Growing Your Own Fruit 1/2

Spring has sprung! With spring comes summer, and with summer comes fruits. Imagine waking up on a Saturday morning, looking out over your fantastic landscaped garden, and experiencing the joy of seeing your own freshly grown fruits. It is truly wonderful knowing that your hard work is being rewarded.

In this article, we will be going over the 4 easiest and most rewarding fruit trees and plants to grow this Spring. We will be talking about their benefits and their planting needs. In our next article, we will be talking about the nitty gritty of planting your own fruit trees. This mean the start to finish, including choosing your tree, planting in the ground or a pot, and the levels of aftercare required.

Without further ado, here are the five easiest fruits to grow this Spring.

Apples

apple tree

Having a well grown apple tree in your back garden is a great asset to have. There are three main types of apple, eating apples, cooking apples, and cider apples. You should choose your apple carefully when it comes to planting, as it should suit your taste and the size of your garden. If you can, do not be afraid to plant 2 apple trees as they will pollinate each other. However, you need to make sure that you choose the right pollinating partner for your apple tree. If you are unsure, your local garden centre will be able to help you.

A favoured apple variety to grow in the Thames Valley area is the Egremont Russet. It is firm, holds a nutty flavour, and is mouth-wateringly juicy. This particular apple first came into popularity during the Victoria era, and currently makes up around 3.7% of total apple orchards.

Apple trees can be planted in both pots and soil, but it is better to plant pot grown trees later into Spring (March and April Time). It is usually a good idea to plant your tree with a post or stake, to give it support. Do not plant your apple tree in any standing water, absorb nearby water and drown your new tree.

Make sure that your tree has been well watered before it is planted. Container plants can be watered and left for an hour, but bare root trees should have their roots soaked in water for around 2 hours.

Raspberries

raspberry bush

You know its summer when raspberries are everywhere you look. These explosively juicy berries are a great source of fibre, vitamin C, and have been known to help boost immune systems. With the proper care, your raspberries will bear fruit indefinitely.

Raspberries are self-pollinating meaning you only need one plant for it to bear fruit. Raspberries are also fantastically easy to maintain. They technically come under the perennial variety and need regular pruning to continue to flourish. It’s as simple as that!

There are two types of Raspberries (summer-fruiting and autumn-fruiting) and they are best planted around early Spring. Summer-fruiting will grow one summer crop per year, and autumn-fruiting will grow one crop in autumn, then will grow a crop in summer the following year.

You can purchase dormant bare-root raspberries, and potted raspberries. Bare-root plants should be planted as soon as the soil can be worked, and potted plants can be planted when you are sure there will be no more frost. You should try and plant your raspberries in full sun to ensure a good harvest. You can grow a crop in partial shade, but you will not receive nearly the same benefits.

When it comes to pruning your plant, you need to keep an eye out for colours. Raspberries produce plants on two-year-old canes, which are brown. One year old canes are green, and will produce fruit in the next year’s harvest. Make sure to old prune away the brown canes.

Strawberries

strawberry bush

Hand-picked strawberries are the flavour of summer. Imagine walking out on a hot summers day, picking a ripe strawberry, and knowing that sweet juicy flavour was thanks to you. Strawberries are one of the most versatile fruits around, thanks to the many different places they can be grown. These include containers, shrubs, pots, and hanging baskets.

Strawberries are very good are growing in any soil, ranging from light sand to heavy clay. One problem that will hurt your strawberries is waterlogging, as it helps breed plant diseases. Place your strawberry’s in rows when planting, and place a net over to prevent birds or squirrels from stealing your fruit.

You should try to harvest your fruits in dryer weather. A gentle touch is key to ensure bruising is kept to a minimal, and the green stalk stays with the plant. Try to pick the fruit as soon as it is ripe. This will stop the fruit rotting on the plant.

Strawberries are at their tastiest when they are red all over, and should be enjoyed ASAP. There are many ways to enjoy strawberries, one of the best is making your own strawberry jam. Your family will love a summer picnic, and they will be so impressed when they find out you grew everything yourself.

Blackberries

blackberry bush with hands

It’s not a summer walk without picking blackberries. These iconic berries can be a handful, so it’s important to know where to place them without them taking over your garden. They are very easily maintained, and do not need much attention to grow all through the summer. You will be surprised to learn though that they can improve the aesthetic of your garden if you know what to do with them. For example, you can plant them near an unsightly fence to give a character of a brisk autumn pathway.

It is very important to buy your plants from a good nursery with a high reputation. If not, you could be planting blackberries with a virus. This is a very common problem when it comes to blackberries, so make sure to only select the best.

Blackberries are self-fertile meaning, you do not need to place them with other plants to pollenate them. Try to plant your berries in full sun for the best harvest, they may grow in partial shade but not anywhere near the results of full sun. You do not have to plant blackberries very deep, only around one inch deeper than the nursery you purchased them from.

The spacing of your blackberries will change the way they grow. If they are planted around 3 feet apart they will grow erect, for semi-erect you can space them around 5 feet apart, and for trailing plants they can be spaced around 8 feet apart. You should also plant your blackberries in rows around 8 feet apart.

Blackberries have a distinctive flavour that the blackberry is so well known for. That sharp pop of juice when you bite down on one is unforgettable. Blackberries are also fantastic for using in cooking, most notably for making a scrumptious black forest gateau. Blackberries are chock full of fibre and vitamin C, making them perfect for a healthy breakfast. All you have to do is step outside in the morning, pop a couple from its bramble, and put them on your morning porridge.

Growing fruits is a fun, and rewarding experience. Not only do you get to enjoy the colour and vibrancy that the fruit brings, you also have some healthy and tasty snacks. We cannot tell you how rewarding it is to know that your family are literally enjoying the fruits of your labour. For more information on growing fruit trees and plants, Thames Valley Landscapes are here to help. Please feel free to call us on 01628 629720 or send us an email.