by Bethany Hayes
Are you dying to add fruits to your backyard garden but have no idea where to start? Most fruits aren’t as easy as growing vegetables; many are perennial trees and shrubs that require pruning and extra maintenance to keep them thriving throughout the years. For beginners, this is intimidating, so you’ll want to find some of the easiest fruits to grow in your backyard.
The first fruits I ever grew in my backyard were strawberries. We added a small strawberry patch to our backyard, and each year, it seemed to grow larger and more prolific. When we moved, I felt sad leaving behind our little berry patch.
If you’re ready to try some of these easiest fruits to grow in your backyard, here are my picks.
12 Easiest Fruits to Grow in a Back Yard Garden
1. Apple Trees
Apple trees are often the first fruit tree tried by new gardeners. Everyone loves apples, and since you can find a variety for most regions, it’s an accessible choice for most people.
Apple trees are best grown in the ground. Take a look at all the varieties that grow well in your region and pick ones that work well with your plans. Some are best eaten fresh, while others are better for baking and making applesauce.
You need to have two different apple tree varieties to ensure proper pollination. If you don’t have a lot of space, consider growing two dwarf varieties that only reach 7-10 feet tall.
No matter what variety of apple trees you grow, they all need full sunlight, well-draining soil, and pruned yearly to stimulate growth. Once established, a healthy apple tree will grow and produce fruits for years to come.
Blackberries are one of the easiest fruits to grow in your backyard because they grow almost anywhere! They prefer slightly acidic and moist soil, but birds spread the seeds everywhere. The plants pop up all over the place with little to no attention from you.
Plant blackberry bushes in the early spring and cut back to six inches in the following year to help with fruiting. The stems may be trained onto wires, making it easier to harvest. If you hate the thorns associated with blackberries, consider growing a thornless variety.
Who doesn’t love homegrown blueberries? If you don’t have space to grow berries in the ground, blueberries are perfect for container gardening. The berries come to harvest in the late summer, but first, you enjoy lovely scented flowers throughout the spring.
When growing blueberries, make sure you provide the plants with moist, acidic soil. It takes three years for a blueberry bush to produce a full harvest, but after that, they’re relatively low maintenance. Until then, they’re attractive plants that look great in your garden or patio.
If you want to have a large harvest, you need two varieties of blueberries for proper pollination. You also should consider the variety of blueberries that you want to grow when compared to your climate. Those in cold climates should grow highbush blueberries, and those in mild climates should grow southern highbush varieties or rabbiteye blueberries.
4. Cherry Trees
If you want to grow another fruit tree on your property, consider growing cherry trees. Cherries are some of the easiest fruits to grow, especially for beginners, because the trees require little to no pruning and rarely face pests or diseases.
When you pick your cherry tree varieties, you have the option between sweet cherries and sour cherries. Sweet cherries are best for fresh eating; sour cherries are great for baking and making preserves because you add sugar. If you grow sweet cherries, you will need two trees for cross pollination, but sour cherries only need one fruit tree.
Cherry trees require some minimal pruning in the winter when they’re dormant and regular watering. Make sure you plant cherry trees in full sunlight and rich, well-draining soil.
I feel like gardeners look over currants all the time, but if you want to grow soft fruits that taste great when making jams and jellies, you should try growing currants. Gardeners can grow black, white, or red currants; all of them taste great as a fresh snack.
Currants freeze well, so if you don’t have time to turn the fruits into jam, you can wait and make the jam later in the year. The great thing about currants is that they grow in tight spaces and containers. So, if you don’t have a large backyard, currants grow well on patio gardens.
6. Fig Trees
Fig trees are a great choice if you live in a tropical or subtropical region. They cannot tolerate frosts or cold weather, so if you live somewhere that the temperature dips lower, you need to grow figs in a container.
Despite being a tree, fig trees rarely get large, so they grow well in containers. Make sure your tree receives plenty of sunlight; this tree originates in the Mediterranean region so it needs a lot of warmth.
