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I present here a landscape plan for a Fruit Tree Garden. I have created a plan that you can download and print out and use as is, or you can adapt it to fit your own lot size, or if you feel more creative, you can use it as a guideline and create your own space in your yard that fits your personal taste and needs.
This Fruit Tree Garden Plan incorporates as many fruit trees, berries, grapes, & vegetables as you can imagine on a small space. You will have enough harvest from this yard to eat now and can save some for later.
I will give you a little information on growing fruit trees and using them in your landscape.I think they make a great contribution to the beauty of the garden and not just because they have delicious fruit.
To download this plan, simply place your curser over the image and right click on it, copy and paste to your computer. You can send it to your local copy center and tell them to enlarge to a 8 1/2" x 11" image. It will then be at a 1/8"=1' scale.
I am letting you use your imagination on this one, I give you a list of Vegetables, Herbs and Annuals to use to fill in between the trees for color and interest.
I have used dwarf fruit trees so I'm able to fit as many trees in a smaller space as possible. Some of the trees have also been espaliered on low fences to also get a large harvest in a smaller area.
This is a wonderful plan for a small lot as it is, the grade falls away from the house so there are steps down to the lower area of the yard.
A little sitting area in the corner has an overhead structure shading it from the hot sun. It makes a nice little retreat for relaxing after a long day at work.
If your lot is not as deep, you can cut off the lower walkway and modify it to fit your situation. If your lot is larger, then spread this out and use standard trees instead of dwarfs.
Today's Fruit Tree Garden doesn't have to take up a lot of space, with the modern varieties of fruit trees that come in dwarf and semi-dwarf, you don't have to sacrifice flavor to have a garden full of variety.
You can pack your garden full of several different varieties of fruit, berries and grapes and fit this all in an average backyard.
The newer varieties of fruit trees make it easier than ever to grow fruit that tastes so good, it makes it more than worth the effort.
Different pruning and training techniques also make it possible to have not only many different trees in a smaller space, but have them look more decorative.
Fruit trees contribute more than fruit to the beauty of your garden, they offer some of the most spectacular spring displays of flowers you have ever seen.
The color of the fruit can be very ornamental and have a beauty of their own in summer. In the fall, the changing
colors of the leaves are another source of beauty.
If you live in a climate where you can grow citrus fruits, the flowers are not so spectacular, but the fragrance will take your breath away.
The year-round beauty of these trees are only enhanced by the color of the fruits hanging, waiting to be enjoyed.
I am encouraging you to get away from the old fashioned orchard and design a fruit tree garden with fruit trees integrated into the rest of the shrubs and perennials.
Weave some berry vines and bushes into it and you will have a garden that is not only a source of pride and beauty but one that earns its keep, producing fruit for your enjoyment.
Deciding where the fruit tree garden should be located is the most important step in planning this garden.
Fruit trees need sunshine, the more the better! So where the garden is located on your property is one key to success.
Generally, the south and west sides of the house are the sunniest. If you are blessed with a large lot, this may not be a problem.
But if you have a smaller, suburban lot, make sure you observe the patterns of sun and shade where you want to install your garden.
Make sure there are no large trees that will be shading the space, the minimum of full on sun exposure would be 6-8 hours per day.
Any less than that and you will have to struggle to get any fruit production out of your garden.
Now that you know where you will be locating your Fruit Tree Garden, you will need to decide not only what types of fruit you will be growing, but also will you be installing container
grown or bare root? Balled & burlap?
First, let me explain what these terms mean. Container grown simply means the tree has been grown in a container, usually plastic.
The sizes will generally be a 5 gallon at the minimum, 15 gallon, then you go up to 24" box, 36" box and on up.
The boxed trees will be a nice size tree to start with, but you will pay for the time it took to grow them.
A 5 gallon tree may run you $12.00-$25.00 for a tree that is maybe 5'-8' tall with little girth to it.
A 15 gallon tree will jump up to $75.00-$125.00, but you will be getting a 6'-8' tree with a good head started on it with a nice branching structure, approximately 2-3 years ahead of the 5 gallon, and probably bearing a little fruit at this size.
The boxed trees take it from there running from several hundred to several thousand dollars for a tree that is already of fruiting age.
Bare root trees are an awesome choice if they are available in your area. They are generally available from January-March depending on where you live.
They are field grown trees that have been dug up while they are dormant. You just take them home and plant them.
What is nice about this option is you can get a much larger tree for a lot less money. They also have a healthier root system since they have not been grown in the confines of a container.
Long term, these can be a much healthier tree for your garden.
