Cherries - Cultivation
Cherries are stone fruits, and there are two common species cultivated commercially and in home gardens, Sour cherries and Sweet cherries. Sour cherry trees are self-fertile and thrive in climates that have a frost season as they require at least one thousand chill hours below 45 degrees to flourish. Sweet cherry trees thrive in dry and mild climates and require partner varieties to be grown alongside to pollinate. Both Sweet and Sour cherries require full sun and deep, well-draining soil with good air circulation. They also need to be watered consistently to ensure the soil stays moist. Caution should be taken to resist over-watering as the fruits can absorb too much water causing them to burst. Mulching with organic materials will help regulate the moisture in the soil. Cherry trees should also be covered with netting to prevent birds from stealing the fruit. Cherries can be planted from rootstock in the early spring and late fall depending on the variety and will begin bearing fruit after four years.