A fruit garden is a mix of fruiting trees, berry shrubs, vines, and perennials.
Careful thought should go into your fruit choices. Many fruiting trees get huge and the harvest will be to much for most home owners. Another consideration is the shadow they will cast blocking light to the understory. All planting zones will have a variety of dwarf and columnar specimens. Below is a small list but the options are great. Really do some research on what grows in your area, mature size, taste, and will you eat what you grow?
Apple trees will need a second apple that flowers at the same time to pollinate. If you don’t have a nearby neighbor apple tree you will need to plant two. Pruning an apple tree every year is essential. Training the tree to have a central leader and thinning out interior branches for proper air flow. There are many columnar varieties to choose from and many of these ripen earlier than their big cousins.
Plums are a great addition to any eatable garden. They tend to be easier than other fruit trees to grow and are compact. Plums need to be eaten right away or canned into jelly.
Careful consideration to mature size. There are dwarf varieties to choose from. Most pears will need a
second to pollinate, and because pears are less popular than apples most people don’t have neighbors growing pears. Pears are easy to care for. Harvesting the pears before they are ripe is essential for juicy fruit. As soon as they start to change color bring inside to refrigerator
for a few days then take out to ripen at room temperature.
Again consideration to mature size is important. There are dwarf varieties to choose from but the standard Hass avocado pruned to a fifteen foot canopy will still produce over a hundred avocados a year. Most of us love avocados but a plan for making and freezing guacamole is essential to not wasting your harvest.
The most common garden variety is a highbush blueberry. These tasty shrubs perform best planted in groupings, in an acidic soil. Be careful not to shade them out with your tree choices.
Cherries come in many forms from smallish shrubs to large shading trees. Always considering the understory light in our guilds, I like the more columnar shrub shape. Cherries vary region to region. In the colder climates a sour cherry has be cultivated to create a whole line of different cherries with higher sugar indexes. A high performing beautiful shrub to add to any landscape.
Currants are self-pollinating small shrub and don’t require another variety to produce fruit. The berries come in red, black, and white. The fruit is tart and excellent to eat ripe, used in jams and jelly’s, and dried.
Prepare the soil by adding plenty of compost. Spacing 2’ apart. Strawberries are a traveling plant sending off runners and rooting in. Mulching with straw will help protect the fruit from the soil and retain moisture.
Raspberries are an excellent come again and again crop. If picked the harvest can last longer than a month. Thoroughly prepare soil with a compost and a peat textured fiber material. Bearing on last years wood. After bearing the cane dies. Prune out the dead wood from patch.
Adding a striking elegance to any garden this ancient treasure is sweet and versatile. Eaten fresh, dried to raisins, WINE, jelly. Even the leaves can be used to jar with pickles to keep them crisp. These vines need support, and look amazing overhead and eating area. Before planting soak the roots in water for a few hours. The vine should be pruned back to two or three buds. In the first couple years the vine shouldn’t be allowed to bear fruit, this will allow the root and base of vine to thicken up to handle the fruits weight.