Balled & burlapped trees are my second favorite option in that they have been grown in the field, then dug up, their roots are wrapped in burlap so that you get the advantage of having a field grown plant with a healthier root system than a container grown plant.
Whatever option you choose, with some care and planning, any of these options will yield a tree that has the potential to provide you with a bounty of fruit.
The types of fruit trees you choose to grow is also a very important decision.
You need to do some careful research into what types of trees grow well in your climate, and what varieties of that fruit are the best for what you want.
There is a lot of good information out there and you will first need to know what climate zone you live in as that will determine what will and will not grow in your particular part
of the world.
Another type of tree that I love is a fruit tree that has been grafted. this means someone took one or two and sometimes more different varieties of a fruit tree, and grafted them onto a root stock.
This is a great option because you
can have 2-3 different varieties of fruit on one tree! There is really no end to the
number of varieties you can have on one tree but 3 is common.
Another good source of information will be your local garden center, they should be able to tell you what grows well in your climate.
Please don't make the mistake that a lot of people make where they want a particular fruit that may be marginal or not recommended for your area but you want it so bad that you plant one anyway then spend the next 2-3+ years
disappointed because it grows well but does not bear fruit.
I'm talking from experience here, so do yourself a favor and grow only those that will thrive in your area.
Again, this is a very important step, don't short change yourself here as you will want to give your fruit tree garden the best start you can.
You will want to dig your planting holes twice as wide and the same depth as the root ball.
Make sure when you plant your trees that they are not any deeper in the soil that they were in the container.
Mix the excavated soil 50/50 with a good compost and organic fertilizer such as Gro-Power.
I like this fertilizer as it is good for the soil and I only like using organics in any garden growing fruit or vegetables that I will be putting in my or my families' bodies.
This will give your trees a great start. Follow the package directions for how much to use.
Back fill the hole with this mixture and tamp it down with either your feet or the end of your shovel handle to make sure it is firm but not packed down.
When you are done installing your fruit tree garden I would also recommend building a small basin around the trunk of each tree to catch enough water to give the roots a good deep soaking.
Make sure to water in the trees by filling the basin with water at least twice when first planting and then for each watering thereafter to make sure you are getting water down deep to all the roots.
Fruit trees like deep watering, so whatever method you use to irrigate your trees, make sure it gives them enough water to reach the entire root ball.
Do this less frequently thank you would your lawn or perennials and smaller shrubs.
Feeding your fruit trees will ensure they are getting the nutrients they need. As I mentioned above, I like organic fertilizers when it comes to edibles.
Find out about the best ones for fruit trees in your area and follow the directions on the package.
Mulching is one of the best things you can do for your fruit trees as well.
An organic mulch will keep the roots cool, feed the feeder roots on the surface, conserve water, and add to the fertility of the soil as it breaks down.
I prefer to use one that is well balanced but you can use grass clippings or leaves that have been preferably chopped up also.
Pruning your fruit trees will need to be done after the 2nd year in the ground. Shaping the tree for maximum fruit production is important and each tree is different in how it is to be pruned.
Most of the heavy pruning will be done in the winter when the trees are dormant.
Another much lighter pruning will take place in summer to reduce the load and make sure light is reaching inside the tree but not enough to burn the fruit. A good book on this will be invaluable, I will be recommending some here that I like soon.
Of course, if you plan on doing some training of the trees such as espallier, then that has it's own method of pruning altogether and will have a long term plan of pruning that takes place for a number of years to produce the beautiful results you see in the photos I have here.
All of this can be learned and is not difficult, you just have to be willing to take some time to do some research at the outset and learn a little about the trees you want to grow.
Your fruit tree garden will give back more than enough to make that effort worth it!
I hope I've given you the tools to get started on your own fruit tree garden, the plan I have for you here will be a good starting point.
If you plan to use it as is or use it as a starting point and customize it to fit your own yard,I'm sure it will be a source of pleasure for many, many years.
Like anything else, with a little planning and effort on your part, you can have a fruit tree garden that not only adds beauty to your home, but one that is useful in providing fresh, delicious
nutritious fruit for you and your family, and hopefully have some left over for friends or co-workers.
You will suddenly become the most popular person during harvest time! So feel free again, to download the plan and send to your local copy center to print and play with the many varieties available.
I generalized on the trees on this plan so that it could have the tree customized to fit your particular area.
Most of all, have fun with this. Make it a family project and decide what types of fruit is everyone's favorite.
Then everyone can pitch in and help with planting day. Take photos and then take photos every year and be amazed at the growth of your young fruit tree garden.