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Growing Fruits

The satisfaction of growing, harvesting and tasting your own fresh fruits is one of the great pleasure of gardening. A fruit garden may be highly decorative as well as productive. In most ares a wide range of fruits may be grown, while in cool regions growing under cover makes it possible to grow even a larger variety.You may have a large garden, where you can dedicate a part of it exclusively for fruits, or you just have a small garden where you can incorporate fruit into the rest of the garden and even into a small patio garden you should have space for one or two citrus trees in pots or well-trained apples or pears.Here is a small description of the most common fruits that usually grow in our gardens:

Apricot is a woody perennial that needs a well-drained soil but must have shelter. Large, round fruits, highly flavored and popular for deserts. The cultivar Moorpark is the most reliable performer of all.

Apple is a woody perennial tree that prefers a deep, fertile, well-drained soil. Swollen, edible fruits that are eaten cooked or raw over a long season. Interplant with nasturtiums to deter woolly aphids.

Cherry is a woody perennial tree that prefers a deep, fertile, well-drained soil. Clusters of small edible fruits that are eaten cooked or fresh over a short season. Stella is the easiest cultivar to grow because it is self-fertilizing.

Damson is a woody perennial tree that prefers a deep, fertile, well-drained soil. Round or plum-shaped edible fruits eaten cooked or raw. The cultivar Merryweather is self-fertilizing and reliable.

Grape is a vigorous, climbing woody plant that prefers sun and a deep, fertile soil. Bunches of rounded fruits, black, red or pale yellowish-green in color. The leaves are also edible.

Greengage is a woody tree, perennial that prefers a deep, fertile, well-drained soil. Round or plum-shaped edible fruits are eaten cooked or raw. Cambridge Gage is partially self-fertilizing and the easiest to grow.

Kiwi Fruit is a woody, climbing, vigorous plant that prefers sun and a deep, fertile soil. Slice through the rough, hairy peel to find a fleshy, green inside that is eaten raw. The late-flowering cultivar Hayward is the most reliable plant to grow.

Kumquat is a woody perennial that needs a well-drained soil and a sheltered site. Small, yellow fruits that may be eaten without being peeled. This is the hardiest member of the citrus fruits.

Lemon is a woody perennial that needs a well-drained soil and a sheltered site. Oval to round-shaped fruits from which you squeeze the juice to use as part of a seasoning. In order to do well, these plants prefer to grow in a fairly constant temperature.

Lime is a woody perennial that needs a well-drained soil and a sheltered site. Small, green, rounded fruits with a thin skin that are mostly used for its juice. There are varieties with sweet or sour-tasting fruits available.

Nectarine is a woody perennial that needs a well-drained soil and must have shelter. Large, round fruits, highly flavored and popular for deserts. The cultivar Early Rivers produces large crops and self-fertilizes.

Peach is a woody perennial that needs a well-drained soil and must have shelter. Large, round fruits, highly flavored and popular for deserts. The cultivar Peregrine is self-fertile.

Pear is a woody perennial tree that prefers a deep, fertile, well-drained soil. Swollen, edible fruits eaten cooked or raw over long season. Conference is the most reliable performer.

Plum is a woody perennial tree that prefers a deep, fertile, well-drained soil. Round, edible fruits are eaten cooked or raw. Opal is self-fertilizing and produces large crops.

Along with those we can also raise an other kind of fruits, the soft fruits that are usually hard to store and must be consumed fresh as soon as they are riped or prepared as jam or jelly. Here is a short description of the most common of them:

Blackcurrant is a woody bush, perennial that prefers a deep, fertile, well-drained soil. Clusters of small, edible fruits eaten fresh or cooked and preserved. The cultivar Ben Sarek is resistant to mildew and late frosts.

Blueberry is a woody perennial bush that prefers moist, acid soil and an open sunny site. Clusters of small, rounded, black, edible fruits eaten either fresh or cooked. Bluecrop produces the best yields and is ideal for a wet soil.

Briar Fruit is a woody perennial plant that prefers a deep, fertile, well-drained soil. Clusters of large to medium edible fruits eaten fresh or cooked. Vigorous, rambling, heavy-cropping plants that need a lot of space.

Mulberry is a woody perennial tree that prefers a deep, fertile, well-drained soil. Clusters of large to medium edible fruits eaten fresh or cooked. The black mulberry is the best fruiting type.

Gooseberry is a woody bush, perennial that prefers a deep, fertile, well-drained soil. Groups of medium-sized edible fruits eaten either cooked or raw. The cultivar Greenfinch is resistant to mildew and leafspot.

