What should I consider before I decide what fruit trees and berries to grow in my yard?
Most fruit crops require full sun and well-drained soil. If your yard is shady, it may be best to let someone else grow the fruit for you at an orchard. Generally, strawberries and raspberries are the easiest fruits to grow. Grapes (which need a lot of pruning) and blueberries (which need moist, acidic soil) are moderately difficult to grow. And tree fruits are the most difficult to grow. In terms of pesticide treatments needed for a good-quality crop, from least to greatest, they rank like this: blueberry, raspberry, strawberry, grape, and tree fruits. Some fruits require cross-pollination for fruit set. Apples, pears, plums, and some sweet cherries fall into this category. Two trees of different varieties should be planted within about 100 feet of each other for cross-pollination. Fruits can be attacked by many disease and insect pests. To minimize the amount of spraying you'll need to do, choose varieties that are resistant to disease problems whenever possible.
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