Growing Your Own Fruit
Thinking about growing your fruit in your outdoor living space?
- Ensure you have enough space to grow fruit trees. For most varieties, you have to plant two trees to cross pollinate. To grow pears, you need two different kinds of pear trees; an apple tree will not pollinate a pear.
- All fruit needs at least six hours of direct sun per day and well-drained soil mixed with peat moss or compost.
- Fruit trees require an ongoing spray program to control insects and disease if you wish to produce a healthy crop.
APPLE, PEAR, SWEET CHERRY, PLUM
- To produce fruit, these trees need a second variety to cross-pollinate. If Bartlett is your favourite pear, you have to plant another kind of pear to set fruit.
- To grow Japanese Plums, you have to plant two different varieties of Japanese Plums. You can’t cross a Japanese Plum with a European Plum. While most European Plums are self-pollinating, they benefit from having another European Plum in the vicinity.
- The ‘Stella’ Sweet Cherry tree is classified as self-pollinating, but you will have a better yield with another variety of cherry planted nearby.
- Apples can be pollinated by a Crab Apple, eliminating the need for a second apple tree.
- If your neighbour has one of these types of fruit trees that aren’t self-pollinating, you will not need to establish a second tree in your garden.
- Another option for small properties is to purchase a 4-in-1 fruit tree. On a single trunk, four different varieties have been grafted. For instance, you can grow four different kinds of apple on one tree.
APRICOT, NECTARINE, PEACH, SOUR CHERRY
- For these fruit trees you only need to plant one, as they are self-pollinating; they are very practical for small spaces.
- Two different kinds of blueberries need to be planted for the best fruit production.
- Blueberries require an acidic soil (work peat moss into the area before planting).
- Blueberries love full sun for at least 6 hours
- Set plants 1 m – 1.5 m (3’ – 5’) apart.
- Blueberries not only have terrific tasting fruit but they also have a brilliant autumn foliage colour.
- Everbearing and June-bearing strawberries prefer a sunny location.
- They prefer a soil that drains well; you may have to add compost or Parkwood® 3-in-1 Planting Mix.
- A layer of straw or cedar mulch around plants controls weeds, provides winter protection, and protects blossoms from early spring frost.
- Make additional plantings each year since fruit production declines in the second and third year.
- Everbearing strawberries produce sweet red berries from early summer to autumn.
- Plant raspberries in sun.
- Ensure soil is amended with compost and Parkwood® 3-in-1 Planting Mix.
- Position the canes 45 cm (18”) apart in rows 1 m (3’) apart.
- Everbearing raspberries such as Heritage produce fruit every year in late summer to early fall on new canes.
- All other raspberries produce fruit on canes that have grown for 2 years. Since these thicker canes never produce fruit again, they need to be cut out at ground level once the harvest is complete, leaving the thinner one-year old canes that will bear fruit next year.
CURRANTS & GOOSEBERRIES
- These fruits are self-pollinating so one plant will suffice.
- They prefer well-drained, fertile soil. Amend the soil with manure or compost and Parkwood® 3-in-1 Planting Mix.
- Position currants 60 cm – 100 cm (2’ – 3’) apart, in rows 125 cm (4’) apart
- Gooseberries can be established as a single bush or 100 cm – 125 cm (3’ – 4’) apart.
- Currants and gooseberries flower and produce fruit on last year’s wood so don’t prune them in the spring.
- After 3 or 4 years when the older wood becomes less productive, thin out branches to encourage new growth when fruiting has finished for the season.