Almonds have been cultivated for thousands of years and are highly prized for their multiple uses including oils, baked good, candies, and so much more! Originating in central and southwest Asia, almonds were brought to California in the 1840s. But can you actually grow almond trees in your own backyard? The answer is absolutely yes! Keep reading to find out how to grow almonds in your garden!
How to Grow Almonds in Your Garden
Before planning on growing an almond tree, keep in mind that they will only do well in mild, wet winters and hot, dry summers in full sun. If you don't live in an area with mild winters and hot summers, almond trees may not grow for you.
You will need to plant at least two almond trees since they do not self-pollinate. But if you're lacking space, you can even plant two trees in one hole and they will actually intertwine!
Planting Almond Trees:
- Plant in deep, fertile, well draining sandy loam.
- Plant each tree about 19-26 feet apart.
- Although the trees are drought tolerant, they should still be irrigated.
- Apply a nitrogen and organic fertilizer to aid in growth.
- To plant, dig a hole wider than deeper and be sure that the roots fit easily into the depth.
- Water deeply.
- If the area you live in is windy, make sure to stake the small tree.
Almond Tree Care:
- In dormant times, usually December/January, the almond tree should be pruned to promote growth, allow light, and remove any dead branches or suckers.
- Clean the area of any debris around the tree to prevent disease.
- Spray the area with dormant oil to kill peach twig borer, San Jose scale, and mite eggs.
- During the spring blossom, mature trees should be fertilized with urea or manure.
- Young trees should be fertilized with nitrogen.
- Newly planted trees will need drip irrigation, with at least 2-3 inches of water daily.
- Mature trees will only need 2-3 inches of water per week.
- Harvesting is ready once the hulls split and the shell becomes dry and brown in color.
- The almond nut will need about 180-240 days to mature.
- To harvest, shake the tree, then separate the hulls from the nut.
- Freeze the almond nuts for 1-2 weeks to kill off any residual worms and store in plastic bags.
So now that you know how to grow almonds, it's time to roll up your sleeves and get to planting!
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