Here is a list of fruits (mostly small) that I have grown in our home veggie garden over the years. If you have never eaten fresh picked fruit such as blueberries or tomatoes you are in for a pleasure treat. If you are into home canning (preserving) or freezing fruit, the taste of berries is a treat months later. Growing fruit without chemicals is also a big PLUS. And for simplicity the fruits I have chosen are listed in alphabetical order. Let's go:
We have two regular apple trees we inherited when we moved into our current home. The fruit shown in the above photo was from these trees (sorry no name). We have since purchased a 4 variety espalier apple tree which is the easiest to care for with different apple varieties ripening over a longer period of time. Plus you do not need a ladder to pick the ripe fruit. Grow Espalier Fruit Trees in a Small Garden they are ideal
We have a total of four blueberry bushes in our home garden. They really take no work at all. Even though we live in the "BC Blueberry Belt" I would recommend a couple of bushes for just picking and eating. The grandkids will love to pick their own ripe berries without chemicals. We do buy the bulk of our blueberries from a local farm. 'How to Grow a Superfood Blueberry Bush'
Currant (and Gooseberry)
These are another new addition. I have never grown these before so time to try something different. As we are converting our steep slope veggie garden into a mixed orchard these will be included, We have two currant bushes just planted.
I really like both these fruits as they grow in both full sun (more fruit) and also partial shade which is great in the more shady lower garden. Also plants are self pollinating. They do require a little pruning so they don't become "bushy". 'Growing Currants and Gooseberries in the Home Garden' University of Minnesota
Growing up in Australia we had many fruit trees on our city home property. Years ago we propagated a few fig trees from a very "old" fig tree. The fruit looked like a "Black Mission". One problem growing figs in the Fraser Valley is that they prefer a milder Meditteranean climate. Figs can grow well in parts of Vancouver Island (Saanich) and some coastal areas. Our very heavy producing fig unfortunately froze one extremely cold winter. We have several figs growing from that tree fortunately, so will try again. How to Grow a Fabulous Fruit Tree
Another new addition this year. I simply have a soft spot for these small green fruits and they make a super tasty conserve. A little homemade variety. See Currant information above.
We have been growing Meyer Lemon trees in this area for over a decade. Yes, it does take some extra work but is well worth it for the fresh, fragrant and tasty fruit. The other citrus we grow is a Phillipine Kumquat which is a little more winter hardy than our favourite lemon. Both the lemon and kumquat are grown in large containers which we move around on large trolleys when weather is warmer. They both winter over successfully in an unheated garage. Growing Citrus Trees in the Lower Mainland
An old grapevine was being pulled up near us and discarded to build a new home. I took some cuttings and have three incredible dark blue-black grape vines. They are only three years old and the fruit is so sweet and delicious. We were overwhelmed with the abundance of fruit we picked last Fall - most being given away. I have been told the vines can "get away from you" without regular pruning. Here's a link to Growing Grapes in the Home Garden from the University of Minnesota.
These are simply a must. They do take pruning each year but are heavy producers and their excellent taste cannot be matched. Juicy Red Raspberries from your Garden - a taste delight.
We always have this fruit / vegetable growing in our gardens. It is the first fruit to come up in the Spring often before the apple blossoms are in bloom. Rhubarb is so versatile and can be used in baking, jams and chutneys and great cooked for dessert and served with yoghurt. One of Caramel and Parsleys first articles: How to Use Fresh Rhubarb (2010)
Everbearing strawberries are always my first choice for the garden as the name suggests - they supply strawberries until the cold weather arrives. The plants last for 3 or 4 years and are so generous they send out "suckers" to begin new plants. Also you can grow them in a small space wherever you have a sunny spot in your garden, or grow in containers. And there are never enough strawberries to freeze. How to grow your own Strawberry Plants
This was not included on the above list. We are very fortunate to have an abundance of wild blackberry bushes in our area. They are a pest for farmers, etc. but this fruit is worth the time to pick and freeze for eating during the following winter. This article includes some ideas on using wild fruit (apples) and also blackberries - 'Wild Fruit Free for the Picking' (2017) and 'Why You Should be Wild About Blackberries'
Most fruit bushes or trees can be planted in the Fall or Spring. Always follow directions if purchased from a local nursery. My "small fruit" strawberry and raspberry plants and blueberry bushes are top favourites especially with younger children. Citrus and figs are special fruits for me and are well worth growing. Protect from cold wind and freezing winter weather.
Hoping these snippets of information have given you some thoughts about adding a fruit bush or tree to your vegetable garden ~ big benefits for many reasons.
Best wishes and Happy Gardening ~ Liz
Links & References:
- '15 Reasons to Eat Organic' (2019) by Only Organic
- CAP '12 Reasons to Grow your Own Food' (2016)
- CAP 'How to Can Green Apple Sauce' (2016)
- CAP PS: Today's article is an expansion on a previous article "Grow Your Own Fruit at Home" (2017)
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