• Menu
  • Menu

How to Grow Plums in Your Urban Garden

Growing plums in an urban garden is a rewarding experience. Not only do plums provide you with delicious, nutrient-dense fruit, but they also can add color and charm to your garden. If you’re living in an urban environment and want a productive and beautiful garden, learning how to grow plums could be the perfect fit. With a little preparation and maintenance, you can enjoy a bountiful harvest of plums each year. In this article, we’ll go over the basics of growing plums in an urban garden, and provide some helpful tips and advice to get you started.

Choosing the Right Plum Tree

Gardening in an urban environment can be challenging because of limited space, but it’s still possible to enjoy the benefits of growing plums in your garden. The first step in creating your urban garden is to select the right type of plum tree. There are many different varieties to choose from, each with its own unique characteristics. Some plums are more suited to dry climates while others prefer moist soils. You’ll also need to consider the size of the tree and its bearing time, as well as its cold hardiness and disease resistance.

Pruning Your Plum Tree

Once you’ve selected the variety that best suits your needs, you’ll need to prune your plum tree regularly. Proper pruning will help encourage healthy growth, allowing your tree to bear better plums. Pruning should be done during the dormant season, which is usually in late winter or early spring. Start by removing any dead, diseased, or broken branches. Then, thin out crowded branches by removing the oldest and weakest branches. This will also help to increase air circulation and improve light penetration.

Feeding Your Plum Tree

Feeding your plum tree is important to ensure healthy growth and good fruit production. A balanced fertilizer with a nitrogen-phosphorus-potassium ratio of 10:10:10 is suitable for most plum trees. Apply the fertilizer during early spring and again after harvesting. For those living in warm climates, a second feeding in late summer is also recommended. Be sure to read the label and follow the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure proper application.

Pest and Disease Management

In urban areas, plums are prone to pests and diseases, so it’s important to keep an eye out for any signs of trouble. Common pests include aphids, scales, mites, and caterpillars. For disease prevention, keep the area around your tree free from dead leaves and other debris. Make sure to water at the base of the tree, so that the foliage doesn’t get wet. If you notice any signs of pests or disease, take action quickly to prevent it from spreading.

Harvesting Your Plums

When the plums are ripe, they should be harvested. The best way to tell when they’re ready is to check their color and choose the ones that are deep purple or red in color. Another good trick is to lightly press the plums. If they give slightly, then they are ready to be picked. Handle the plums gently and store them carefully, as semi-ripe plums can easily get bruised. Enjoy your freshly picked plums in a variety of dishes or freeze them for later use.

Selecting the Optimal Location

Growing plums in an urban garden requires careful consideration of the location. You will want to choose a spot that gets plenty of sunlight and is sheltered from strong winds and frost. Additionally, it’s important to select a site that offers protection from pests and other animals. Here are some factors to consider when selecting the optimal location for your urban plum tree:

Sun Exposure

Plums need at least 6 hours of direct sunlight each day in order to grow and produce fruit. If you live in a more northern climate, pick a site that has the most direct sunshine in the spring and fall. In a more southern climate, select an area with the most direct sunshine in the summer.

Soil Quality

It’s also important to select a spot with healthy soil. Plums prefer an area with well-drained, nutrient-rich soil. If the soil in your garden has a lot of clay or sand, you may need to supplement it with organic matter or other amendments. You can also consider raised beds, containers, or other options if you don’t have access to healthy garden soil.

Wind and Frost Protection

You should also consider the wind and frost exposure of the location. Strong winds and frost can damage the delicate blossoms of a plum tree, and can even damage the fruit. Choose a spot that is sheltered from these elements, such as a south-facing slope, a wall, or a hedge.

Pest Control

Finally, consider the pest situation in the area. Plums are vulnerable to damage from pests, such as Japanese beetles and aphids. Select a spot that is not near other trees or sources of food for pests. You can also take measures to protect your plum tree, such as applying insecticides or planting companion plants that can deter pests.

By carefully selecting the optimal location for a plum tree in your urban garden, you can ensure that it thrives and produces delicious fruit. Be sure to take into account sun exposure, soil quality, wind and frost protection, as well as pest control when selecting the ideal spot for your tree. With a bit of care and attention, you can enjoy a thriving plum tree in your urban garden.

