Contestants on last night’s Big Allotment Challenge on BBC 2 were making jams and curds from their fruit harvests. Fruit can be a very rewarding crop in the garden. Freshly picked fruit is a world away from the fruit you buy in the supermarket and doesn’t have to take up lots of space, it works well in small spaces too.
Here are our favourites with a few tips to make the most of them:
- Strawberries – can be grown in the ground, in pots and raised beds or in hanging planters. Read more in our full guide.
- Raspberries (autumn fruiting) don’t need supporting and simply need cutting back to the ground each February
- Blueberries require a little more thought – they need an acid (ericaceous) soil and prefer to be watered with rain water. They fruit after three years but have attractive foliage in the meantime and are perfect for patio pots.
- Dwarf fruit trees such as apple, nectarine and peach also grow well in patio pots and are perfect for smaller gardens. Family apple trees self-pollinate so don’t need to be near another one to produce fruit. Check with us when you buy if you are not sure!
- For something more exotic try a fig tree. It needs a sunny, sheltered spot and produce more fruit when in pots. The large green leaves are extremely attractive.
Our Veg Trug Starter Kit ‘Berry Pavlova’ is the perfect way to start off your fruit collection. All soft fruits (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries) need to be protected from birds by netting – if you have large areas consider a netted cage, or simply drape netting over for the fruiting period.
If you want to cook the fruits of your labours then check out the latest items in our Cook Shop. More items available in-store including Kilner jam jars, jam spoons and funnels.