By Cindy Naas
Just because you garden in the city doesn’t mean you can’t grow some delicious fresh fruits.
There are good choices for any gardener, whether your garden is a small plot or a collection of pots on the stairs.
Here are a few great ideas for growing fruit in the urban garden:
Strawberries- There are a couple of choices for strawberries in a smaller garden. Traditionally, strawberries have been a spring or early summer fruit and the vines continue growing for the entire summer. For the very smallest gardens, this takes up a lot of space for very little return. I have a small strawberry patch, but my garden is fairly large for a city garden.
The other choice is to grow ever-bearing berries. These fruit in the early summer, grow a bit more during the middle of the summer and then set a larger crop in late summer or early autumn. Ever-bearing berries can easily be grown in large pots or even window boxes, as long as they are kept adequately watered.
Raspberries- These juicy red berries are the epitome of summer fruit for me. However, they do take up a fair amount of room. If you have an in-ground garden, adding a row or two of raspberry canes will give you enough for many bowls of delicious fruit. However, raspberries don’t do well in containers.
Blueberries- The delicious berries are wonderful eaten fresh from the bush. In a smaller garden, consider using blueberry bushes as foundation plantings instead of other more traditional shrubs, and you can grow a nice supply of blueberries.
Apples- Apple trees can grow to be the major feature in a landscape. However, the new apples grown on dwarf root stock are the ideal fruit tree for a small garden. Growing to only about 9′ tall, these trees can be fit into most home landscapes. Because many cities use crab apples as landscaping trees, a home gardener can grow a single apple tree and still count on finding a pollinator locally.
Pears- There are pears available on dwarf root stock, but pears need a pollinator and so it is not possible to grow most pear varieties as a single tree. Therefore, if you have enough room for two fruit trees pears work well. Otherwise, go with a different type of fruit.