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Your complete guide to growing a date palm and harvesting its fruits

Date Palms-date-palm-care

Date Palm

The fruits of the date palm are very delicious one bite and you will want some more when first introduced to these fruits many years ago I was amazed by taste which can really excite your taste buds. The five-star resort where I was employed many years ago had and still have to this day those date palm trees that grace the landscapes and gardens. As far as I can remember the fruits from these trees were not harvested but removed for safety issues and discarded so it was painful at times to see these fruits removed and haul away to the garbage area.

The Date palm, however, is popular in Arizona and Southern California. The fruits of the date palms are highly prized in the middle east and are enjoyed on a wide scale by the citizens. For many, the dates from these palm provide both business and lively hood. These palms can be successfully grown in tropical-subtropical climates and will give your gardens and landscape that polish look.

It is said that the date palms can live for up to 100 years and can reach heights of more than 115 ft so how do we grow and care for the date palm along with harvesting its fruit?

Things you must know

Here are tips to growing date palms successfully

Planting Location

Because the date palm is a tropical-subtropical palm it’s best to look for an area that gest full sunlight. Give your date palm lots of room to grow because this palm can grow very large.

Soil Type

The date palm can be grown in different soil types such as loam, clay or sandy soils.

Watering Methods

Water your date palm twice a week during the growing season and cut back on the amount of water during the winter time.

Fertilizing Methods

Fertilize your date palm twice a year with a slow release fertilizer that is formulated for palms. Before applying fertilizers read and follow the manufacturer’s label because the label is the law.

Garden insect pests of the date palm

  • Dubas Bugs
  • Lesser Date Moth
  • Stem Borers

The Dubas bugs, lesser date moth and stem borers are a serious problem to the date palms. These insect pests can hinder the tree from producing quality fruits and growing them in abundance.

The use of insecticides such as bacteria Bacillus thuringiensis, neem oils along with summer oils has proven to be effective. If you are growing these palms in your home garden it is best to get professional help when treating your date palms.

Disease of the date palm

To keep your date palm free of disease it is best that the area around your date palm is as debris-free as possible. Also applying a fungicide will offer help. Before applying fungicides read and follow the manufacturer’s label because the label is the law.

Harvesting the dates

Now comes the exciting part and that is harvesting the fruits of the date palm, you have put in the work and have been patience now it is time to reap a harvest but how do you know when it is time to harvest the date palm and what method is used? here we go.

1. Once the majority of the fruits has turned brown and darken it is time for harvest.

2. With a pruning saw cut through the stalk that holds the bunch of dates to the tree.

3. Once the bunch or the stalk is removed, remove the netting from the fruits. For more on why netting is used scrolled to the end of this article and look under the section that says additional information.

4. Remove all the ripe dates by giving the stalk a strong shake. The ripe dates will dislodge, a good idea is to get a large container so as you shake the stalk the dates can fall into the container.

5. The dates that remain on the stalk can be removed with your hands, place these dates in a shallow box. Look for a location that is dark and warm to place the box.

6. In about a week or so these dates should be ready for consumption.

Here are just a few ideas on where  to install the date palm

1. The date palm can be installed as a specimen or stand-alone plant.

2. Date palms look great lining a long driveway.

3. Installing these palm on either side of a door entrance will look great.

4. Can be used as a centerpiece in a garden bed.

5. Install them along garden walls.

6. Plant date palms along fenced areas.

7. Date palms can be planted along roadways.

8. Install in the parking lots of shopping malls.

Additional Information

1. For your date palms to produce fruits there must be a male and female. The wind along with beneficial insects are responsible for the pollination process.

2. To protect your fruits from being eaten by birds cover the fruits with fabric mesh or bird netting.

3. The fruits of the date palm have been around from ancient times.

4. The pollination process can only take place when the temperature reaches in the mid-high ’90s.

5. It is believed that high humidity levels may cause the fruit to drop prematurely before it ripens.

The final word

The date palm is an amazing palm that is worth the investment, once grown and cared for properly these palms can give you a good harvest of delicious fruits while bringing that much-needed flavor to your garden and landscape.