If you’re an avid pecan lover, you may want to venture into growing your own pecans. There’s a sense of pride eating something you grew in your own backyard. But, personal pecan growth can be trying, and may not be for everyone.
Planting Your Own Pecan Tree
If planted and cared for properly, pecans can provide healthy nuts to be used as snacks and in recipes. Pecan trees are large – about 60 feet tall and 40 feet wide. You should ensure you have enough space for them before planting, and plant your tree at least 20 feet away from structures. You’ll also take time to research and choose the type of pecan tree you want to plant. The species you choose will impact how likely the tree is to thrive, and the type of nuts that are produced.
Harvesting Your Pecans
Once you have a tree that begins bearing pecans, you should wait until it the weather cools before harvesting. You will want to harvest your pecans after the first hard freeze of the winter. This may seem late, but the freezing temperatures kill the green protective shuck that surrounds the nut, exposing the portion of the pecan that’s edible. Plus, the holidays are the perfect time to enjoy fresh pecans!
Know What You’re Getting Yourself Into
As much fun as growing your own pecan tree can be, it can also be frustrating. Most homeowners are lucky if they get a quality pecan crop every four to five years, primarily because of the following –
- Pecan trees may not thrive in your region.
- A lot of water is necessary to maintain pecan health. Pecan trees thrive near river banks, because of an abundance of water.
- Pecan trees are considered alternate bearing trees.
- Pecan trees are not fertilized properly by their homeowners.
Some pecan trees can take nearly a decade before they begin bearing nuts. If you’re simply looking to enjoy delicious pecans without the hassle, buy a fresh batch of raw Louisiana pecans instead.