If the idea of growing your own fruit appeals to you, but you don’t know where to begin, consider some of the easier fruits to grow. From berries, to melons, to peaches, there are many delicious, healthy, options to get you started. Different fruits require different growing techniques, but this guide will help you navigate the terrain of growing your own fruit
Blackberries, Raspberries and Strawberries
Raspberries and blackberries thrive on long, thorny canes that grow to five or six feet tall. They are connected by underground roots and can become quite unruly if not thinned and pruned on an annual basis. But the plants are very hardy and will yield delicious fruit for even the novice gardener. Plant in a sunny spot, to form sort of a prickly hedge, with plants spaced two-to-three feet apart. A single row of berries about twenty feet long will supply an entire family with sweet treats all summer long.
Strawberries are great container plants, especially if you want to keep them within your sight in order to save them from birds and hungry squirrels. There are jars available just for strawberries that stand about two feet tall, with openings along the sides ideally suited for strawberry plants. They look great on the deck, especially when they sprout charming runners that trail down the side of the jars.
Water Melons and Cantaloupes
You can buy melon plants at a nursery, or start the seeds indoors three weeks before the last expected frost. Choose an area that gets lots of sunlight and provides plenty of air circulation for your melons, and keep them moist until they begin to bear fruit, then water less frequently. In the heat of summer, enjoy your melons chilled.
Fruit That Grows on Trees
While fruit trees can be intimidating to the beginner, there are some varieties of apple trees that are relatively easy to care for. Look for disease-resistant varieties of apple trees to minimize the need for pesticides. Dwarf fruit trees are an excellent option for beginners because they are small enough that you can pick the fruit without a ladder, and when the time comes, prune more easily than a full-sized tree. They also bear fruit faster than full-size trees and take up less size in your garden. You can even grow some super-dwarf trees in containers.
Super-Dwarf Peach Tree
The super-dwarf peach tree is a great tree to grow in a pot. It reaches a maximum height of five feet, and produces fruit with only one tree. (Many fruit trees require a partner tree for pollination.) Plant your super-dwarf peach in a 24-inch-wide tub and keep it moist, fertilized and out in the sun during the growing season. In the winter, you can store it in the basement and then bring it outside again in the spring. It may not produce fruit the first year, but don’t give up on it. The super-delicious fruit of the super-dwarf peach tree will be well worth the wait.