Different Ways of Growing Fruit

The arrival of new varieties and the ability to buy and grow much smaller and less vigorous fruit trees and bushes has led to many more ways of growing fruit. There still remains, however, the traditional system of growing fruit in the open garden, with conventional sized trees planted in a border or lawn still being the most popular. This is the least complicated system and, although crops may not always be as large for a given area as they are with the more intensive systems, they are rewarding and perfectly adequate for the little work involved in the tree’s upkeep.

Suitable types of tree for growing untrained in the garden include the standard, half-standard, bush, dwarf pyramid and spindle.

fruit growingWhere space is limited, or where you would like to have more types and varieties of fruit than would be possible with full-sized trees, one of the intensive methods is needed. Dwarf pyramids can again be included here, but we normally think of intensive methods as referring to cordons, espaliers, fans and other training systems. With all these methods, the trees are trained against wires or canes into rigid branch forms. Pruning in the summer is desirable as well as in the winter.

It is also possible to train some kinds of bush fruits, such as red and white currants and gooseberries, into these shapes. This results in a great saving of space for when they are grown as traditional bushes at least 5ft (1.5m) is needed between each.

Certain fruits can also be grown in a greenhouse. The kinds that usually spring to mind are dessert grapes and possibly peaches and nectarines. However the choicer varieties of fig also need this kind of protection along with, in all but the mildest areas, kiwi fruit (Chinese gooseberry — Actinidia species).

Oranges, lemons and grapefruit can also be grown reasonably easily in a heated greenhouse and even bananas and pineapples, though a lot more heat is needed for these and at least 10ft (3m) headroom for bananas.

Unheated greenhouses can also be used to house and protect hardy fruits (apples, pears etc.) growing in pots, or similar containers, when harsh weather threatens in the spring or late summer.

In fact, growing fruit trees and bushes in containers is a separate and distinct branch of fruit growing and one that perhaps presents the greatest challenge of all. By the same token, the satisfaction of doing it right and getting good results more than makes up for the extra work and attention needed.

All these different aspects of fruit growing are covered later, but let us now look at the various tree forms (shapes) that we can use in the garden.

See Tree Forms

14. May 2011 by admin
Categories: Fruit Gardening, Organics | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off on Different Ways of Growing Fruit

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