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Growing Fruit in an Urban Environment

By accidentalgardener

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People always ask me how they can grow fruit trees when they don’t have a backyard like we do. Having modern fruit tree varieties mean that you do not have to have a huge garden to plant an orchard. This means that you can easily grow fruit even in an urban environment.

Containers and pots 

Even if you only have a balcony, you can still grow fruit trees. There are plenty of varieties that will happily grow in pots and containers.

Here are a few suggestions:
Apples – Arthur Turner, Howgate Wonder, Discovery and Fiesta
Pears – Beurré Hardy, Red Comice and Conference
Cherries – Sunburst and Stella
Blueberries – Most varieties of blueberries will happily grow in pots and containers
Plums – Victoria and Opal
Apricots – Moorpark and Delicot

If you have a sunny spot or room to erect a small glass house you can also grow the following in pots:
Figs – Brunswick and Brown Turkey
Olives – Aglandau and Olea Europaea
Nectarines – Early River and Nectarella
Lemons – Ponderosa and Meyer varieties
Kumquats – Any varieties
Grapes – New York Muscat and Seyval Blanc

In places where there are no strong winds or hard frosts it can be enough just to erect a glass or clear Perspex roof. You just need enough glass to concentrate the rays of the sun, which helps citrus trees to produce fruit.

Dwarf varieties 

If you do have a small urban garden and want to keep your patio area free of pots you can easily plant fruit trees in your garden. It is easy to buy dwarf and column varieties, which take up very little space. Most of them can be planted as little as 1.5 meters apart.

More than one fruit on one tree 

If you want, you can grow several types of fruit on one tree. Apples and pears can be grafted together onto one rootstock. The same with citrus, you can grow several different kinds of citrus fruits on one rootstock.
It is possible to learn how to graft and cultivate your own multi-fruit trees or buy them from nurseries.

Up against walls, fences and in borders 

If you want to keep your lawn area free of trees, you can still grow fruit. All you need to do is to buy varieties that can be trained to grow up against walls.
In your borders, you can plant raspberry canes, blueberry bushes and strawberries. Most strawberry varieties will also grow well in hanging baskets.

Important considerations 

There are now self-pollinating varieties of most fruits available. However, you definitely need to ask about this when buying your fruit trees and bushes. If you cannot by a self-pollinating variety, you will need to buy more than one tree. This is an important consideration if you are very tight on space.

Tell me, will you soon be enjoying fresh fruit from your urban garden or balcony this summer?

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