Delicious Fruits For Small Spaces To Plant Now

Blueberries are excellent shrubs for the home landscape, and they fruit prolifically once established.

Figs are a great summer treat and will fit in most average size home landscapes.

A full grown fig can be up to ten feel tall and as wide in our area.

Oriental persimmons are excellent small trees in our area and have wonderful fruit that ripens in fall.

Growing these three types of fruits in our area is not hard. In fact, we have two things going for us that is good news for those who want to have pride in serving home grown fruits. First and probably foremost, we have a wonderful nursery that carries blueberries, figs, and oriental persimmons suited for our area. It is Petals From The Past in Jemison, Al. The Powells are fruit experts and have containerized plants that can be purchased and planted now. And second, all of us can grow at least one of these fruits.
Let’s talk blueberries. If you can grow azaleas you can grow blueberries. They are in the same family and they love organic acid well drained soil just like azaleas. In this case, the better the soil and prep, the quicker you are going to see lots of blueberries ready about this time of the year. Also, like azaleas watering is a must in our summers. The ones in the picture are from my garden. I have only two plants and they are part of my flower border and do great.
When it comes to figs a little research pays off, as there are several types with subtle differences in flavor. If you go to ‘Petals From The Past’, they are happy for you to sample the various types, so you can choose your favorite. I like to plant figs in our area where they might get a bit of cold protection, like next to a structure or out of the direct path of the winter winds. These plants take a bit of time to start producing, but they are carefree once established and can be prolific producers. Fig culture is easy; namely, good drainage, fertile soil, and plenty of sun.
Oriental persimmons are rapidly becoming popular in the Birmingham culinary scene, and the real secret is that they are very easy to grow. Again, once established they will give you a plentiful harvest. They like sun and fertile soil and will have to have water in the dry times during the summer. Even if you don’t like them to eat, they are wonderful decorative elements in the house.
So get a few fruits you can grow, and say at the dinner table that these came from my garden.

John Floyd

John Floyd has been gardening--and learning about Birmingham area gardening--for more than 30 years. In addition to his day-to-day experience, John has degrees in horticulture from Auburn and Clemson Universities and was Editor-in-Chief of Southern Living.

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