Planning a Fruit Garden

Get your fruit garden off to a great start by implementing these techniques for planning a fruit garden.

| September 14, 2012

Pick luscious fruit right from your own sunny balcony, suburban lot or orchard with the help of the ultimate fruit growing guide, Grow Fruit Naturally (The Taunton Press, 2012) by Lee Reich. Grow the best-tasting apples, blueberries and more with natural practices ranging from cross-pollination to irrigation methods. An encyclopedic listing of fruits presents comprehensive information on individual fruit care and needs. Learn the basic requirements for creating a fruit garden in this excerpt taken from Chapter 1, “Planning Your Fruit Garden.” 

You can purchase this book from the MOTHER EARTH NEWS store: Grow Fruit Naturally. 

The weather is springlike, and fruit plants in color-splashed mail-order catalogs and at local nurseries tempt you with possibilities of luscious harvests for years to come. You pay your money, you dig holes, and you plant, but will you realize your tasty dream? Yes, if you plan before planting!

What requires attention in planning is sunlight, climate (including temperatures and rainfall), pollination needs, plant spacing, and how much of particular kinds of fruits you’d like to harvest. The most straightforward approach is to plan your fruits around the existing conditions in your yard and the varieties of plants that can flourish there.

Sunlight Requirements

One of the most important considerations in determining where to plant and what to grow is sunlight, which you can influence to some degree.

Most fruit plants need full sunlight, which means 6 hours or more of unobstructed sunlight each day from spring through autumn. If your yard lacks this much sunlight, consider your options for gaining more light. For example, are there trees you can cut down or back? Or go ahead and plant, realizing that there will be some sacrifice in yield and your plants will be more susceptible to diseases. Another alternative is to plant fruits such as gooseberries or currants, which thrive in shade.

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