Fruit trees can add colour, nutrients and lots of wildlife to your garden. Whether the fruit is for you or for wildlife, you can create your very own self-sufficient fruit garden on your doorstep - that's cool!
Plant the tree
Do not remove the fruit tree from the packaging until you actually start planting. Because the roots are wrapped in a straw cap, they remain moist for a long time. Follow these steps when you are going to plant your tree or shrub: Place the tree or shrub, before planting, in the water for half a day with straw cap. Dig a large hole and loosen the side walls and the bottom well. Remove the straw cap that surrounds the roots and place the tree in the planting hole. Place a stake next to the tree that you can attach it to later. Fill the planting hole with soil until it is half full. Shake the tree for a moment so that the bud is just above the ground. Fill the hole further and stamp the soil around the tree well. Give the tree or shrub plenty of water.
An easy plant to grow is the strawberry plant. Our summer varieties also thrive and yield good fruit on poorer soil. However, the best soil for growing strawberries is light, humus-rich soil. Strawberries can be grown from the same bed for about three years in a row, after which they must be moved. It is advisable to grow the strawberry bed in a different location and to purchase new (virus-free) plants. To be able to enjoy your fresh strawberries earlier, here are some ideas to accelerate the emergence of the strawberry plants: Use tunnel greenhouses or a flat tray. Use black plant liner so that the soil warms up earlier. Place perforated foil over the plants in March and April for a few weeks. In order to keep your fruits clean and prevent weeds from growing between the plants, then we recommend that you use straw underneath or a plant liner where the plants are planted in the holes.
With apples, cross-pollination is almost always required for fertilisation. This means that there must be at least two or three apple trees in close proximity to each other. Apples need a nutrient-rich soil, so in spring you can mix fertiliser into the soil, around 50 grams per m². In the autumn, farmyard manure or compost is also an option. For apples it is important that the acidity in the soil is not too high. To maintain the acidity level, you can scatter 50 grams of lime per m² over the soil every other year. This is not necessary with clay soil.
To ensure that apples grow on the tree faster, it is good to bend the branches. This prevents the growth of the branches, but ensures faster fruiting. When pruning, it is important to ensure that sufficient light enters the crown. Thinning pruning is a good way to do this and is best done between December to March.
While apples don't like acidic soil, blueberries thrive in acidic soil with a high humus content. So sprinkle some extra garden peat in the planting hole. We also recommend that you sprinkle a good layer of compost over the roots, as they take root very superficially. Blueberries propagate through cross-pollination, so always place two or three shrubs together. Blueberries require little nutrition only about 20 grams of fertiliser per bush in the spring.
The best way to grow blackberries is to hang them on wires. If you grow them on heavy soil, first loosen the soil well. If you grow the blackberries on light soil, add a good amount of compost to the planting hole. Pruning the blackberry bushes is done as follows: Prune away the branches that have attached fruit and which are now hanging near the ground. Also prune any side branches to one or two buds and make sure that the maximum branch length is two meters.
Although the grape is usually grown as a climbing plant, it actually isn't. For that reason, this plant needs some extra support in the form of a rack or a stick. Furthermore, the grape needs a lot of lime, therefore, sprinkle some lime on the soil when planting.
To get a large, juicy bunch of grapes, 'currants' is necessary. This means that the truss with the small fruits is thinned to give the rest of the truss space to grow. December is the best time to prune. Cover the base of the plant in winter with manger or compost and water it a plentifully in March for best results.
Like blackberries, raspberries are best grown on wires and this shrub grows best in light, well-drained soil. Every year new shoots appear on the shrub where the following year fruits will arrive. Except for dead wood, the shrub does not need to be pruned for the first two years. However, in the third year of growth you should prune the shrub until it has five beautiful, well-balanced main branches. Cut the branches that sprout late or do not have a nice shape or direction to the ground and prune off the fruit-bearing branches immediately after harvesting. To give a young shoot space, we recommend that you cut an old branch every year. The best month for pruning is March, but also after the harvest is a suitable period for pruning.
Cherries grow best in nutritious, but not too heavy or wet soil. They hardly need to be pruned and it is necessary to add fertiliser when the trees start bearing fruit. From that moment on you can give the cherry tree 50 grams of fertiliser per m² and possibly 20 grams of lime. However, this is not necessary on clay soil.
Gooseberries are easy to maintain. It is important that they are in moist soil. If you have a dry garden, we recommend that you give them extra water with a watering can or sprinkler.
A pear tree needs the same nutrition and care as an apple tree. The cross-pollination also takes place in the same way, so we recommend that you place two or three pear trees together. A pear tree, and especially the main branch, grows well but if you don't prune it, it will become tall and narrow with the side branches lagging behind. To get a wide crown, you need to bend the branches. This should be done in the first years after planting and then preferably before flowering in spring. The vertical shoots can be pruned in winter.
Plum trees prefer moist soil, free from weeds so it therefore important to control grass and weeds around the base. The most suitable way to do this is by hoeing deeply. The branches of the plum must be bent out, just like the apple and pear tree. A plum tree hardly needs to be pruned; just thin it out by cutting the long branches which is best done in the summer, right after picking.