Have you ever thought how nice it would be to pop out into the garden and harvest a variety of fruit suitable for a refreshing fruit salad? You’ve probably grown veggies or herbs, so why not try growing a fruit salad garden? A fruit themed garden is possible for almost anyone with some garden space. What is a fruit salad garden and what plants should you choose for a fruit garden? Read on to learn more.
What is a Fruit Salad Garden?
Many gardeners focus on a particular genre, growing just vegetables or focusing on perennials, for example. They forget or are intimidated by other plant groups. A fruit salad garden theme is simply the inclusion of fruiting plants into the garden. The choice of plants to choose for a fruit garden may be dictated by a number of things.
First of all, before running out willy-nilly and purchasing a bunch of plants for a fruit themed garden, find out what the USDA hardiness zone for your area is. This will help guide you as to what fruit trees, vines or shrubs will withstand weather conditions in your region. Also, call your local extension office. They will no doubt have a wealth of information regarding suitable plants for your area.
Check out the area of the garden you plan to use for a fruit salad garden theme. Conditions need to be right for certain types of plants to thrive. Fruit trees, for instance, dislike wet feet so they must have well-draining loamy soil. They also need to be situated where there is good air circulation and plenty of sun so their leaves dry quickly and they are less prone to disease and insects.
Avoid planting fruit trees in low areas of the garden that are more likely to be frost pockets. Try to select a site that is mid-slope. The direction of the slope is a little more difficult. Depending upon your region, a southern or southwestern slope might be too hot and dry. A northerly slope may not receive enough sun to promote fruit set or hasten the drying of morning dew while an easterly slope will speed evaporation of moisture.
Also, when growing fruit salad gardens, it is important to note which fruiting plants are self-fertile and which will need a partner to aid in pollination. Without a partner, some trees or shrubs will not fruit.
Plants for a Fruit Garden
Once you have ascertained the above steps and are ready to choose plants, be sure to select those that are naturally resistant to disease, if possible. This won’t necessarily eliminate disease issues but it certainly will mitigate the possibility.
Your fruit salad themed garden may have a plan incorporating a seating area on a patio with potted dwarf fruit trees, an arbor of grapesor can be an espaliered wall of fruiting trees. You might decide to forgo trees altogether and focus on berry bushes and vining kiwis.
Or, if you want minimal maintenance and maximum fruit, consider planting a fruit salad tree. Yes, there really is such a thing and it is quite amazing. There are four different types of fruit salad trees that bear up to eight different fruits of the same family on one tree!
- Stone fruit salad trees bear peaches, plums, nectarines, apricots and peachcots.
- Citrus trees bear oranges, mandarins, tangelos, grapefruit, lemons, limes and pomelos.
- Multi-apple fruit salad trees bear a variety of apples.
- Multi-Nashi bear several different Asian pear varieties.
Planting just one or, better yet, a couple of different fruit salad trees will keep you in fruit salad throughout the growing season and since they ripen in shifts, you aren’t drowning in fruit all at once.