Growing fruit in the garden
Posted: January 17, 2017
Categories: Grow Your Own
When it comes to growing a beautiful garden full of organic foods, many assume that you need a large space to grow a variety of fruits or vegetables. However, the fact of the matter is that even the most limited spaces offer plenty of options for those who possess a green thumb. If you fancy having your own selection of delectable strawberries, juicy watermelons, fresh squash, or even a few apple trees, there’s something to suit any size garden.
Depending on what time of the year you are planning to start growing fruit in your garden, there will be different varieties available that produce fruit during certain times of the year. Below you will find some of the easiest fruit to get started with in your garden.
Getting started with growing fruit
Before choosing the types of fruit to grow in your garden, consider how to best utilise the space you have available. For example, if you are planning on planting trees, be aware of the potential size they will grow to and whether or not they will be self-fertilising. Self-fertile fruit trees are ideal for those new to gardening or those growing fruit for the first time, as they can naturally continue producing fruit without the need of another tree to pollinate it. On the other hand, if you are expecting to plant more than one tree of the same type near each other then you may not have to worry so much about self-fertilising trees.
In most cases, trees can either be purchased in a container or bare-rooted, but be sure to examine the roots to make sure they are well-developed, fibrous, not too congested and free of disease before you make your final purchase. If you are buying container-grown fruit trees, ensure that they are between 1 and 3 years old, as younger trees tend to establish their roots more quickly.
Although smaller fruits such as certain berries will not require nearly as much growing space as trees, be sure to provide them with just as much water, sunlight and care.
Apple Trees are by far one of the easiest fruit trees to grow and are a top favourite among the majority of home gardeners. There are a variety of apples that you can choose from which broadly fall into two categories: dessert apples and cooking apples. However, there are some types of trees that produce both of these kinds of apples.
Best of all, once they’re established in your garden, they require very little care throughout the year. Just be sure to keep a closer eye on them when they are newly planted and remember to water them during dry spells, as well as from when the fruit begins to swell.
Depending on the full size of the apple tree, it can take anywhere between two to four years for the trees to begin producing fruit. And as with most fruit, the obvious way to test whether it is ready to harvest or not is to taste it. Windfalls (grown apples that have fallen on the ground around the tree) are another good indication to tell if an apple tree is ready to be picked.
Citrus Trees flourish best in certain environments but are generally quite tolerant with different weather conditions. Lemons and cumquats are known to be the most cold tolerant while grapefruit and limes require a little more warmth to grow successfully. In addition, because most citrus trees do not grow to be over a few feet until they have fully matured, citrus trees can be planted in pots so they can easily be moved once the summer is over.
Unlike apple trees, citrus trees produce small fragrant flowers all year round and become extremely abundant during the wintertime. Once the first flowers bloom in the winter, most gardeners can expect the tree to produce fruit about 12 months later.
Strawberries, raspberries & blueberries
If growing fruit trees are completely out of the question or are simply keen on growing a container garden, strawberries, raspberries and blueberries are great fruits to start with as a new gardener as they are very versatile and can be grown in containers, window boxes or even hanging baskets. In addition, they often tend to be in season and produce fruit around the same time of the year, which is June through to late Summer.
Caring for your fruit garden
Although these fruit trees and shrubs may be low-maintenance, the weather will probably be the least of your worries depending on where you live. Be sure to also keep your fruit trees free from fruit and leaf-destroying insects such as moths and caterpillars by applying grease bands above soil level or use sticky paper glue to prevent the moths from reaching the branches.