Edible Gardening with Juicy Fruits

Including edible plants in with your gardens has gone beyond the traditional vegetable garden plot.  Many homeowners are embracing the other qualities of edible plants, recognizing the different textures, colours and usefulness and how they can enhance the gardens. 

Small Fruits:

The Small Fruit Section at Dufferin Garden Centre boasts several new introductions as well as many traditional favourites!  Small fruits are usually lower maintenance than fruit trees and can start bearing fruit the same year they are planted, although it takes about three years to reach full production.

Choose a variety of small fruits to extend your harvest of treats throughout the season – from raspberries to blueberries, currants to grapes.  Be sure to group the plants in small numbers of each kind and keep an eye on them to check for pests or pruning opportunities to increase production.  The shrubs will benefit from high organic matter added yearly and blueberries in particular prefer an acidic soil (Soil Acidifier).

Planting a patch of raspberries creates a wonderful hedge that will keep dogs and other creatures at bay, while blueberries have glossy green leaves that turn bright red in the fall.  Blueberries require two different varieties for cross pollination.

Fruit Trees:

It may be June but we still have a great selection of fruit trees available for larger yards.  We have some varieties of apples and pear to choose from.

Location:
– fruit trees require a spot in the garden that will receive the most sunlight (at least 6 hours of direct sun)
– some fruit trees need two trees to cross pollinate (ie. Two different varieties of pear trees or two different varieties of apple trees)
– keep the trees out of windy corners and areas that might collect a large amount of snow

Soil:
– fruit trees appreciate well-drained soil
– avoid areas that don’t drain well so that the roots don’t become water-logged
– when planting, include organic matter such as manure or compost in the hole
– mulching the area around the tree or bushes helps to keep the soil cool and the roots retain moisture

-keep the mulch away from the trunk of the tree
– some fruit bushes prefer acidic soil such as blueberries and Goji berries

Maintenance:
– weeds tend to compete with young fruit trees so keep the area clear and mulched
– fruit trees need deep watering twice a week, be sure to water well if there isn’t enough rainfall
– pruning can be done in late winter (February to March) while the tree is dormant
– spray in the early spring with dormant oil and lime sulfur to help reduce over-wintering pests and fungus diseases
– remove fallen fruit around the tree before it becomes moldy
– to avoid trunk damage from rabbits, deer and voles, wrap the trunk with plastic tree guards or spray with Skoot

Whichever fruit you decide to grow, we wish you much success as you enjoy the ‘fruits of your labour’!