5 Fruits You Never Thought You Could Grow
Skip the produce aisle and grow these easy fruits in your backyard. As a bonus, we've included hacks to keep them healthy.
Some fruits are planted from seed while others are purchased bare-root or balled-and-burlapped. No matter what form, fruits are easier to grow than you may think, and they are quite popular with home gardeners. Fruits grow in a variety of different forms: on bushes, in trees, in patio containers, from hanging planters—the list goes on. Keep reading for a list of five fruits that are easy to grow yourself.
Blueberries like it acidic. A soil pH between 4.5 and 5.0 is the ideal blueberry-growing condition. Give your growing space a soil test and make adjustments as needed. Berries should also be grown in well-drained soil in full sun to maximize your harvest. Once planted, deeply water (deep enough to moisten roots) 1-3 inches each week.
Soil Hack: Try adding an acidic element like sphagnum peat moss to your soil.
Raspberries are vigorous growers, so try growing them in containers at least 30 inches wide. Like blueberries, plant raspberry seeds in well-drained soil in a sunny spot, and mix in some compost to give them a running start.
Raspberries grow 4-6 feet high. Their canes will start to arch as the fruit ripens. If you're planting raspberries in a container, you'll need a trellis to manage their growth. If you plan on growing raspberries in a bed, install a T-bar wire fence or wooden trellis so canes can grow upward and be supported.
Trellis Hack: Skip the store-bought trellis and make your own. Simple solutions include pipes, a wooden ladder, pieced-together branches, or even a crib wall. Get creative!
There's more to citrus than just lemons and limes—citrus varieties include oranges, kumquats, and grapefruit. They make pretty container plants and are prolific growers. Growing citrus in warm-winter climates is easy if done right.
An important detail when planting citrus is to watch the salt levels of your soil. Symptoms of salt damage can range from slow growth of plants to burnt edges on leaves. To eliminate the amount of salt, proper soil drainage is crucial. Keep up regular waterings and the salt will eventually clear itself out through porous soil.
Weather Hack: When the forecast calls for a temperature drop, give your citrus an extra layer of mulch. Tropical fruits, like citrus, may need a dormant period. Tuck it into a garage, for example, or do research on whether it might be able to overwinter in your house.
Plenty of traditional fruits—pears, plums, peaches, cherries, figs, and nectarines—work well as dwarfs. Dwarf fruits are an optimal choice for containers, which can serve double-duty as a mobile focal point decor on a patio.
Although growing dwarf fruits is simple, consider a few things when planting your tree. A dwarf tree of any kind is delicate, so place it in a spot out of direct wind. Also, while it's healthy to prune trees, you'll want to limit pruning to only severely damaged or broken branches.
Pollination Hack: Some fruit is self-pollinating. If it's not self-pollinating, you'll need to provide a companion plant so the fruit can pollinate—otherwise it won't do anything but grow green leaves.
In the ground, strawberries need room to spread. On a patio, go for a too-cute strawberry planter or go vertical. There are two types of strawberry plants: June Bearing, which, like the name states, produces crop in June; and Everbearing, which produces throughout the entire summer.
When growing strawberries, be certain that the roots are fully covered in soil but the crowning bud is above to recieve fresh air. Burying the crown can lead to rot—which we don't want getting in the way of our delicious strawberries!
Pests and Diseases Hack: You can choose disease-resistant varieties, but the yummy fruit that grows on your plants and trees still may be troubled by bacteria or fungus from time to time. Because you're going to eat the produce, you can't use chemicals. That means you'll have to keep a close eye on your small-space fruit. Practice good growing—don't overwater, give plenty of sun, and fertilize when needed.