Raspberry is a woody bush, perennial that prefers a deep, fertile, well-drained soil. Groups of medium-sized edible fruits eaten either cooked or raw. Grow “Malling Jewel” for its compact habit and disease tolerance.

Red Currant is a woody bush, perennial that prefers full sun and a deep, fertile soil. Clusters of small, edible fruits eaten fresh or cooked and preserved. The cultivar Junifer is well reputed for its disease resistance.

Rhubarb is a herbaceous, long-lived perennial that prefers a moist, well-drained soil. Edible leaf stalks are cooked and eaten as a fruit. Rhubarb leaves in planting trenches may deter clubroot on brassicas.

Strawberry is a herbaceous, short-lived perennial that prefers deep, fertile, well-drained soil. Groups of medium-sized edible fruits eaten either fresh or cooked. Plant onions close to strawberries to increase disease resistance.

Avocado

Avocado (Persea americana) is an evergreen tree native to Central America, so most varieties are sensitive to cold and frost. It belongs to the same flowering plant family Lauraceae, along with cinnamon, camphor and bay laurel.

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Cape Gooseberries

Cape Gooseberries (Physalis peruviana) are big, shrubby plants, annuals in at temperate regions and a perennials in the tropics. The plants are frost tender and are killed at temperatures of about -1 Celsius degrees (30 F) so if you live in a temperate region is better to grow them in a greenhouse to make sure you get a nice crop. The plants are easily grown in pots and adapt well to greenhouse culture.

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Fruits in a Small Garden

Having a small garden it does not mean that you cannot grow fruiting trees. There are many ways to make the most of a limited space for fruit growing so that it provides a high yield and is an attractive feature. Fruiting trees for small gardens should be carefully chosen so they will only occupy the space you planed for them but they will also provide you a good crop.

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Pomegranates

Pomegranates (Punica granatum) form small and ornamental trees or shrubs that will grow up to 2-3 m tall and 1-1.5 m wide. In warm climates they are evergreen but in cooler climates they are deciduous. For growing pomegranates as ornamental trees you will need an optimum temperature range of 18-25 Celsius degrees (64-77) but it might tolerate for short periods temperatures just below freezing. For having them fruiting they will need dry weather and high temperatures, ideally around 35 Celsius degrees (96 F). The globular fruits are up to 10 cm in diameter with leathery, yellow or red skins.

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Alpine Strawberries

Alpine strawberries (Fragaria vesca ‘Semperflorens’) are a great addition to any fruit garden, especially in small ones. With their small, fragrant, sweetly flavored fruits they make a neat and attractive edging for any flower border or vegetable plots. Their fruits can be round or long, red or white, depending on the cultivar, but all of them are well flavored. They also grow well in containers.

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Protecting Fruiting Plants

Fruit trees and bushes may need protection from bad weather or frost. This can be done using windbreaks or fleece. They may also need protection against birds and animals. Protecting your fruiting plants will ensure a healthy and rich crop.

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Quinces

Quinces are fruits grown mainly in temperate areas because they require a chilling period of 100-450 hours below 7 Celsius degrees (45 F) in order to flower. The fruits are apple or pear-shaped and are covered with grayish-white down. In a small garden you can train them as fans or grow them as a bush and this way they will reach up to 3.4-5 m height.

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Watermelons

These tasteful, watery fruits are produced on annual, tropical or subtropical plants with spreading stems that grow up to 3-4 m. The fruits, eaten raw, may be rounded or oblong, green or cream, striped or mottled, with red, pink or yellow pulp, and may grow up to 60 cm in length. Being tropical plants, they need a temperature of 25-30 Celsius degrees (77-86 F) in order to develop well and may be grown outdoors only in sunny, sheltered areas. They may also be grown under cover in areas where outdoors climate are colder.

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Growing Fruits in Containers

If you only have a small garden and your space for growing fruits is limited you can still grow some fruits in containers. Container-growing fruits request a little bit more attention than the ones planted in the garden as the soil in the pot dry quicker and the food is limited. They need regular feeding and watering. The pots should be placed in sunny, sheltered places to protect the plants from winds. You can place the pots on paved areas like patios to provide ornamental features as well as crops of fruits.

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Growing Fruits under Cover

The fruiting trees, shrubs or wines that are native to warm climates are ideal for greenhouse cultivation in cooler climates. Peaches, nectarines or grapes are some of the fruit crops that are suitable for growing under cover, but skill and attention to detail are required to maintain them in good condition and obtain satisfactory crops. As for plants grown in open ground, the soil for the greenhouse crops will need to be fertile and well-drained for the plants to thrive.

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