Preparing the Soil

Growing plums in an urban garden requires having the right soil for the trees to produce an abundant and sweet crop. The soil should be well-drained and have high organic content, yet still be slightly acidic. To create the ideal soil base, mix in a layer of topsoil, one to two inches of organic compost, and some well-decomposed manure. The compost and manure should be added in a 4:1 ratio, with more compost than manure, to maintain the slight acidity of the soil.

Improving Soil Composition

Adding lime to the soil can help maintain the pH level and improve the composition of the soil. Lime should be added in small quantities since too much can have a detrimental effect on the crop. After thelimestone is added, it should be worked into the soil with a shovel or rake.

Optimizing Aeration

For maximum aeration, the soil should be tilled or turned to a depth of five to six inches. Doing this will help bring oxygen to the roots, while also ensuring that the soil is easy to work with. If the soil is too hard, add more compost or manure to help loosen it up.

Adding Nutrients

Adding fertilizers to the soil will provide the nutrients needed for the plum trees to grow and thrive. Use a slow-release fertilizer for best results. If needed, combine it with an organic fertilizer for added nutrition. Then, work it into the soil with either a shovel or rake.

Preparing the Bed

Once the soil is prepared, create a bed for the plum trees. Compacting the soil with a roller helps to maintain its structure. Then, mound the soil into small hills and use a hoe to create furrows for the plum pits. Finally, spread the soil over the mounds, keeping the pits visible and spaced out.

Planting Techniques

When growing plums in your urban garden, it is important to choose a suitable area with adequate sunlight. Plums require at least 6 hours of direct sunlight each day. Select a location that is sheltered from strong winds, as this could damage the tree. Moreover, the soil should be well-drained and slightly acidic.

Prepare the Soil

Before planting, prepare the soil by removing any weeds or stones. Incorporate aged manure or compost into the soil to provide nutrients for your plum tree. This will help give it a better chance of establishing stronger roots.

Planting In Containers

Growing plums in containers is a great way to make the most of a small space. When selecting a pot for your plum tree, it is important to choose one that is large enough to give the tree ample room to grow. Additionally, ensure that the container has drainage holes at the bottom in order to prevent the soil from becoming waterlogged.

Planting Directly in the Ground

When planting your plum tree directly in the ground, dig a hole that is large enough to give the root system adequate room to spread. Also make sure to add some aged manure or compost for nutrients as this will help to give your tree a better chance of becoming established. Once planted, water the tree well and cover the soil with a thin layer of mulch to retain moisture.

Caring for a Plum Tree

When caring for a plum tree, it is important to water regularly throughout the growing season. A deep watering once a week should be sufficient. Additionally, it is important to fertilize the tree in early spring to provide essential nutrients and to trim the branches in late winter or early spring to promote healthy growth. Finally, inspect your tree regularly for pests or disease. Treat any issues that arise as soon as possible.


Fertilization is necessary for plum trees to grow and produce healthy, delicious fruit. When and how much to fertilize depends on the age and health of the tree. Newly planted trees should be fertilized in the early spring before leaves begin to emerge. Once the tree is established, an application of fertilizer should be done at least once a year. An organic fertilizer, such as compost or a slow-release granular fertilizer, is best.

For healthy plum tree growth, it is important to select the right fertilizer and apply it in the right amount. Before fertilizing, it is important to test the soil to determine what nutrients are needed. A combination of a balanced fertilizer and nitrogen is recommended. A slow-release fertilizer should be used, as too much nitrogen applied at one time can harm the tree.

When to Fertilize

Fertilizing can be done in the early spring or the late fall, but not during the peak growing season. Fertilizer should only be applied when the soil is moist and the tree is not under any stress, such as during times of extreme weather. An organic fertilizer should be used to ensure the tree is getting the nutrients it needs in an eco-friendly manner.

How to Fertilize

Fertilizer should be applied in a band around the tree, starting a few inches away from the trunk and extending out to the drip line. For a standard-size tree, apply 1 to 2 pounds of fertilizer, depending on the tree’s age. A small tree will need less, while a larger tree will need more. It is important to spread the fertilizer evenly and avoid getting it on the trunk of the tree, as this can cause damage. After fertilizing, water the tree well to ensure the fertilizer reaches the roots.

