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5 Reasons to Grow Fruit Trees... even in Little Patio Pots

There was a time when every home had at least one fruit tree.  And at the turn of the century every rural property had an orchard.. What happened?
About the time we got lawn mowers and track homes rural homeowners decided to go for 'ornamental' or landscape trees with an emphasis on shade trees.  And, while many fruit trees make great shade trees the fruit that fell had to be dealt with, cleaned up, and not ground up in the lawnmower....so fruit trees fell out of fashion.
But today there is a huge interest and trend to grow fruit trees and new dwarf varieties provide the added instant payback of a crop the first year you take it home and put it in a pot.

So why grow Fruit trees at all?  

This little dwarf peach had over 20 peaches first year 
1.  New Types of Dwarf Fruit Trees Bear Sooner

The old saying that the right time to plant a fruit tree was 5 years ago was true for a long time.  A good bearing full size tree can still take 10 years to start producing fully.   But there is GREAT news on this front.  Todays dwarf and semi dwarf trees come on root stock and in starter pots you can fit in your car.  And they produce first year.  So the big trend in container gardening  is dwarfs... They are cute,  you can underplant them with beautiful flowers on your deck pots and they are as easy as running  a little piece of drip.    We find you don't even need to prune most.  
That doesn't mean if you have the space you shouldn't plant in the ground.  We suggest semi  dwarfs which can get to fruit in as little as three years depending on the variety.     Remember most fruit trees need TWO of the same kind of fruit to cross pollinate and produce fruit so read up.

2.  Nothing is as beautiful as a Spring Flowering Tree

Fruit trees are absolutely show stoppers with their blossoms in early spring.  Each tree seems to have its own shade of blossom and most are fragrant.  You can't go wrong using fruit trees as Ornamental trees in your yard.    Remember, because they are some of the earliest blossoms in your garden in spring they are crucial for pollinators as a source of food.  So help out a fellow bee.  

Old school orchards need 25X25 per tree!
3.  Grow fruit trees…that fit your space.
A full size fruit tree needs 25X25 of space... that is a lot in an urban yard.  Dwarfs can live in as little as 3X3 but prefer 4X4.   Be sure to stake.
YOu can also grow a semi dwarf or dwarf tree  espalier on a sunny wall .. this saves space.  

A note for containers.  Cherries, apricots and certain other fruits wont do well.  Be sure to ask your local master gardener for suggestions.  Mandarins, lemons and at least for us Dwarf Peaches do really well.  

4.Grow fruit trees…for  variety and different flavors within the species.
Did you know there are over 5,000 apple varieties?  Today's food-savvy culture has rekindled interest in all food varieties, including fruit.
In past centuries, different fruit trees were used for specific purposes: one apple variety was reserved for pies, while another was best for saucing; one pear tree was for plucking and eating ripe, while another bore fruit that tasted terrible but, fermented, made fine liqueurs.

In todays fast food monofood we have lost touch with the best parts of what travelers used to sample even if they only went to the next town... the type of food and tastes that were unique to that regions climate, farmers, heritage fruit and liqueurs. 
Today, most of us have tasted just a handful of those varieties.

 5. Fruit trees…nothing says "locally grown" better...
The freshest, safest and most economical fruit you'll ever provide for your family can be grown in your own backyard. And that is safe local food for sure! 


Follow Castle Gardener.  Permaculture and Organic Gardening tricks from a farm girl who has painted nails.  And if you read this far that is my castle in the background of the pear.  In the US no less..  :-)