Beginner Garden – How to Cultivate Fruits in Your Back Yard
Gardening is one of life’s pleasures, there is nothing quite like getting your hands dirty on a warm summer day and reaping the benefits of it a few months later. It is what the earth has given us, not only to keep us busy and active outdoors but also to appreciate what paybacks the natural surrounding has to offer to us, so we don’t have to go too far to find them. For those who are blessed with a decent-sized garden, and even those who aren’t but still have space for some vegetations on the ground or in pots, and looking to add a little extra something to it, why not grow some fruits.
No one needs convincing that growing your produce in the confines of your own home is so much better and healthier than store-bought items. Organic is always much better to grow and eat, and in of itself has numerous benefits such as those mentioned on this recommended site. From using natural fertilizers to the benefits of not having to ingest growth-hormones and synthetic pesticides; organic foods are naturally controlled, have no GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms) and supply the body with much-needed nutrients.
Now that we have persuaded you that growing your fruits and veggies is better than the store-bought kinds, let’s jump right into the “How To” including much needed supportive material that will get you those ripe berries on the dinner table in no time!
Let’s Begin Our Journey
The first and foremost step to this would be to compile a list of the types of fruits you would like to grow yourself and have on your dinner table every night. This will depend on the quantities and are available as well. For instance, if you’re a fan of grapes, unless you have all the time in the world and have the availability of a greenhouse, we would not recommend them. The good news is, you can enjoy a ripe bunch of strawberries instead, which you can even grow in a container and on your balcony pretty easily.
Let’s begin with the first item – Choosing the Type of Fruits You Would Like to Grow.
This will be contingent on a few things such as the one mentioned above, and, how easy it is to grow something or if you need distinct environmental conditions such as the weather in the country you live in. Some fruits such as peaches, need very hot climates for anything to grow. So, if that’s not an option rather go for those that can be grown in the shade.
Sometimes you can even grow most fruits in containers if you do not have a big enough garden. You can choose those fruits that are “trained” to grow up walls, fences, espaliers and cordons, such as wall-hugging berries, pears and apples and further ideas can also be found here: GardenPeer.com. These need minimum pruning and care, and look attractive when crawling up fences and fans.
Container fruits also include a vast assortment from the strawberries we mentioned earlier to blackcurrants, figs, gooseberries, cherries, plums to name a few. It would look really cute on your balcony or patio. Tastes good and looks good – a win-win!
Point to note is to make sure you choose the ones that are grafted onto semi-dwarfing to dwarfing rootstocks, which helps to keep them a reasonable size, which will be better to manage by you.
Secondly, We Get Down to the Details.
When making your list try and include when you are allowed to grow these fruits to get the full experience. i.e. which months of the year. We have included three categories for you below:
1.Big Fruits – Apples, Melons and Pears. You can grow these anytime between January and April, August to December. What you can make with these include Jelly and Jams, you can dry them and Freeze them. Melons are between July and October.
2.Berries – Strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, cranberries, hybrid berries. Main months are July, August and for some September. You can make just about anything from these, jams, jellies, sauces, stuffing, freeze them, puree and more.
3.Nuts – Almonds, Filberts or Cobnuts. These can be planted during September, to December.
The third item on the agenda is – Positioning your fruits
Elements such as light, positioning, temperature and the selection of fruit (from the section above) will all make a big influence if you want to get the most out of the harvest. Mapping out space should include making a note of areas of sun and shade, which should be done before you start planting.
Some can grow in shade and others in full warmth of the sunlight. If the majority of your space is sunny, you can grow just about any type of fruit especially figs, apricots, nectarines, peaches and grapes. If it is mostly shaded feel free to grow items such as berries like strawberries, white currants, redcurrants and cherries.
Point to note if you have a garden that has a fence around the border and you’re looking to grow your fruits on it, be wary of “rain shadows”, which are a result of dried out vertical fences, which means the rain does not get to the bottom of the soil and there may be a risk of the fruits not getting enough water to their roots. This can however be remedied by you watering them regularly or by adding an automatic watering system to the garden.
The fourth item on the list is – The Rootstocks
Rootstocks are mainly used to restrict or control the size of the tree(s) you plant. Majority fruit trees can be grown via their roots, and some need to be grafted onto a chosen rootstock, which is the lower end of a tree trunk including its roots. This is a good idea because it can control the rate of growth of the tree and can be customised to the position and size of the tree you are looking to grow.
You can choose from large trees to smaller ones such as those that grow in bushes. The type of soil you have will also determine this and will influence the rate of growth. For instance, if you’ve got sandy or chalky soil on your property, it will limit the growth as compared to the clay-based soil which helps trees grow much bigger.
The fifth important factor to take note of – Pollination
Pollination is one of the most essential things for any fruit or plant to grow. how this is successfully done is via an outside force such as bees, beetles, birds, wasps and the lot. When the fruit trees produce the flowers and have pollen in them this attracts the little critters to pollinate them, others have their self-fertilizer mechanisms.
If you add flowers near these fruit trees, the chances are higher of them being pollinated, so choose flowering plants that attract these creatures so they can pollinate the others, is recommended. An example would be crab apples grown nearby to help pollinate apple trees as these produce a copiousness of flowers.
Point to note. Plants you will use for this cross-pollination need to be at least 55 feet (18m) of each other, to be of valuable assistance.
Lastly – Fruit Pests
This is something one cannot ignore, where there are fruits, there will also be pests and disease if not look after. Several different pests can affect your produce namely aphids, pigeon, birds, snails, beetles, slugs, whitefly’s and spider mites for instance, and more can be found here. Diseases range from silver leaf, blossom wilt, apple scab, canker, grey mould, powdery mildew, to name a few.
Where possible it is okay to tolerate some pests and disease but the take-home message here is because we are aiming for organic yield, look for natural deterrents such as earwigs, ground beetles and ladybirds to help fight those pesky little creatures. These can be purchased from plant stores or found in your back yard too. Always keep it organic!
Published on November 12th, 2020
Updated on November 12th, 2020
I’ve been researching and sharing lawn care and gardening info since 2010. I’m no expert, but my neighbors think I am