Fertilizer Tips

It is important to read and follow the instructions on the fertilizer label to ensure the tree is getting the right amount of nutrients. Too much fertilizer can harm the tree, so it is best to be conservative. Additionally, any fertilizer that is not absorbed by the tree should be swept away to keep it from getting into the soil and groundwater.

Pest Management

Plums are masterpieces of nature, but are vulnerable to pests. To ensure healthy production in your urban garden, it is important to prevent and manage pest infestation.

Using Organic Pesticides

Organic pesticides are safer and less toxic than chemical pesticides. They are made from natural substances such as neem oil, garlic, and hot pepper wax. Applying these natural ingredients can help to deter pest infestations in plums.

Creating a Pest Management Strategy

A pest management strategy can help to protect your plums from pests and disease. Start by examining your plums regularly for signs of diseases or pests. This can help you to identify any problems early and take preventive measures. Additionally, consider keeping a log to record information on pest activity, temperature and humidity, and dates of spray application. This will help you to keep track of your pest management efforts.

Improving Plant Health

Maintaining the health of your plants is key to preventing pest infestations. Keep the soil of your plum trees well-draining and nutrient-rich, and water regularly to ensure that the plants stay healthy and vigorous. Regular pruning and removing dead branches will also help to stimulate the production of healthy fruit.

Using Mechanical Controls

It can be difficult to completely prevent pest infestations, so it is a good idea to have mechanical pest controls in place. Install birdhouses or bat boxes near your plum trees to attract natural predators of pests, such as birds and bats. Additionally, consider using row covers or netting to protect your plants from insect infestations.

Using Environmental Controls

In addition to mechanical controls, you can use environmental controls to reduce pests in your plum trees. For example, keeping your garden free of weeds and debris can help to discourage pests. Additionally, consider planting trap crops around your plum trees to attract pests away from the fruit.

By following these tips, you can keep your plum trees healthy and reduce the risk of pest infestations. With a little bit of care and attention, you can enjoy a bountiful harvest of delicious plums.


Growing plums in an urban garden can be a great way to enjoy tasty, homegrown fruits with minimal effort. However, it is important to be aware of the right time of the year to harvest them and to know how to correctly harvest plums. This article will show you how to prepare to harvest plums in your urban garden.

Timing of Harvesting Plums in an Urban Garden

Harvesting plums in an urban garden is best done when the fruit is ripe. This can be determined by inspecting the plums and observing their color. Generally, plums should appear glossy, brightly and evenly colored, and completely filled out. When squeezed gently, the plums should be slightly soft. If the plums are still hard, they are not yet ripe and require a few more days to ripen before harvesting.

Methods for Harvesting Plums in an Urban Garden

When harvesting plums in an urban garden, it is important to be gentle with the plums. Care should be taken to not pull the fruit away from the tree, as this may cause damage to the branches. Instead, use clippers or a sharp knife, and cut the stem away from the branch, close to the branch. This should be done carefully to avoid damaging the tree or the fruit. Once the plums have been cut from the tree, they should be removed and placed in a basket or tray.

Storage After Harvesting Plums in an Urban Garden

After harvesting plums in an urban garden, they should be stored in a cool and dry place such as a pantry or refrigerator. Plums should not be left in the sun as this may cause the fruit to spoil. Plums should also be eaten or used within two days of harvesting, or else they may start to deteriorate.

It is important for those growing plums in an urban garden to pay attention to when the fruit is ripe, to use gentle and appropriate harvesting methods, and to store the plums properly afterwards. By following these tips, you can enjoy homegrown plums without any hassle.

A Delicious Harvest

Growing plums in your urban garden is surprisingly simple, and the results are rewarding. With a little care and attention, you can enjoy a delicious harvest of early summer fruit. Depending on the variety you choose, you can expect your plums to be ready to pick two to five years after planting. The best way to start is to select a variety that is compatible with your local climate and soil. Perform regular pruning and watering and avoid over-fertilizing, and you will be rewarded with a plentiful harvest of flavorful plums.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *