Late winter and early spring are the best time to plant fruit trees and bushes. This post shares everything you need to know from picking the right fruit tree, the correct variety, and even orchard planning tips if you're wanting to grow a variety of fruit trees. While I love my veggie garden, there is a beauty in only having to plant something once and being able to harvest if for years to come. Can I get a holler? No, sheesh, this is exciting stuff, okay, at least a high five.
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More and more gardeners are looking for ways to reduce household costs and grow more of their own food. Fruit trees are prolific, bearing for years. With dwarf varieties, you don't have to own acres of land to grow them. Also, with new disease-resistant varieties, controlling pests is a little easier. However, with a little attention, they can grow and fruit for years, providing food for you, your neighbors, and wildlife. Before you start digging holes and ordering fruit trees from around the country, you'll need to spend some time planning.
Here are some considerations you should keep in mind when planning your home orchard. First, take an honest look at your property. Fruit trees need at least 8 hours a day of direct sun to grow and fruit their best.
Make sure tall trees, other buildings, or your house don't block the sun, especially as it dips lower on the horizon come August. Note where power lines are overhead.
Don't grow large fruit trees under power lines where you'll have to prune them to prevent them from growing into the lines. In northern areas, plant hardy fruit trees such as apples, American plums, and sour cherries on a south-facing slope to receive extra heat.
Avoid planting early blooming, more cold-sensitive fruits, such as peaches and apricots, in a south-facing area because they may bloom too early, and frost will kill the blossoms.
A north-facing slope is better for these fruits and for all fruits growing in hot summer areas. In either case, select a sloping location. Your home orchard doesn't have to be planted all together. You can plant some apples in the backyard, a few pears on the side yard, perhaps a cherry in the front lawn, and some figs in a container.
A well-drained, fertile soil is ideal, but fruit trees can be grown in less-than-ideal soils, as long as the soil is well-drained and you add compost and fertilizer annually. Determine the hardiness zone for your area and select fruit trees that will grow well there.
The hardiness zone isn't a hard and fast rule. If you can create microclimates in your yard by planting near buildings or fences that protect the trees from the winter's cold, you may be able to grow a tree that is marginally hardy in your area. On the other hand, if your trees are in an exposed spot, even a variety that's hardy in your area may suffer winter injury.
If you live in a warm winter area, you'll need to know the chill hours that variety requires to fruit. Some areas are too warm in the winter to grow all types of fruits. Another consideration is the size of the tree. Most fruit trees come in varieties that are dwarf, semi-dwarf, and standard.
Dwarf trees stay about 8 to 10 feet tall and are perfect for small yards. There are even dwarf fruit trees, such as columnar apples, figs, and pomegranates, that fit well in containers, allowing you to move them as needed. Semi-dwarf trees grow about 10 to 15 feet tall and are more productive than dwarfs. Standard-sized trees grow 20 feet or more and are most productive. Most fruit trees grow best with at least two different varieties planted.
The varieties should bloom at roughly the same time in spring and have pollen that's compatible. Check fruit tree catalogs for the varieties that pollinate each other. Some fruits, such as apricots and peaches, and some special varieties, such as 'Northstar' sour cherries and 'Improved Meyer' lemons, are self-fertile, so you only need one tree to get fruit. To reduce the maintenance time and costs, select varieties that are disease-resistant, such as 'Jonafree' and 'Liberty' apples, two varieties that are resistant to apple scab disease.
This will help you reduce the need for spraying to produce a good crop. Buy trees locally that are already potted in a container, or order them bareroot from a mail-order catalog. Mail-order catalogs will offer a greater selection of trees.
Ideally, select from companies in your geographic area. They will be more familiar with varieties that grow well in your region. Order trees for a spring or fall planting, depending on where you live. Spring planting is best in the North, while fall planting is fine for warm winter areas USDA zone 7 and warmer. Plant your trees as soon as possible after purchase or arrival. It's best to dig the holes and amend the soil before they arrive so you're ready for the trees.
Most commercial tree growers prune the trees for you before shipping, so you won't have to prune until next winter. On dwarf trees, you may start getting fruits in a few years. Standard-sized trees take longer to start bearing.
Information courtesy of the National Gardening Association, www. Skip to main content. Search form Search this site. Planning a Small Home Orchard. By: National Gardening Association. Site selection First, take an honest look at your property. Tree selection Determine the hardiness zone for your area and select fruit trees that will grow well there. Planting Buy trees locally that are already potted in a container, or order them bareroot from a mail-order catalog.
