Fruit A-Z

The humble apple tree is one of the oldest fruits known to man, and has been cultivated since Roman times, and harvested from the wild since prehistory.  There are now over 5,000 named apple varieties, and whilst the varieties grown on a commercial scale are limited, there are literally dozens of varieties available to the home gardener, from traditional heritage varieties to some new varieties that seem to appear annually in the fruit and veg…
Like raspberries the blackberry or hybrid varieties are equally easy to grow, produce a fantastic crop and take up very little space (relative to the crops they produce). The humble bramble is a rampant grower in the wild and the blackberry used to be considered a purely wild fruit. These days however there are a great selection of thorn-less varieties which can produce huge fruit compared to what you might see in the wild.
Blackcurrants are easy to grow, and will do well in all parts of the UK, however they do need to be pruned annually as the majority of the fruit is borne on last year’s growth. Correct pruning will ensure a regular supply of new growth each year. The dark acid berries which are high in vitamin C,  are excellent for jam and jelly making, great for cooking with, and great for making wine.
The cultivated Highbush Blueberry (Blueberry for short) originates in North America, however it is closely related to our native bilberry, whortleberry, or lowbush blueberry. Blueberries are a traditional American fruit, which are cultivated on a mass scale. They have recently become more popular in the UK, and are now commonly available in all supermarkets. They are relatively easy to grow, but have very fussy soil requirements and do need protecting from birds. They are also…
Gooseberries are native to northern Europe, however they are somehow distinctively British. They are rarely grown elsewhere in Europe as they are in the UK, and we Brits have been enjoying them in pies, jams, jellies, and even wines for years.
Kiwi is so named because the growers in New Zealand through the fruits resembled their national bird – The Kiwi. Prior to this it was known as a Chinese gooseberry after its discovery in the 19th century. It used to be considered too big for most gardens, as not only were the older varieties rampant growers (shoots would reach up to 30ft if left unchecked), but you would also need both a male and a…
Medlars are an unusual fruit that has gone out of fashion somewhat in the UK, although they are still relatively popular in France. They resemble pear trees, but have bigger leaves and single large white flowers. The trees are originally from Persia, although they have been cultivated in Europe since around 300BC. In cooler regions (UK included) the fruit rarely fully ripens on the tree, and so the fruit is traditionally ‘bletted’ – stored until…
According to many of the seed catalogues I read every winter (listing, preparing and choosing what to grow next), there are now a selection of melon varieties that will ripen well outdoors in the UK. I must admit however that despite trying these every year for the last 4 years, I have never succeeded. I have succeeded however using a cold frame, and in the greenhouse, and the results were fantastic.
There are two types of mulberries commonly grown in the UK, the Black mulberry and the White mulberry. Originally from western Asia, they have been cultivated in Europe since the time of the Greeks (8th-6th Century BC). They became popular in the UK during the 6th century when they were introduced to Britain for the silk industry – the leaves are fed to silk worms. The Black mulberry is by far the superior tree if…
Peaches and Nectarines can be grown successfully in the UK, and have in fact been grown here since long before the Norman Conquest. They are hardy enough to withstand the British winter, and the cold winter is in fact beneficial to them, the difficulty however is that their blossom opens early… as early as February in some cases, and any frost after the blossom opens will stop fruit from forming. They are therefore a bit…
Pears are closely related to apples, and like apples, they are native to Europe and Western Asia, and as a result will grow pretty much anywhere apples grow – although there are differences both in the way they grow and in the way in which we need to look after them. Most important is the fact that few pears are self-fertile, so you will usually need to grow more than one tree (although if you…
Plums come in a variety of shapes and sizes and colours. From deep purple damsons, to bright yellow gages, these easy to grow fruit are delicious, and provide year round interest in the garden. They have bright blossom in the spring and colourful fruit in summer.  They are also expensive to buy in supermarkets making them well worth growing in the garden or on the allotment.
Raspberries are so easy to grow and care for, every allotment should have a few canes.  They are also incredibly productive for the space with a cropping season lasting between 3-6 weeks, and will remain productive for 8-12 years. There are 2 main types of raspberries, summer fruiting which produce fruit on last year’s canes, and autumn fruiting varieties which don’t crop as heavily but produce fruit on the current season’s growth, and do  much…
Redcurrants are rarely found in supermarkets, and so are well worth growing on the allotment. They are closely related to the blackcurrant, however they do not have the same growing habit, and are therefore cultivated differently. They grow in a very similar way to gooseberries, and can therefore be treated more or less the same.
Strawberries are one of the most popular fruits for gardeners and allotment holders alike, and it’s easy to see why. They are easy to grow, absolutely delicious, and produce a faster return than any other fruit – some will produce strawberries only 3 months after planting! The berries are great frozen for use in smoothies or cocktails  (excellent for a strawberry margarita), brilliant in jam, and even better for eating fresh. Many of mine don’t…

NOTE! This site uses cookies and similar technologies.

Unless you change browser settings you agreeing to the use of cookies.

I understand