Saturday, November 6, 2010

Growing fruit in the home garden

When we decided to grow our own food almost 3 years ago, we always new that we would not be able to supply all our fruit needs. This did not stop the planning of growing whatever fruit we could, even if it was just on a small scale.

Superman blessed me by hanging up lots of hanging baskets and planting 80 strawberry plants. These have now made baby plants twice over and are starting to yield for the season again. Last year we had so many strawberries that we eventually made jam for our family for gifts. These have been the easiest to grow and care for in our small farm in the city.

One of the first things I did was buy 3 huge half wine barrels and plant fruit trees. I planted a lemon, orange and olive. (Yip and olive is a fruit, not that we would classify it as such in our minds.) The lemon has given a few fruits, the orange has it's first appearing this season and the olive has a way to go before producing. These trees are going to be transplanted into the new area we are creating quite soon.

We planted 3 granadilla vines against a wall in our initial veggie garden. 1 of them died...I think it's roots were disturbed by tunneling of moles. But the other two are developing new blooms each day. The leaves are not as full as I would have expected for an almost 2 year old vine, but there are at least 20 fruits hanging in there.

A friend gave me a Cape Gooseberry plant about a year ago and they are now springing up all over the garden. These never make it to the plate, but are eaten from the bush as they ripen. I am not too sentimental about these plants as they can be quite invasive, but I am trying to adopt the attitude of "blooming where you are planted" so that unless it is really in the way, it stays.

We also planted a vine about 2 years ago. I wish I remembered the name of this cultivar...alas, I don't! But it produced about 4 bunches last year and we can see the tiny promises of more this year already.

We have tried to think vertically when it comes to growing fruit in this small garden so fences, walls, pergolas, pots...all have their place. When our last area is prepared we will have 2 lemon trees, 1 olive, 2 avos, 1 orange and an almond tree.

We also have blackberries, blueberries and booysenberries growing in the side patch but these have yielded nothing to boast of yet.

Another friend gave me an interesting fruit a while back. The papino melon...I found it very watery after being used to the rich flaour of summer melons, but my son enjoyed them. We have now got 4 healthy plants growing with lots of flowers.


Lois Evensen said...

How wonderful. So many different types of fruits and they all look so perfect.

Fluffymuppet said...

Hi Wendy,

I was wondering whether you would like to be included in a book project I am working on about people who grow unusual edibles (like the pepino melon!). There's more information on my blog, so do get in touch if you would like to take part.


JandK said...

I love growing my own food and just planted my first berry plants last year. I got them online at and so far they are doing great! I am looking for a good crop next spring!