Tags: apples , cherries , figs , gardening , lemons , peaches , pears , plums , stone fruit. You may also like. Planning a Summer Picnic. Planning for Thanksgiving. Earth Day Starts at Home. Co-ops support organic. Discover more about delicious organic food and its environmental benefits.
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Make Sauces from Scratch. Quick Cooking Legumes. Search this site. Quick Links Why Co-ops? Organic Co-ops support organic. Fair Trade Learn more about fair trade and the benefits it provides to both producers and their communities.
A few months ago my brother and I gave our annual gift to our mom, which is another tree for her small orchard. She was saying that she wanted to have fruit all year round, so I started researching the best time to plant fruit trees. So my goal here is to get all of the details into one spot for the sake of humanity. I'm going to talk about which types of trees you can plant in each season, and deal with the frequently asked questions. I'll otherwise give some advice on how to best plant your fruit trees so they not only survive the transition but thrive for decades to come.
A. A dwarf, scab- resistant apple cultivar would likely be the best adapted of the fruit trees for the central Indiana area.
Download this article as a PDF. Fruit trees are a beautiful addition to your ornamental and edible landscape. Growing fruit trees can also be a rewarding hobby. Hardy varieties of apple, apricot, cherry, pear, plum, and plum-cherry trees do well in Southwest Montana. We carry select varieties for our high altitude and short growing season. Select a sunny site for your fruit trees, preferably with some shelter from the prevailing winds. Do not plant fruit trees in hollows or pockets where frost would settle. Space apple trees about 25 feet apart. The smaller fruit trees: dwarf apple, apricot, cherry, pear, and plum can be planted as close together as feet.
Our selection of fruit trees changes every year, so we post lists annually to help with planning. The lists are based on orders that are confirmed by our growers, so they reflect our best estimate of what to expect.
Patio fruit trees make it possible to grow delicious fruits even in the smallest of spaces. Imagine growing a small fruit tree right outside your back door. Patio fruit trees are small enough for virtually everyone to enjoy! Here are 7 perfect patio fruit trees that you can grow on a porch, patio—and just about everywhere. Note: We have included links to some of the products in this story. Home Garden and Homestead receives a small commission from qualifying purchases from clicking on the links below.
Once upon a time, every home and homestead had a few fruit trees—or even a small orchard—on its property. Does yours? Today, there's resurgent interest in growing fruit trees, for a number of intriguing reasons. In modern times, fruit trees fell out of favor with homeowners, who opted for "landscape" trees in their yards instead. Truth be told, fruit trees are both marvelous landscape trees and hardworking production plants. Take a fresh look at what makes them both desirable and practical:. Fruit trees are as beautiful in flower as they are in fruit: Washington D.
Apples, pears and plums can all be excellent in Scotland, given the right growing conditions, but do make sure that you choose the right varieties. Some just.
Dwarf apple tree with immature fruit Photo credit: Rosie Lerner. A dwarf, scab- resistant apple cultivar would likely be the best adapted of the fruit trees for the central Indiana area. There are quite a few cultivars to choose from. Most apple cultivars require cross pollination from a compatible cultivar in order to reliably set fruit.
Choosing the right fruit trees for your climate is an important step in deciding what to grow in your garden. Before you head to the nursery, do a little research to determine which fruit you enjoy that will thrive in your growing zone. You want to make sure you select something you will eat and enjoy! Grow Your Own Mini Fruit Garden by Christy Wilhelmi of Gardenerd is a really helpful resource for growing fruit trees and shrubs both in containers and in small spaces. This particular excerpt, reprinted with permission from Cool Springs Press, an imprint of The Quarto Group, will help you assess your growing area and set you up for successful future harvests. Whether you are a novice or an experienced gardener, the first rule applies to everyone: Choose cultivars best suited to where you live.
When it comes to choosing a fruit tree for your garden, there's a lot to consider.
Many fruit trees are available year-round, but winter is when the widest variety will be available in store. Choose an open, sunny position for your fruit tree. It is a good idea to find out how big the tree is going to grow to ensure it will have enough room. Small dwarf varieties of many different fruits including apple, citrus, olive, guava and peaches are good options if you have a small space or are planting in pots and containers. Depending on what you like to eat and what you want for your garden there are a wide range of common and heirloom varieties to choose from.
Plums are a natural for home gardens with their compact size and easy-growing nature. These trees tend to be beautiful specimens and bear heavy loads of fruit—not enough to overwhelm, but more than enough to balance fresh eating with sharing and putting by. Give yourself a treat by planting a cherry tree. Just make sure you protect your crop from hungry birds with a little scare tape or netting.