Even experienced gardeners sometimes wonder about the latest fruit gardening ideas and tips. Some are comfortable growing cantaloupe and watermelon but are thinking about putting in some fruit trees. They also need information about which types of fruit are best for their climate zone. Every year, some brand new fruit variations or hybrids are developed which provide new opportunities to explore different types of fruit.
Some tips can help both beginning and experienced gardeners tip the odds in their favor and help produce the best and tastiest fruit crop. When choosing bushes, vines or tress, it is easiest to pick varieties which are disease- resistant. They’ve been tested and can prevent a lot of headaches, particularly for beginners. Some gardeners prefer long-vined plants over short-vined but this is a matter of preference. However, some research indicates that long-vined plants produce more fruit that may be tastier.
Keep in mind that some fruits are vulnerable to diseases so be prepared to deal with those. Don’t be afraid to venture into fruit gardening because of any diseases that might crop up. Most are easily controlled, especially when caught early. For example, muskmelons may get powdery mildew but this can be kept in check by choosing disease resistant varieties. Apple maggots and other insects may attack apple trees but removing damaged fruit and putting up special traps can keep them from getting out of hand.
Keeping up with the latest fruit gardening ideas for your area can be as simple as checking recent garden catalogues or looking online for the latest varieties of fruit trees. Of course, some types of trees, bushes and plants grow better in some areas than others. In the Midwest, watermelon, cantaloupe, apple and cherries are popular. In fact, Indiana melons are highly desirable and some ship to other areas of the country. You’ll want to consult a zone map to discover the varieties which grow best in your area of the country or use a garden catalog for quick reference. But be sure a particular variety is best for your climate zone. If a plant needs long, hot days and plenty of sunshine, it would only be pushing things to try and grow it in an area that has warm days but little sunshine and lots of clouds.
What about pruning fruit trees? It is important for gardeners to understand not only when and how to prune these trees but also when to leave well enough alone. Some fruit trees, such as peach trees, do best when pruned yearly. However, many a tree has been damaged by aggressive pruning and do not need yearly clipping. These include apple, cherry and pear trees. Of course, if a branch has been damaged by a storm, the gardener will want to snip off the broken limb. Otherwise, apple, cherry and pear trees should not be pruned on a yearly basis.
There is a good reason for this. New fruit will grow on the older wood of these trees, producing fruit spurs. Experienced fruit growers generally prune apple and cherry trees only to keep them looking attractive but are very careful to be moderate when cutting off branches. This produces the best fruit as well as attractive fruit trees in the landscape.
Of course, some fruit trees do better if prune yearly. Gardener can ask a local nursery for advice but most prune peaches, nectarines, apricots and some other trees yearly. The main difference between trees that need to be trimmed annually and those which do not? The trees which need annual trimming generally produce fruit on newer branches and that means the older branches should be trimmed. But apple and cherry trees – along with peach trees – produce fruit on older wood.