One of the reasons that fig trees are one of the easiest fruits to grow in your backyard is that they don’t require much pruning and typically remain pest-free.
Gardeners pass over the opportunity to grow gooseberries for popular choices like blueberries and raspberries, but that’s a shame. Gooseberries are hardy, low-maintenance plants that produce juicy, delicious fruits. They work well in any kitchen garden.
One of the best reasons to grow gooseberries is that the fruits are versatile. You can harvest them early for savory dishes, or let them ripen and sweeten for the perfect cake or preserves. They taste great when eaten right off of the bush.
8. Ground Cherries
Never heard of ground cherries? Most people haven’t! They’re a little garden secret that makes a fantastic fruit for most gardeners to grow with little to no challenge. These little fruits are native to Central America and related to tomatoes!
Ground cherry plants are annual and reach up to three feet wide and tall. They produce dozens of small, golden-orange, cherry-sized fruits that are covered with a papery husk. If you’ve never tasted ground cherries, they have a taste similar to a tomatillo with a pineapple flavor.
You will never find these fruits in a grocery store. While they store in their paper husks for up to three months, they don’t ship well or last after opening the husk. They’re also hard to harvest in large amounts.
For a home gardener, ground cherries are one of the easiest fruits to grow. They take up the same amount of space as a pepper plant, and they grow with little maintenance. You can use the fruits to make ground cherry jam or different pies.
Honeyberries aren’t nearly as popular as raspberries or blackberries, but these tough, hardy plants are delicious and some of the easiest fruits to grow. These berries are full of antioxidants and a delicious snack for your family.
If you’ve never tried honeyberries, these are blueberry-like berries that are a similar color but elongated. Gardeners who struggle to grow berries do well when growing honeyberries because they don’t require a lot of maintenance.
They need to grow in an area that receives full sunlight and well-draining soil. Honeyberries grow in containers, but they need to be set up off the ground to improve air circulation. If you opt to grow honeyberries in containers, you will need to upgrade the size of the pot every three years.
When you think of summer and fruit, chances are you imagine watermelon; it’s one of the quintessential fruits. If you don’t want to committ to a perennial fruit tree or shrub, growing melons is a great way to get homegrown fruits.
Most people think that melons require too much space for someone who has a small backyard to grow, but that’s not true. Some melon varieties grow well in containers!
No matter what melon variety that you grow, they need plenty of sunlight and heat; they aren’t frost-friendly. Some vines will reach up to 20 feet tall, so you’ll need a trellis if you don’t have lot of space to grow them. Using a trellis for melons only works if you grow smaller fruits; watermelons will pull down the vines.
One of the easiest berry bushes to grow are raspberries. They produce harvests in the summer and the fall. It’s best to grow raspberries in raised beds or in-ground gardens, but they tolerate containers. Make sure wherever you’re growing raspberries has well-draining soil and ample sunshine.
Raspberries come in different varieties that harvest at different times. If you plant a mix of early, mid-season, and late-season raspberries, you’ll have homegrown berries through several months. Also, while you might think that raspberries are only red, that’s not true! You can buy pale to dark red berries and even dark purple raspberries!
Strawberries are one of the first fruits to mature in the spring and one of the most versatile. These fruits grow well in hanging baskets, containers, raised beds, or in-ground gardens, so no matter what type of garden you have, growing strawberries is possible.
When you grow strawberries, remember that the plants like full sunlight and well-draining soil. Gardeners pick between three types of strawberries: June bearers (set one crop in June), everbearers (two-three harvests per year), and day neutral (sets small amounts of strawberries all season).
When you plant strawberries, you have to remember that they spread via runners, so you have to watch their growth. It’s best to limit the runner to only a few plants and prune off the rest for best fruit production. You should always prune off the blossoms in the first season to prevent fruiting; this leads to a better harvest in the following year.
Homegrown fruit tastes even better when you know that you grew it with your own hands. Don’t be worried that fruit is too hard for you to grow; try a few of these easiest fruits to grow in your backyard. You’ll love the feeling you have when you eat your first fruits grown at home.