Growing Fruits : What fruit plant and tree should I choose?
A fruit tree and plant needs to be considered in detail before planting, and should form part of the overall design of your garden.
The climate in your garden
What type of climate is your garden exposed to? A tree or plant flourishes under different types of conditions. Ensure that you choose varieties that can cope with your climate to avoid freezing a tender sapling or dehydrating a plant that thrives in cooler climes.
What space is available for growing a fruit tree and plant?Some varieties of tree and plant will grow for decades and increase considerably in size. Some are tall and thin in their nature, others are short and wide. Consider their size at maturity and the effect that will have on the garden and home…will it shade another tree or plant, will the roots cause damage etc... Think also about the abundance of fruit or the beauty of the plants in that space. Some fruit plants are incredibly beautiful and should be chosen, not only for their fruits but also their incredible flowers, a good example being the pomegranate or the apricot.
How much time can you dedicate to gardening?Some varieties of fruit tree and plant require minimum maintenance, while others such as an apple tree or grapes, need ongoing care. Think about the year ahead and how much time you can dedicate to gardening, especially if there will be a need to nurture more demanding varieties.
Also consider your fruit harvest and whether you require a large quantity of fruit or good quality fruit. Younger fruit trees tend to produce a larger harvest, however, they require a lot of extra nurturing as they tend to be more delicate. Older fruit trees are more hardy and resistant to disease, they require less attention but produce less fruit, however, the fruit they do produce is bursting with flavour.
Where to buy a Fruit tree or Plant?Fruit plants are available to buy from garden centres, nurseries and even in supermarkets. It is good to shop at a plant specialist to ensure they have been well cared for before you purchase and also get help from the staff when choosing. Each plant should have an identification tag listing the variety, its origins and a photo of the fruit. Check that the plant or sapling is healthy and strong. Fruit plants and trees are sold in pots, bare-root or root-balled. If buying a potted plant, remove it from the pot and make sure the roots are not rolled on the bottom or falling out because they will be less likely to take root when replanted.
If choosing a bare-root plant or tree, remember that the root must be replanted immediately, within 48 hours for best results. Bare-root is the technique whereby the root is removed from its original turf and placed in a bag or net for purchase. The advantage of purchasing a bare-root is that it will acclimatise to new soil conditions immediately. Before replanting ensure the root is wet and showing no trace of mould.