Tips and Tricks to Planting Fruit in Your Organic Garden | Reader's Digest

Tips and Tricks to Planting Fruit in Your Organic Garden

Fruit bushes and trees are a flamboyant touch but it's often hard to integrate them with the rest of the garden. Here are some tips to keep in mind.

Robert Goyette from The Canadian Illustrated Guide to Green Gardening

Fruit bushes and trees do not have to be kept isolated in a special part of the organic garden, although on a large property, this can be a good idea since it enables you to plant a ground cover, such as white clover, between the trees and bushes to attract the many small predatory insects that help keep pests under control. In a smaller garden, the fruits can be integrated into the general planting plan.

Fruit Tree© iStockphoto/ThinkstockWith a little planning, it's easy to add fruit to your garden

Bush fruits can be planted in a mixed border — remember that you will need to work all around the bush at picking time so do not plant too close to other flowers or shrubs. Low bushes, like some varieties of blueberries, can make a dwarf or informal hedge if the soil is acidic. But do not use gooseberries for this: they are too spiny. Strawberries can be grown as an edging along the front of a border where they are easy to pick.

Cane fruits are normally grown in a row and thus they can be used to make a divider partway across a narrow garden, screening the rest of the garden from view and making it appear shorter. They can also be trained against a fence and can make even a chain-link fence appear attractive.

Grape vines can also be trained against a fence, but crop almost as well and are more decorative when trained over an arbor or archway. Just be aware that a vine laden with ripe bunches of grapes is quite heavy and needs a strong structure to support its weight.

Tree fruits can be planted in place of ornamental or shade trees. There is such a range of eventual heights in fruit trees that one can be found to suit almost every location. For example, the eventual size of apple trees depends on the rootstock they are grafted onto. Some of the dwarfing stocks give mature trees that are only 6.5 to 9.8 feet (2–3 m) in height and spread, while the semi-dwarfing stocks will produce trees 16.4 to 21.3 feet (5–6.5 m) tall, much smaller than trees growing on non-dwarfing stocks.

  • Republished from:

    The Canadian Illustrated Guide to Gardening

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