Growing your own fruit is rewarding on many levels; you can be more self-sufficient, more in tune with seasonal produce and you’ll always be popular with friends and neighbours if you share your crop around!
October is a great time of year for planting new fruit trees in garden. And if you’re unsure what will grow well, the good news is that there are fruit plants to suit any soil condition or size of garden. The majority of fruit producers do well in full sun but there are several that will thrive in shade too, if kept maintained and pruned in autumn.
Fruit for shady spots
Gooseberries are very easy to grow and can handle a variety of soils. They’ll do best in a sunny spot but you’ll still get a fruit crop in partial shade. You can train them up a wall or fence, or grow in a container.
Grown as small trees or trained against fences or walls, cherries can tolerate partial shade, so if you’ve got a bare north-facing wall, this is a good choice.
Raspberries are great because they keep producing fruit for several months, from summer through to autumn.
Currents will keep giving you wonderful fruit for years to come and will do fine in partial shade or under a tree that lets through some sun.
Fruit for sunny spots
Apricots need some TLC to get them through the frosty months, but they produce fantastically tasty fruit and can be trained against sunny walls and fences.
An English classic, strawberries love sun and will deliver a delicious crop. It’s a good idea to grow them in containers as the plants will spread like mad if given a chance and will take over borders.
The sight of an apple tree laden with blushing fruit in the autumn is one of the greatest pleasures of gardening, and they’re easy to grow once established, needing very little attention. Buy a tree from a reputable nursery – garden apple trees are cultivars, grown by propagation to preserve taste. Growing from seed will not produce the same results.
Growing decent figs in the UK can be unpredictable. Conditions have to be just right, but if you’ve got a good south-facing spot in full sun with free draining soil, they should do well. You can also grow them in a container in a sunny spot.
Plums are available in several varieties, including small trees that don’t take up much room if space is limited. You may need to thin out fruit if the tree is heavily laden.
If you’re planting fruit, it’s a good idea to pop into a garden centre and get some advice on buying the best compost for planting and chemical or organic pesticides for treating a couple of times a year.