Fresh fruit is an excellent source of antioxidants, fiber, vitamins and minerals, and what could be better than picking said fruit right in your own backyard?
Contrary to popular belief, growing fruit doesn’t have to require much space, so if you’re thinking the only way to grow backyard fruit is if you can fit in an orchard or vineyard, or you live in Southern California or Florida, think again.
A fruit tree or two is one way to go, but you can also opt for dwarf trees, small bushes, carefully placed grape vines or container-based fruits, which can provide an ongoing source of fresh fruit in virtually any area. Ready to get started? Check out these five fruits, compiled by HellaWella, which will grow almost anywhere.
1. Alpine Strawberries
Also known as wild or woodland strawberries, alpine strawberries are smaller than regular varieties but don’t skimp on flavor or antioxidants. They’re incredibly easy to grow. According to HellaWella:
“Select a growing spot with full sunlight or partial shade that offers well-drained soil replete with organic matter. Make sure your berries get 1 to 2 inches of water per week and have adequate protection from frost if winters are snowy and cold where you live.”
This tropical fruit can be grown in a tub or pot and even indoors, which means you can grow one on your patio or in your kitchen. Surprisingly, pineapples require little maintenance and will grow in full sun or partial shade, with only occasional watering needed. Because pineapple plants multiply quickly, you can have a ‘forest’ of pineapple plants in no time (if you so choose).
Perhaps most interesting of all, all you have to do to get started is put the top of a store-bought pineapple into a hole in a container of soil (so it supports the top). Then water it and wait for it to grow.
One blackberry plant can yield about three pounds of fruit, and the bushes can grow almost anywhere. Ideally, pick a spot with full sun and sandy, acidic soil. You may need to prune the plant occasionally, and be sure to choose a plant that is free from viruses.
Choose a grape vine that is compatible with your agricultural zone rating, and pick a sunny spot in your yard to plant it. Grapes need a trellis to grow onto (which you can easily build yourself) and must be protected from early spring and fall frosts, but they tend to flourish even in areas with cold winters.
Apple trees will thrive in your yard if you choose the right variety. Look for a dwarf tree for simpler care and choose a disease-resistant variety. If you don’t have enough space for cross-pollination, opt for a self-fertile apple tree. If you’ll be using the apples for sauce, choose a variety that ripens early; if you prefer to grow apples to eat later in the season, choose a variety that ripens later.