Q: Are there any fruit trees that will grow in part shade?

Answer: There are a few fruit trees that can be grown in less than full sun although plants that produce fruit will be more fruitful when grown in more hours of daylight. Full sun is considered to be 6 to 10 hours of daylight. Partial shade is considered to be 4 to 6 hours of daylight. Apples, figs and peaches will tolerate partial shade and can even be grown in containers. Special attention must be paid to nutrient and moisture levels for production of fruit in containers. Protection of root systems may be needed during periods of sub-freezing temperatures. Unfortunately, our climatic conditions are perfect for the development of disease and insect pests that attack fruit trees. For disease and worm-free fruit, plan to spray apple and peach trees with fungicides and insecticides from bloom to harvest. There are both conventional and organic pesticides that may be used. Always read and follow the labels of any pesticide products. For more information about pesticides to use for fruit trees, visit www.go.ncsu.edu › homeorchardcare.

Q: What is the difference between dolomitic lime and agricultural lime?

Answer: Lime is used as a soil amendment in gardening to adjust soil pH. Dolomitic lime is made from dolomite, a mineral found in the mountains of North Carolina that has magnesium and calcium in it. Both magnesium and calcium are micronutrients which are necessary for plant health. Agricultural lime is derived from ground limestone. There are mines across the state where limestone is extracted and then ground to different sizes for use in agriculture. Agricultural lime is a source of calcium only. Agricultural lime is calcium carbonate, where dolomitic lime is calcium magnesium carbonate. Depending on whether you are using dolomitic or agricultural lime, nutrients will be added and the calcium will raise the pH of the soil making it less acidic. It takes approximately 4 months, depending on weather conditions, for calcium to affect the soil pH. Soil reports from the N.C. Dept. of Agriculture Consumer Sciences give liming recommendations to consumers.

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Mary Jac Brennan is the agent for fruit and vegetable horticulture for small farms and local food for the Forsyth Cooperative Extension. Contact Mary Jac about commercial production, local foods, and sustainable agriculture questions. For information on home and gardening issues, contact the Forsyth Cooperative Extension office at maryjac_brennan@ncsu.edu or call 336-703-2850.

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