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I've posted before; about how bad my soil is. It's sand; some spots weeds won't grow. Do I dare plant fruit trees in it; even if I amend the soil? I've tried putting leaves, wood chips down. You just can't change sand. Could I possible put them in whiskey barrel planters?
 

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I would dig a hole three times as deep and four times as wide as needed to plant a tree, fill it with good top soil and compost, plant the tree in the center. I would think that would work, but after a couple years it might require yearly fertilizer.
 

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This is only an idea- I have no idea if it would work but could you build a deep raised bed, maybe landscape material at the bottom and fill with appropriate soil? Then plant super dwarfed varieties.
I have one apple that was grafted on a very dwarfing root stock as an experiment. When it turned out to be a total deer snack, I got it. I've had it 20 years and the previous owner had it at least 10, it produces an abundance of fruit and yet has just reached the height of 6 feet this year. It's root system is pretty shallow.
 

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I've posted before; about how bad my soil is. It's sand; some spots weeds won't grow. Do I dare plant fruit trees in it; even if I amend the soil? I've tried putting leaves, wood chips down. You just can't change sand. Could I possible put them in whiskey barrel planters?
I haven't seen your other posts but I'll try to help anyway....

I grew up on a mixed market garden/fruit orchard property which was on deep red sand. Part of the apricot orchard was on drift-sand. I'm currently running 11 ha of citrus orchard, on soils varying from deep sand to sandy loam. In my experience sands are easier to manage than heavy clays.

The main problem with sand is a low water and nutrient holding capacity, so you need to irrigate/fertilise little and often. Drippers are good if you can manage it. With drippers under the mulch you can pulse irrigate during the day when the tree needs it without wasting water to evaporation. We run 2 drip lines, one down each side of the row about 50cm from the tree, with drippers every 50cm in each dripline, so there's 2 continuous wetted strips along each row. Your run one line at first, next to the tree, and gradually move it out as the tree grows, adding the 2nd line at about year 3 or 4.

Increasing the organic matter in the soil will help a lot, both with water holding and nutrients. Spread composted animal manures around the trees, and mulch heavily. Grow cover crops between the trees and slash/throw it back under the trees. Cereal rye does well on sand, and it's stem takes longer to break down as a mulch than other cereals so it lasts longer. Do this repeatedly for the life of the orchard.

Another amendment worth considering is Zeolite, if it's only a small area (it's expensive). It improves the cation exchange capacity of the soil, helping it to hold trace elements and prevent them being leached away.

In my opinion you need a large deep root system in sands, to access as much water as possible. I'd therefore suggest planting vigorous varieties/rootstocks, not dwarfed trees (you'll need to buy a ladder :D ). Use peach stock under stonefruit, not plum-stock. Carizzo is a good stock for citrus on sand. Avocados do well on sand generally. I don't have a lot of experience with pome fruit, but ask your nursery - seedling stocks are usually more vigorous, but poor soils will hold their size back some. Figs, pomegranate, olives will all grow on their own roots and won't have an issue with sands.

All the best with it, a productive orchard is very rewarding.
 

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In general, fruit trees actually grow best is well-drained sandy/loamy soil. It helps the tree thrive by forcing a deep strong root system, and produces a better flavor fruit because of the more concentrated sugar content/lower water content (much like grapes for wine).

In fact, fruit trees and grape vines work well in the same types of areas. You'll often find one near the other.

Compost w/ slow releasing fertilizer in the late summers.

I would keep other plants clear of the area until the tree(s)are established over 2-3 years.

do not amend the soil - you want the tree to adapt to your environment, not vice versa.
 

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I have sand... practically beach sand.. it is a pain to retain water but yet it is improvable! I addcomposted manure yearly and occasionally dump dillutedmilk too as i lack calcium. My trees are thriving
 

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South Florida soil is known as "sugar sand" because its about the consistency of granulated sugar and even when you amend the heat destroys the nitrogen quickly. The organic material powders quickly and then is rinsed away by rain. In addition we have HORRIBLE root knot nematodes. That's why most of my garden is in pots- ranging from 5 gallon to 50 (?) gallon. Including the fruit trees. My in-ground fruit trees had a life span of only a few years so I have all the yacon, figs, apples, pachira and peaches in the huge pots now. 2 of my apples seem to have died, need to order replacements, but the one from 2010 (Williams Pride)just burst into bloom, and we're going out later to play bee with the crab apple bloom. I used 1/2 black kow manure and 1/2 miracle grow garden soil, I don't use potting mix because its too light to secure my heavy plants and doesn't hold water- dries out way too quickly. I add an inch or two of manure every early spring. Why don't you try raising yours (if dwarfed) in the 18 gallon tubs you can get at Walmart and Kmart in the storage area, cut some drainage about 2-3 inches up the sides so as to prevent tree roots from crawling into your pot and stealing the nutrition and water, and keep out the nematodes and grubs?
 
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