This post was first published in April 2008.
I love growing fruit in my suburban backyard! My kids love it, too. Every summer they watch eagerly for the strawberries to ripen and remind me to keep an eye on our peach trees to prevent the birds and hornets from getting to the fruit first.
Edible Landscaping: Fruit Trees and Shrubs
We have several fruit trees and shrubs in our yard which are supplying us or will be supplying us with fresh fruit. The one mistake we made was waiting to plant our fruit trees. A better strategy would have been to design the yard around the trees, and fit more trees into the yard.
In the picture on the right are two dwarf apple trees that we’ve had for about seven years. We’ve had some problems with deer and insects, but we are beginning to get decent harvests from these trees. They don’t require much care other than pruning branches that grow into the yard.
In the picture on the right, I’ve circled one of our two currant shrubs. They grow more like small bushy trees. These have been a wonderful addition to our yard. Both have require a little pruning, mostly because I like to have space to weed under them. No insects, birds or other pests have bothered them. They are covered with white flowers in the spring and then provide a huge crop of currants in the summer.
To the left of the currants is a very small gooseberry bush which hasn’t done as well. Part of the problem is the neighbor’s morning glory vine growing on the fence behind this flower bed. The vine has strangled the gooseberry bush a bit. It’s been otherwise maintenance and pest-free.
Last year we planted several more tress and shrubs. The cherry tree did not survive the winter, but the peach tree did and has several small fruit on it. In the same bed as the peach tree, I planted two highbush cranberries which are doing beautifully but don’t have any fruit yet.
The last type of fruit that we’ve tried is the blueberry. However, these have not done well for us. A few of the ones that I planted last year in an effort to try them yet again did survive, but it may be several years before we see a decent harvest from them. If they survive that long.
Manual of Woody Landscape Plants: Their Identification, Ornamental Characteristics, Culture, Propogation and Uses
The Reference Manual of Woody Plant Propagation: From Seed to Tissue Culture, Second Edition