There are few pleasures in life that can compare to picking and eating fresh berries, apples and other fruit grown in your very own backyard orchard. While fruit trees and berry bushes may take longer to mature than fast-producing annuals, they will reward the patient gardener with loads of tasty fruit every season. Many trees and berry bushes bear so heavily, in fact, that you can’t eat all the fruit fresh—so canning and preserving is a great way to enjoy an orchard’s bounty all year long.
The stories below feature quality fruit-bearing trees and bushes ranging from fig trees and cherry trees to historical heirloom apples and improved berry varieties. Any of these productive trees and bushes can be great additions to the garden. Adding a new fruiting tree or bush will add beauty and structure to the landscape—and can feed you and your family for years to come.
Nature Hills offers hundreds of fruiting plants
Looking for a cold-hardy fig tree? Desert King Fig (Ficus carica ‘Desert King’) is a good choice for cooler climates because it’s hardy to USDA Zone 5 and produces large, sweet figs with strawberry-red flesh. How about an early-ripening cherry variety that’s perfect for pies? ‘Early Richmond’ Cherry (Prunus cerasus) ripens in late spring and the bright red fruits are excellent for cooking. Perhaps you’d rather grow raspberries. Raspberry ‘Brandywine’ (Rubus idaeus ‘Brandywine’) is cross of red and black raspberry plants, and it’s been called the best purple raspberry available.
All of these fruiting plants—and hundreds more—are available from Nature Hills Nursery. This online-only retailer offers more fruit trees, berry bushes and other edible-producing plants than any other website. Nature Hills Nursery proudly calls itself “America’s Online Garden Center” because it also offers a full line of shade trees, perennials, fertilizers, pest controls, tools and even gift items. Visit www.naturehills.com or call (888) 864-7663.
Doyle’s Thornless Blackberry® out-produces traditional varieties
The typical blackberry bush produces 1-2 gallons of berries per plant each year. Doyle’s Thornless Blackberry® is variety that yields 10-20 gallons of sweet, vine-ripened berries every summer. That’s 10 times the production of a normal blackberry bush—plus there are no painful thorns. The fruit sets in bunches of 10 to 30 large, sweet berries that ripen over a 6-8 week season in the summer. Doyle’s Thornless Blackberry® is a trailing variety that grows best on a trellis. The plants need two years to establish and then the disease-resistant plants start producing sweet, delicious, healthful, antioxidant-rich berries that are great to eat fresh, as beverages and deserts, or frozen for later use. Doyle’s Thornless Blackberry® plants grow successfully throughout the USA and Canada in USDA hardiness zones 2-10. Potted plants sell for $20 each or $17.50 each in quantities of 10 or more. Call (812) 254-2654, see customers’ comments and pictures at https://www.facebook.com/doylesthornlessblackberries, or visit the web site at www.fruitsandberries.com.
Grow a Johnny Appleseed tree—or other famous varieties
Did you know that when Sir Isaac Newton discovered gravity he was sitting under an apple tree? It was a variety named Flower of Kent. Thomas Jefferson had many dozens of apple trees at Monticello, but the very flavorful Esopus Spitzenburg was his favorite. And the most famous apple trees of all are those planted by Johnny Appleseed. All three of these special apple trees are available from Raintree Nursery—plus many old-time and new varieties of fruit trees and berry bushes.
“Growing great fruit and vegetables at home is a way for people to learn the self sufficiency that previous generations took for granted,” said Sam Benowitz, who has owned Raintree Nursery for 40 years.
Raintree Nursery offers more than 800 varieties of fruit trees, berries and vines, each selected for flavor and disease resistance with the home fruit grower in mind. Raintree Nursery offers the best new varieties from research stations from around the world as well as the best of the heirloom varieties. To place an order, request a catalog or get more information, visit www.raintreenursery.com or call (800) 391-8892.