Almonds are great to grow in your own garden. You can use them as lavish ornamentals when in bloom or as a treat when you’re in the mood for some scrumptious nuts.
The list of its beneficial uses goes on.
The marriage of nutritional properties and versatility makes almonds trees tempting to gardeners.
If you’re one of them and would like to grow almond trees in your garden, your search ends here. We bring you the nuts and bolts of how to grow almond in your home garden (pun intended).
You’ll learn how to plant them and care for them after planting so you ensure the best possible growing conditions for your trees.
What Does an Almond Tree Look Like?
Almond trees grow up to 15 feet tall on average. The spreading canopy is dotted with lance-shaped leaves up to 5 inches long.
The trees start blooming in February, budding with white pinkish five-petal flowers.
The almond trees share the common sub-genus with peach trees. Thus, it’s no surprise they come with certain morphological similarities.
- The fruit consists of an outer hull, a hard shell and an edible seed or kernel commonly known as an almond nut.
- An immature almond hull is green and fuzzy resembling a small unripe oblong peach. Its shell is also similar to that of a peach pit but has furrows all over.
- A kernel has a seedcoat that can but doesn’t have to be removed before eating.
How to Grow an Almond Tree at Home?
You don’t have to sweat blood to grow almonds. Cultivating them is easy once you’ve learned a few simple growing tricks.
To begin with, growing almond trees requires rich soil and full sun.
If you’re in search of an answer on how to grow your own nuts the best way, here’s how to do it.
How to Plant an Almond Tree?
If you want the best results when planting your almonds tree, it’s wise to start it from a sapling. Growing it from seed is more cost-effective but it’s also more unreliable.
The almond tree is not self-pollinating, so make sure to plant at least two almond trees to ensure cross-pollination. And if you’re cultivating the tree for its nuts, be sure you plant two different plant varieties.
Here is some more useful planting advice:
- Plant your trees in well-draining soil. If too much water is allowed to accumulate around the roots, the tree can suffer root rot. To prevent this from happening, add some humus-rich sandy loam as this can absorb excess moisture.
- Dig a hole in the ground large enough to accommodate the roots. Place the sapling carefully into the hole making sure you don’t bend or damage the main taproot.
- Be careful when placing your almond tree into the ground. To transplant your potted tree with the best results, plant it at the same depth it was planted in the pot. It’s even easier with bare root trees, as you can easily see the depth they were planted at, as you’ll be able to notice a color difference.
- To avoid any competing vegetation from stifling the tree, clear the base of the tree. Mulch the area well to maintain moisture and keep the weeds from hurting the tree.
- Once you’ve filled the hole up three-quarters deep, add two buckets of water. Add fertilizer to the second bucket.
- Add some more enhanced soil. Tap the soil with a shovel as you add each pile of dirt.
- Once you’ve planted your tree firmly into the ground, don’t be shy when it comes to pruning it. Heavy pruning is the boost your tree needs to develop a strong root system. You can safely cut back from one third to one half of the twigs and branches.
When to Plant an Almond Tree?
Any time of year is good for planting your almond trees. However, if you’re planting bare-rooted saplings, it’s recommended you plant them in late autumn or early spring.
Potted trees are best grown during the dormant winter period. Yet, it’s smart to time the planting well, since the tree doesn’t tolerate frost.
How to Care for an Almond Tree?
Growing almond trees with success requires a few no-hassle tree maintenance techniques. The tips below will help you care for your almonds so that the end result is a healthy tree that bears nutritious seeds.
- Use fertilizer during the winter and spring seasons to promote the growth of your trees. Treat young trees with Nitrogen and more mature trunks with 30 pounds of manure or about two pounds of urea.
- Prune the trees in early winter to encourage healthy growth. Severe pruning may sound too invasive for young trees but this will strengthen the growth of the main trunk. Prune your bare root tree early on in the game by cutting back the tree at least one-third to one-half from the top.
- Prune again after the blooming and fruiting period. Cut off any dead twigs throughout the year. If you’ve planted potted nuts you won’t have to do any pruning.
- Use white latex paint to protect your trees from rodents and sun-scald.
- Mulch your trees roughly around June the 1st for the first few years after planting.
- In periods with no rain, remember to water your almond plants at least once a week.
Can I Grow an Almond Tree From an Almond?
Yes, you can. Yet, to ensure your nut growing experiment goes well, it’s best to search for the seeds at the local farmers.
You won’t be able to start a tree unless you use fresh, unshelled, unpasteurized, and unroasted nuts.
How Big Do Almond Trees Get?
When almond trees reach maturity, they can grow from 13 to 33 feet in height. The trunk, on the other hand, grows up to 12 inches in diameter. The medium size makes these trees ideal for smaller landscapes.
How Long Does it Take for an Almond Tree to Bear Fruit?
The trees start producing the almond nut when they reach three years of age. This happens after a long and warm growing season.
The drupe will be ready for harvesting in about eight months after the three pollinations.
Every flower that is pollinated by bee activity will turn into a drupe during March and June. This is a very important time to irrigate your plants so you support your growing crop.
In July the hulls split open and become ready to harvest. You’ll know your nut tree is ripe and edible once the drupe turns a straw-yellow color.
An almond tree can last 25 to 50 years while successfully producing fruit.
Where Do Almond Trees Grow Best?
The almond tree is native to the Middle East but has been domesticated and grown globally.
The almond trees (Prunus dulcis) require warm growing conditions, dry summers, and frost-free winters. Home growers in the 5 to 9 plant hardiness zones should be able to grow it, as this is where most varieties thrive.
- Almonds are best grown in warm climates. They prefer full sun and not much rainfall. Too much rain will decrease fruit production.
- The areas with most bountiful crops are those that have hot, long summers and mild winters.
- The tree needs roughly 300 to 500 chill hours to produce almond nuts. So, make sure your climate is cold enough to provide good conditions for the tree in the dormant period.
Almond trees can be grown in different areas of the U.S. California is the most popular growing region followed by Texas, Arizona, and Georgia.
In 2018 the United States made for 59% of the world’s almonds production.
Become an Experienced Tree Grower
Homegrown almonds are not only an awesome addition to your healthy diet plan. They’re also a beautiful landscape tree that will help you spruce up your outdoor space.
The tips above are all you need to start growing almond trees in a home garden setting. We don’t find this project too demanding, not in the least. The bottom line is what you get is a tree that will last you almost a lifetime.
For more information on how to grow trees, herbs, and veggies in your garden, head over to the Gardening Channel. Join our community and visit our blog to get plenty of useful info on how to grow a budding garden.
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