Mulberry trees are a delight to watch; they are also easy to care plants thus most of the gardens having enough space do plant mulberry trees. With proper care and favourable conditions, mulberry trees usually yield vast stock of sweet fruits.
Mulberry trees need space and grow up to huge trees therefore they are not suitable if you have a small garden space. This attractive foliage produces abundant juicy and pulpy fruits with which you can make yummy jams, jellies and wines. This article will give you a comprehensive idea on how to grow and care for a mulberry tree; learn the right ways and get the best yield of mulberries in your garden.
This is a very important factor for the growth of any tree and mulberry plants are no exception. Check if the mulberry plant will tolerate the weather conditions in your area. Mulberry plants grow in temperate climate and prefer shady area for growth. Extreme cold conditions are not right for mulberries.
When you buy mulberry plants from nurseries, they are usually grown in containers, and thus you can plant them at any time of the year. Medium moisture to drier soils is suitable for most of the mulberry species. Open, well sun lighted position and well-manured soil is essential – be careful of not damaging the roots though! Well drained, loamy, and acidic soil and the ideal pH of 6-6.5 is apt for mulberry growth. They usually do not need much fertiliser if the soil conditions are right. The granular fertiliser can be given once a year.
Once you have got the mulberry plant or seeds, you will have to till a 2×2 area of land in a sunny region, or greenhouse. A shallow area should be dug into alongside so that the maximum water runs off. Now plant the seeds or plants in most shallow spot of the ditch. Immediate watering on the plant is essential; that helps in fast germination.
Pruning in Summer
The very young mulberry plants are prone to slugs and snails. Pruning during the summer days is the best thing you can do to save the plant from dead branches and leaves. Minimize the branches to prevent overcrowding. Mulberry plants bleed when they are cut, so do not do heavy pruning, just trim off the inward moving branches to let in space.
Spread the mulch to a couple of inches as this mulching around the tree will aid in conservation of water. This also helps to add nutrients in the soil while decomposing. The base of the tree should not be affected by the mulching whatsoever.
Harvesting and Storage
The ideal time to gather mulberries is during early autumn when the fruit ripens completely. The right way of gathering mulberries is spreading a cloth r plastic sheet beneath the tree and shaking it slowly. All the ripened fruits will come down while the unripe ones will stay back.
Tips about the Fruit
You will have to be patient as it takes around 5-15 years to fruit! When the fruits get fully ripe, the colour of the mulberries will be black and can be easily picked. After the harvest is done, wash the tree generously with water and prevent disease. There is variety of mulberries – the violet ones are hard and sour while the dark purple or black ones are sweet and soft.
One important warning while picking mulberries is that always wear a huge hat as spiders and caterpillars can be gripping the fruits and branches. Do not take or eat mulberries that have holes or are too soft as they might be infected with diseases. Before eating mulberries, wash them with salt water for safety.