Transplanting Fruit Trees & Fertilizing A New Lawn

Question:

My young apricot and plum trees are planted in the wrong location. They’re getting too much water from the other nearby plants. So, I'm looking to move them to another place. When is the proper time to move them?                         

Answer:

I’m glad you recognized the water problem from the nearby plants before it was too late to correct things.
  • Apricots and plums along with cherries, peaches, and nectarines do not like constant water once the rainy season concludes, while apples, pears, and Asian pears thrive with frequent watering. Hence, it’s not recommended to plant herbaceous and ornamental plants under their canopy. Also, add citrus to the list of those fruits that like frequent summer watering.
  • The transplanting window for established plants opens up in mid to late November and extends through mid-March. Roses, ornamental shrubs, and conifers could but moved citrus after the danger of frost has passed.
  • Apricots and plums have a branching root system, so the root ball needs to be rectangular not necessarily square.
    • I’d prune the trees first to reduce the canopy to make a move easier. The planting holes should be twice as wide and eight-inches deeper than the root ball.
    • Also, dig the new planting holes ahead of time. Amend your backfill at a fifty-fifty ratio of soil conditioner or homemade compost with the native soil.
    • The next and most critical step in transplanting is not to bury the root ball. I’d remove the excess soil to expose the first root and plant it, so this root is at or above the soil surface.
    • Remember, the root ball will sink in the amended soil so pat it down aggressively, so it is firm.
  • After the rainy season concludes, apricots and plums are watered once every two to three weeks, June through mid-September.Each tree should have a six-inch high watering basin that extends from the trunk to the drip line. This watering basin should be filled to the brim several times every time you water.
  • Since these trees are not showing any stress, the transition to a new location should have a high degree of success.

Question:

 I had a sod lawn installed four months ago. Is it too late to fertilize it now?

Answer:

No. it’s not too late to feed turf.
  • Ideally, lawns are fed once between Labor Day and Thanksgiving and again in the spring.  I apply only a lawn food and skip the ‘Weed and Feed’ because of the short days.
  • Contrary to public opinion, fall is the most crucial time of the year to feed turf, not in the spring.
  • It is at this time of year that the new grass plants formed.
    • Another benefit is that the grass remains green during cold temperatures and doesn’t turn that ugly yellow/brown color.
  • In the spring, one or two applications are sufficient, six to eight weeks apart. I'd  avoid fertilizing during the hottest period of the year,  June through August.

Note: