How to: Grow your own fruit

Large Grow Fruit
Imagine harvesting fresh fruit from your own back garden – crunchy apples, juicy raspberries, tangy gooseberries and more could all be there for the picking. You don’t need tons of space either – it’s possible to buy compact varieties, and many can be grown in a pot if you haven’t got a dedicated veg plot or space in your borders.

Autumn is the ideal time to plant new fruit trees and bushes, as most enter a dormant period as temperatures dip. This means they’ll settle into the ground over winter before putting on growth in the spring. And don’t worry if you’ve never grown fruit before – just follow this simple guide. 

What you’ll need:

  • Apple tree
  • Gooseberry bush
  • Raspberry canes
  • Garden spade
  • Powdered plant food (like bonemeal)
  • Watering can
  • Galvanised wire
  • Timber posts 

Apples, pears and fruit trees
Apples, pears and other fruit trees are easy to grow at home. If you’re pushed for space look for a tree that’s trained into a shape for a compact area, or buy one that won’t grow too big.

Step 1
Work powdered plant food into the planting hole and surrounding area when adding your tree to the ground.

Step 2
Water the tree well at the time of planting and all the way through it’s first year.

Step 3
Remove any fruit that forms in the first year – this might seem tough, but it’ll focus the trees energy on putting down roots, making it stronger in the long run.

Step 4
Once established, prune your tree each winter. Remove any damaged branches and cut back to maintain the shape of the tree.

Raspberries and cane fruit
Raspberries and blackberries are often sold as ‘canes’ – they’re essentially dormant plants, which should be planted in the autumn before coming to life the following spring.

Step 1
Soak the roots of the canes in water overnight – this will prepare them for planting and get them off to the best possible start.

Step 2
Plant the canes in rows in a sunny spot. Water well when planting and all the way through the first year.

Step 3
Berries need supporting once they start to grow, so provide a frame to attach them to. Wire lines held between timber uprights are ideal.

Step 4
Protect the fruits from birds, covering plants with netting once the berries start to appear. Harvest as soon as they’re ripe.

Step 5
Cut out old stems after the fruits have finished, making way for the new growth that will flower the following year.

Gooseberries, currants and bush fruit
Gooseberries and currants are grown as bushes and should be planted in the same way as an ornamental shrub. Plant them among border flowers if you don’t have room for a fruit patch.

Step 1
Plant bushes straight into the ground in a sunny location, working powdered plant good into the soil as you go. 

Step 2
Water well, directing the flow at the roots of the bush. Water regularly in the first year until established.

Step 3
Birds love currants and other soft fruit, so cover them with netting as and when they appear. Pick as soon as they’re ripe to remove the temptation.

Step 4
Once established cut back in winter. Remove any dead wood and prune to keep the shape of the bush.

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