Plan Now, Pick Fresh Fruit Later

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Difficulty: Beginner
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What could be better than walking out your door and picking fresh apples, figs or peaches? Even if you have a small garden, you can still grow fruit trees.

Follow the lead of local farmers who want the same things you do – vigorous growth and dependable production. If a nearby farm grows Asian pears or pie cherries, you probably can, too. But if nobody nearby is growing apricots or peaches, there is probably a reason.

Fruit trees naturally break dormancy and start to grow in early spring, so that is the best time to plant. Until then, daydreaming about what and where you will plant is time well spent.

Plan Ahead for Fruit Trees:

  1. Check with your Garden Center associate or extension service to learn which types of fruit trees grow well in your area. Look for varieties with high levels of natural resistance to pests and diseases.
  2. Start with varieties best suited for your area and plant only as many trees as you can maintain.
  3. Pick the best planting site. Fruit trees prefer fertile, well-drained soil with full or almost-full sun. Avoid low spots where frost lingers. Look for hidden hazards like buried utility or sewer lines. Call the utility companies who will usually mark them at no charge. Envision how the tree will look in 10 years to make sure it won’t crowd buildings or power lines when mature.
  4. Plan for multiples. Some fruit trees must be planted in pairs for good pollination.
  5. Mark the site with a stake.

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