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Where to Grow Your Fruit

By: Kate Bradbury - Updated: 22 Dec 2014 | comments*Discuss
Growing Fruit Growing Strawberries

Growing your own fruit is rewarding and good for you. Not only do you get the opportunity to care for and nurture your own crop, but you get to eat tasty, vitamin-packed fruit from it too.

Unlike many vegetable crops, most fruit crops require very little attention from the grower, so are fantastic if you have little time, or space. Many fruits grow on trees, where you simply plant them in the ground and wait for them to produce fruit, or on bushes, which grow naturally and produce an abundant crop every year.

Which Crops to Grow
The following fruit crops are easy to grow in the garden, balcony, patio or allotment:
  • Apples
  • Blackberries
  • Blueberries
  • Currants (black, red, white)
  • Gooseberries
  • Pears
  • Raspberries
  • Strawberries
Apples and Pears
Apple and pear trees can be grown in orchards, large pots, or trained as espaliers along a wall or trellis.

If you want to grow your own apples and pears you will need at least two trees so they fertilise each other and produce more fruit. There aren’t many flowers in bloom in early spring when the apple trees are in blossom, but it’s a good idea to plant primroses and rosemary in your garden to attract early bees and other pollinators, who will pollinate your apple flowers and increase your yield. There are self-fertile varieties, however, such as Jonagold, if you are short of space.

Varieties of apple include:

  • Worcester Pearmain – delicious sweet taste and smell similar to a strawberry
  • Lord Lambourne – classic English dessert apple with high levels of juice and acidity
  • Egremont Russet – traditional dessert apple with distinctive nutty taste and thin, dry texture
Varieties of pear include:
  • Concorde – self-fertile new variety. Taste is similar to the Comice pear but it is much easier to grow
  • Conference – well-known, reliable pear, most common variety grown commercially
  • Worcester Black – originates in Worcestershire in the 16th Century
Blackberries and Raspberries
Blackberries and raspberries are perennial plants (they live throughout the year) that bear fruit on biennial canes (every other year). They enjoy a fairly large growing area and prefer a sunny situation, and they’ll produce more fruit as a result. The plants grow as brambles, so they also make a good security hedge, but they will need pruning, or cutting back once a year so they don’t grow out of control. It’s best to plant them in early spring, in well-cultivated, free draining soil. Mulch the soil around the stems with straw or garden compost once a year and you should be rewarded with a healthy harvest of tasty berries for years to come.

Varieties of blackberry include:

  • Loch Ness – firm fruit with very sweet flavour. Keeps well
  • Oregon Thornless – prolific cropper without the thorns
  • Black Bute – enormous fruits with few thorns
Varieties of raspberry include:
  • Glen Ample - heavy yielding mid-season plant. It has no spines and tastes excellent
  • Glen Prosen - mid season equivalent of "Glen Moy". The two plants can be grown together to give a long season
  • Octavia - new variety that fruits in August. Its yields are heavy and its fruit is very sweet
These mini fruit trees prefer an acid soil, so are best grown in pots in ericaceous compost and fed with rain water (tap water contains lime, which they hate). They provide visual interest nearly all year round as they flower in spring, fruit in summer and have spectacular foliar displays in autumn. The fruits are delicious and if you buy several plants you can get blueberries from early summer right through until late autumn. They prefer full sun.

Varieties of blueberry include:

  • Early Blue - the earliest cropper with heavy yields of medium sized blue fruits
  • Bluecrop - the most common variety grown worldwide. Good flavour and slightly aromatic
  • Brigitta - late season type with large berries. Stores well
Currants and Gooseberries
Currants and gooseberries are cold hardy (they survive the winter months), easy to grow, and their fruit makes excellent jams, jellies, preserves, and pies. The two types of fruit tree have similar growing requirements. They prefer cool, moist, well-drained sites.

Varieties of currants include:

  • Red Lake – plants produce clusters of large, red berries with a mild flavour.
  • White Imperial – has medium to large berries. Fruits are white with a pink blush.
  • Consort (black) – produces clusters of soft, black berries with a sweet, musky flavour
Varieties of gooseberries include:
  • Keepsake – large straw-coloured fruits with excellent flavour
  • Lancashire Lad – one of the largest and best varieties. Fruit is smooth and bright red
  • Chautauqua – vigorous growth and heavy cropper. Berries are large and pale yellow
Strawberries suit growing in a bed or in pots, and you can buy special strawberry pots to grow them on your patio or balcony. They prefer full sun. If you are growing them in a bed, mulch the ground with straw to prevent slugs from eating them. If the growing fruit rests on the straw it will also prevent it from rotting. Keep the soil free from weeds and consider using netting to keep birds of your precious crop.

Varieties of strawberry include:

  • Elvira – a heavy cropper that produces large, soft fruits from June to early July
  • Hapil – a high-yielding variety with large, bright red fruits from early to late July
  • Fragaria Vesca - this variety provides good ground cover if grown in the garden
Growing your own fruit is incredibly rewarding, and much healthier too. Start off with a few strawberry plants and watch our fruit garden grow.

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[Add a Comment]
@salfordscouser - while there could be a number of usual reasons why your tree hasn't fruited, it seems odd that one has and one hasn't even though they are getting the same treatment. Overfertilization is one of the most common causes of reduced flower production, however I imagine you are treating both the same. Sometimes bad planting can be a cause, especially if it is planted too deeply. Replant disese could also be a contributing factor if a young tree is planted in the same location as an old tree which may have been diseased. Obviously soil can play a bit part, but I don't imagine the ph is very different between the two. I can only think that when fruit trees that are planted too close to one another they can compete for nutrients and light. Perhaps you could try to ensure the unflowering tree is getting enough nutrients from the soil.
FruitExpert - 23-Dec-14 @ 12:13 PM
I plated a pair of pear trees 10 years ago. They are both trained as espaliers on the same south facing wall, well separated and growing equally well. Both receive the same treatment Flowers and fruits well One never produced flowers. Any suggestions?
salfordscouser - 22-Dec-14 @ 9:15 PM
I have grown an apple tree from a pip. I want to keep it in a container, what is the best compost to use?
Sal - 8-Sep-14 @ 6:48 PM
my apples and nectarines split on the trees befor they are ripe can you help with the cause and cure
frank - 15-Feb-14 @ 3:57 AM
Wish I had read this before I planted my poor fruit trees. This time I will have healthy trees and fruit. Have shared on facebook, love the advice, thank you.
gardens - 12-Aug-11 @ 2:23 PM
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