Here’s what fruit to plant in spring to fill your summer harvest basket…
One of the main problems you may have as a renter gardener or if you’re just establishing your patch is getting a fruit harvest in those early years.
While your neighbours might be enjoying buckets of plums and apricots from their well established orchards, it can make you a little jealous, even if your garden is pumping out tomatoes, zucchinis and other summer annuals. There’s no need to despair, however! Fruit to plant in spring for summer harvesting is easy to come by, Here is our handy guide.
While they will last many years, passionfruit vines can start bearing in their first year with a bit of tender loving care. In temperate climes we plant in late spring into deep, rich compost in a spot with lots of warmth and sun, preferably out of the wind (our west-facing tin shed wall has proved a winner).
Keep well weeded while it is establishing. To avoid problematic suckers try growing non-grafted varieties (also a lot cheaper at your nursery, so you can probably afford to pop in a few!).
Melons are an awesome annual that will give you fruit harvests from your vegie patch. While most varieties will grow well the further north you go, you can find sweet melon varieties that will grow well even in southern Australia.
Try “Sugarbaby” watermelon, or “Petit Gris de Rennes” rockmelon if you live somewhere with cooler summers.
Strawberries can be planted year-round in most climates in Australia, but if you have hot summer days coming, spring is a great time to get your strawberry plants established to ensure they survive into the new year.
Being a cool-climate plant, strawberries don’t actually like things to get too hot, so setting up shade protection is a good idea if it’s likely fruit will get suburned rather than sunkissed in your local climate. It’s also an important time to renew any plants you’ve had overwintering, by feeding, mulching and trimming away any dead or diseased leaves.
While many people like to plant their berries bare-rooted in winter, it’s also possible (and in fact a safer bet) to plant newly shooting plants in the spring.
While your first year’s harvest won’t be as big as those in years to come, you can expect a reasonable harvest even in your first year if you keep your plants well cared for and watered through summer heat.
While not technically a fruit, planting some well-established rhubarb crowns into rich compost in winter or early spring will have your rhubarb patch pumping and ready to make lots of yummy summer puddings or even some pink fizzy rhubarb champagne in time for the silly season.