and come out of their artificial winter. They’re ready to plant once they’ve reached room temperature.
Fill tiny containers halfway with potting soil and add two or three cherry pits to each one. Keep the soil moist and water the seeds in place.
Select the sturdiest seedling and remove the rest from the container once the seedlings have grown to 2 inches. Keep the single seedling containers in a sunny indoor location until all threat of frost is gone, then move them outside.
The seedlings are ready to be transplanted outside when they reach a height of 8 to 11 inches. Each cherry tree should be planted at least 20 feet apart.
When and How to Harvest Cherries?
Cherry trees generally take about four years to produce fruit. A mature, standard-sized cherry tree can produce 30 to 50 quarts (29-48 L.) of cherries each year, whereas a dwarf cherry can produce 10 to 15 quarts per year (10-14 L.). That’s a hefty serving of cherry pie! Wait until the fruit is totally red before harvesting it since the sugar content grows dramatically in the last few days of ripening.
The fruit will be solid and completely colored when it is ready. When sour cherries are ready to be picked, they will fall off the stem, whereas sweet cherries should be tested for ripeness. Cherries that have been removed from the tree will not ripen, so be patient.
You’ll most likely be collecting cherries every other day. If rain is on the horizon, harvest as soon as possible, as it will split the cherries. If you aren’t going to use the cherries straight away, harvest them with the stem still attached.
Take care not to rip off the woody fruit spurs, which bear fruit year after year. If you’re collecting cherries for cooking or canning, though, you can simply peel them off the tree, leaving the stem alone. Cherries can be preserved for ten days at cool temperatures of 32 to 35°F. Keep them refrigerated in perforated plastic bags.
Now that you know how to grow cherry trees and how long it takes to for them to produce fruit, you can go about planting cherries in your garden. Then, after four years, you can reap the fruit of your hard work!
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