Home grown fruit – a taste of the country.
If there is one thing that every true gardener loves, it’s sitting down to a luscious piece of home grown fruit. This delightful experience is cherished by many a country gardener each and every season, so why not get to and plant some fruit trees of your own to enjoy?
As well as being deliciously sweet and full of flavour, home grown fruit is packed with essential vitamins and minerals and makes a scrumptious, country-style gift for a friend.
Did you know that the fruit you buy from your local supermarket has often been picked several weeks, if not months before you buy it? It’s not hard to imagine how much nicer an apple picked just moments before you eat it will be…
Don’t have a lot of room for trees? There are numerous species of fruit trees that are ideal for the home gardener. You don’t need an orchard to produce a mouth-watering crop of apples, peaches, plums, apricots, figs or nectarines. Watermelons and berries do well alongside your other plants and are an all-time summer favourite.
If your only space is a terrace or balcony, lemon trees do well in pots and make a stunning ornamental feature. Kiwifruit or passionfruit grow on vines and can be trained from a pot to cover an empty wall space.
Most nursery stores sell the common fruit trees, often as bare-rooted stock. Talk to the local nursery staff about which species do well in your area. Chat to family, friends and neighbors in your area that have established trees and find out which ones have done particularly well.
We have listed below some of the common fruits that are easily grown, even in limited space.
Apples are a fantastic choice for the home garden. Besides their popularity as a fresh fruit, apples can be used in countless recipes or stewed, preserved or frozen for desserts on those cold winter evenings. Apple trees may be trained to grow along a wire if space is at a premium. Require cross-pollination.
Plums are definitely worth considering if you are planning to have a selection of trees. Plums are very hardy but require cross-pollination, so a multi-grafted tree might be worth considering.
Peaches and Nectarines – all-time favourites and well worth the space and time you dedicate to them. Tree-ripened fruits of the peach or nectarine are simply delicious and put store-bought ones to shame. Dwarf varieties can be purchased, which may make it easier for you to net the tree and protect your crop from birds.
Lemons and other citrus fruits are the perfect choice for the Australian gardener. They boast attractive, glossy and evergreen foliage which makes a beautiful screen; their flowers are delicately scented and their fruit remains on the tree for an extended season. Best of all, birds aren’t interested in them. The citrus family covers grapefruits, oranges, mandarins and kumquats.
Melons generally grow best in conditions of high temperature and high humidity. However, in more recent years, varieties have been produced which do well in cooler climates. The perfect treat for a warm day, melons remain extremely popular. Talk to your local nursery about which varieties will do well in your area.
Grapes remain a highly popular fruit and their vines make a stunning decoration. Grow a grape vine around your veranda and enjoy the leafy green foliage in the summer, then the delightful autumn display of red and orange leaves. Grapes can be planted in a pot then trained along a trellis or arbour. Wherever you choose to grow them, they are a real country favourite.
Fresh strawberries are hard to beat. They are irresistibly sweet, full of flavour and make a lovely decoration. More recent years have seen both summer and autumn fruiting varieties emerge, which means that the fruiting season for strawberries is now not so limited. They do well in pots and can either be enjoyed at the time, frozen or made into jam.
The aroma and flavour of fresh raspberries reminds us of a warm summer’s day. Raspberries require a pruning and staking and a reasonable amount of space, so they may not be an option for a small courtyard garden. They also need a cool spell during the winter, which makes them unsuitable for tropical climates.