In July of 2013, Dad and I planted a chocolate pudding fruit tree – AKA a black sapote – in the hot sand of my parents’ side yard.
It was a yellow little tree, root-bound and on sale, but I had faith in it.
It was also the only one we could find, which played into my decision. I admit, I was a little worried about its future. The pot was bulging with interwrapped roots, which I pruned and cut at planting, then spread out into a generous hole in the infertile sand. Then I mulched around it and hoped it would grow. Dad kept it watered, and both of us fed it now and again with compost, grass clippings, manure and the occasional hit of 10-10-10.
Five years later, that little tree has grown wonderfully and is now bearing an abundant crop of chocolate pudding fruit:
It’s taller than the roof at this point!
Sometimes people resist planting fruit trees because “they take so long!”
It’s true. Fruit trees often take some time. But that’s a lame excuse.
Don’t be a wuss!
Plant a fruit tree now. Feed it and water it and it will start to take care of itself. Eventually, it will bloom and fruit for the first time. And then, some time later, it will bloom and fruit in great profusion – and often keep doing so for years and years and years.
Almost every big and beautiful fruit tree you see exists because someone thought past the “right now” and imagined what could be in the future.
In 2013, I tasted my first chocolate pudding fruit:
That convinced me to plant a tree – and my parents agreed, so we did.
Now Mom will harvest baskets of fruit. Plenty to eat and to share.
If you plant a bed of lettuce, you’ll have salad in thirty days or so. A bed of green beans will produce in under two months. Pumpkins take about four months. But then they’re gone. The plants die, leaving you with nothing.
A fruit tree takes longer but also lives a lot longer and bears huge dividends year after year.
This black sapote fruited a couple of years ago, bearing just a few little fruit. Now it’s hit its stride and will more than pay back the $40 we spent back in 2013.
Every year when you plant your annual gardens, find a place to plant a fruit or nut tree. Eventually, you’ll have a great abundance to enjoy and give away, allowing you to be a blessing to others.