Dwarf fruit trees are suitable for small spaces and the fruits are easily harvested. While self-fertile varieties will fruit sufficiently for the home gardener, other varieties may require cross pollination. In addition to the beauty dwarf fruit trees lend to your landscape, most varieties produce fruit 2 to 3 years after planting. Spring flowers produce attractive, flavorful fruits to be enjoyed for fresh fruit, canning, freezing, homemade preserves, and pies.
A primary objective of training and pruning is to develop a strong tree framework that will support fruit production. Improperly trained fruit trees generally have very upright branch angles, which result in limb breakage under a heavy fruit load. This significantly reduces the productivity of the tree and may greatly reduce tree life. Another goal of annual training and pruning is to remove dead, diseased, or broken limbs. Proper tree training also opens up the tree canopy to maximize light penetration. For most deciduous tree fruit, flower buds for the current season’s crop are formed the previous summer. Light penetration is essential for flower bud development and optimal fruit set, flavor, and quality. Although a mature tree may be growing in full sun, a very dense canopy may not allow enough light to reach 12 to 18 inches inside the canopy. Opening the tree canopy also permits adequate air movement.
Additionally, a well-shaped fruit tree is aesthetically pleasing, whether in a landscaped yard or a garden.
When purchasing fruit trees, be sure to obtain information regarding cross pollination and recommended pollinators for your selections.
Possible protection may be required for fruit trees as rabbits and deer may eat bark at snow line and new buds from low branches during winter months. Tree wraps work extremely well and are available in a variety of forms.
Small fruits allow you to choose from a wide variety of flavor, growing habits and fruiting times. As well as being ornamentally attractive, these plants require minimal growing space. Spring flowers produce plump, delicious, colorful fruits; each variety displaying its own characteristics. Most varieties will fruit sufficiently for the home gardener; other varieties may require cross pollination. A diverse selection of small fruits in the garden will provide a bounty of fresh fruit for your family, season after season. Use these delectable treats in an endless list of desserts, pastries, jams and jellies, juices and wines.
Site selection is an important first step in growing small fruits. Grow in full sun for optimum growth and fruit protection.
Small fruit crops prefer a soil pH range of 5.5 to 7.5. The one exception is blueberries that require acidic soils in the pH range 4.8 to 5.2. Soil tests will indicate pH values and help determine any amendments (limestone or sulfur) needed to change soil pH. Soils should also be worked up and organic material, such as compost, added to help improve soil conditions prior to planting.