Choosing Types of Fruit
It may seem that there is so much thinking and considering to be done before you even start, thatin a garden is a complicated business and almost more bother than it’s worth — nothing of the sort.
The points that will pay for a little thought during the planning stage are, what, for instance, is to be gained by planting a tree that could grow to a massive size in a garden that only has room for a cordon? With a little forethought, this sort of inconvenience is easily avoided. The days are past when you more or less had to take pot-luck with what the nursery could supply you with.
There are very few rules which, if broken, will lead to disaster; these are suggestions and ideas to help you make a success of a fascinating part of.
Types of Fruit
With that word of encouragement, the next thing that has to be decided upon is what kinds of fruit you want to grow and, along with that, which varieties.
It should go without saying that the first consideration is personal preference. Write down all the different kinds of fruit that you would like to grow. Try to put them in their order of importance to you. Never mind if you know that they will not all be possible, the list can be shortened later but you would kick yourself if you hadn’t considered something that was really perfectly easy if only you had thought of it at the time. The best way of making sure that nothing is missed out is to go through the fruit section of a nurseryman’s catalogue. It’s really exactly the same principle that you would adopt when considering which vegetables to grow. Put them all down and then reject the impossible.
Of course, it’s also important to realise that it may be quite easy to grow something that, for the moment, you think a non-starter. That is where this site aims to help you further, by telling you the different tricks of the trade’ that make miracle-working appear easy.
If, as well as the kinds, you can also make a note of the varieties you fancy, do so; but be flexible because there is a lot more to it than simply likes and dislikes.
Having made a list of the fruits you want, shorten it by eliminating the impossibilities on the grounds of common sense. The first to go are those fruits which would not be hardy enough either for your locality or for your particular garden. Obviously it is impossible to draw a line on a map of the country and say ‘below this, yes; above it, no’, but there are certain broad limits of hardiness.
, , and , for example, can really only be grown safely outdoors in the southern and western parts of the UK.
To this should also be added loganberries, but they are a rather special case. Unless you have a particular reason for wanting them, they are best avoided in the colder areas. The chief reason for this is that there are other hybrid cane fruits, such as the tayberry and the sunberry, which are hardier. They are also heavier cropping and, quite honestly, are likely to spell the end of loganberries all over the country as they are superior to it in every way. If you insist on growing loganberries, choose the thornless type, LY654. This crops as heavily as the thorny one and is said to be slightly hardier.
The main difference between the north and south as regards warmth is not so much the actual temperature as the length of the summer. Pears, for instance, that grow well in the south should always be grown in the warmest position possible when growing them in the north. Against a sunny wall, for instance, they will start growing one or two weeks earlier and carry on a couple of weeks later in the autumn. This makes the summer up to a month longer against a sunny wall than in the open garden. Even within an otherwise favourable area, an individual garden may be so open and exposed to winds that certain types of fruit are impossible to grow. This often occurs on the coast where salt-laden winds are the main problem.
The main objection to growing certain kinds of fruit in the colder districts is that some flower much earlier than others. Clearly this is going to make a lot of difference. No matter how tough the actual wood of aor bush is, if it flowers early in the spring, you will run the risk of having the flowers killed by spring frosts. As a rule, the stone fruits ( , , peaches etc.) are the most likely to be damaged in this way. They can flower as early as March. However, most other tree and bush fruits are also liable to this problem,
The business of what can safely be grown in a given district, therefore, is far from easily settled, but there are obviously general indications which it is as well to bear in mind when choosing kinds and varieties of fruit On the whole, and with the above exceptions, there is very little to worry about and, if there is still doubt in your mind, consult a local garden centre or someone nearby who knows what they are talking about.