Fruit tree for small yard
When an older son bought his new, beautiful home with his wife in Vermont, it came with one fruit tree, a boysenberry. The boysenberry is a great beginner to small scale organic gardening for beginners to help introduce the idea of making use of your garden space. Fruit trees are relatively inexpensive to get and your produce is only a small amount of the total yield, but they provide delicious fruit for eating, as well as those scrumptious berries to make into jelly or jam. As an avid gardener, I had done a basic plan for planting of the right fruit tree for the space that was going to be used.
The boysenberry in the foreground here is not ready to harvest yet. It is a young tree and most of the fruit are not yet ripe. If you want to harvest berries, this is a good place to start with a berry bush that is young. It can be planted in the spring and will easily give you fruit all summer long. Because it’s a bush berry it can be a challenge to clean the berries off the tree once they are ripe. With that said, if you can, harvest and freeze the berries before they ripen to help them retain their shape better. Just make sure you aren’t putting off that berry harvest until it is too late and the berries are totally ripe.
Your garden space isn’t as small as this, but this is a good yard tree to begin with if you are on a budget and don’t have a lot of space. You can grow more trees as you expand your garden. When you’re just starting out it’s best to keep the fruit tree size to what your yard can accommodate.
The boysenberry tree has three trunks that grow out from the main trunk. This allows for a varied group of food. The top two trunks are where you can pick from most of the fruit. The bottom trunk has the leaves and the very bottom of the tree has some fruit. The leaves are a great addition to your meal. The best is just to munch on them and don’t ever make them into compost. This will keep the leaves from putting much nutrients into your compost.
They’re not always going to produce your favorite fruit but boysenberries are one of those fruits that can be eaten for breakfast and one of those that are scrumptious to make into jelly. Some even say it is a good source of Vitamin C.
You can find a variety of boysenberries to buy at the farmer’s market. Another option for small space gardener is to start your own from seed. Seeds can be a bit tricky to germinate but boysenberry is fairly easy to germinate. This will be much easier than starting from a nursery. You can also buy a can of small potted boysenberry to plant indoors to germinate as an early starter. This can be planted in spring so it is ready when the weather is warming. The potted plants can also be planted in the garden to germinate. If you have the space, you can also plant it directly in the garden. I like to plant the bushes in a spot with lots of sun but not too hot. Another option if you are a city gardener is to plant this in a planter box. This will give you a minimum of four feet of tree space with easy access to water.
The fruit trees can be planted out into the garden or you can grow them up a small trellis if you don’t have a spot with a fence. They can be trained up any type of trellis such as a tomato trellis or a grapevine trellis. I’m not going to provide specific plans on how to train this one because of the fact that different varieties are trained differently. The top two trunks give you all the berries you’ll ever get and then the bottom trunks is mostly for foliage.
Boysenberry bush – Trunk/top
Boysenberry bush – Trunk/bottom
How to Grow a Fruit Tree
What a wonderful fruit! Boysenberries are not only delicious in the kitchen but they are also one of the best berries for canning into jelly. For a large batch you’ll need between 2 and 3 pounds of berries. This is all the organic fruit that you can get from this size of tree.
The Boysenberry bush will have about five fruit clusters on a single bush which is rather small in this variety. This size is just right for most small yard gardeners. This variety will produce one type of berry as it grows. Because this is a bush type tree, you can expect your first fruit to be in the second year.
Boysenberries are a fruit to be enjoyed all year long. They will keep well in the freezer until the fruit is ready to harvest. If you start early then you’ll have a variety of berries ready for canning or freezing at once. I like to harvest about every other day to give the fruit the best chance of storing well.
How to Store Boysenberries
Because Boysenberries are a bush type tree they can have berries that are not very good tasting. If you want to ensure you get the best tasting berries, leave them alone on the tree until they are fully ripe. Once they’re ripe, harvest and can them