Image via Shutterstock Most backyard gardens focus on vegetables and herbs—not only are they easy to grow and packed full of nutrients, they're also versatile, making them ideal for growing in large quantities. But don't think vegetables and herbs are the only things suited for a kitchen garden. Fruit, Mother Earth's gift to the sweet tooth, is the perfect compliment to your other savory plantings. You can use them for jams, jellies, pies, and best of all, you can grow it indoors and out! Keep reading for six delicious fruits that can become part of your next organic gardening endeavor.
Unlike its similar sounding friends, the blueberry or strawberry, the mulberry is a tree. If you start one from seed, it could be 10 years or more before you see fruit, and that’s not very exciting. Speed up the process by purchasing an organically-raised dwarf or semi-dwarf variety from your local nursery. Place it in a large pot either outdoors in plenty of sunshine, or indoors in a warm, bright place. The mulberry produces large, long, black fruit similar in looks to a 3″ long blackberry. The fruit usually ripens in early summer.
Meyer Lemon Tree
Speaking of tiny trees that produce delicious fruit, how about a lemon tree? Becky over at EatDrinkBetter.com recently experimented with growing a meyer lemon tree in her Atlanta home. Follow her detailed to tutorial for handy tips on how to care for your lemon tree all year round. (And even some tips about what NOT to do, for you brown thumbs out there).
Enough with all of these fruits that require so much patience. Strawberries are an extremely popular fruit for home gardening because they produce fruits very quickly, and require a relatively small amount of space. Strawberries have a very high vitamin C content and are well suited to freezing and processing as jams. If you’re planting them indoors, use this in-depth tutorial from Chelsea Green to create the perfect self-watering planter so you can enjoy sweet berries all year long.
According to Reader’s Digest, all varieties of fig fruit more heavily if their roots are confined to a large pot, but Negro Largo does particularly well as a houseplant. The other great thing about it is that it prefers indirect sunlight (good for apartments that don’t get a lot of direct sun) and you only have to feed it a few times during the growing season. Grow-Figs.com is a great resource for learning how to choose and take good care of your fig tree, especially if you live in a cold climate.
I know what you’re thinking: There’s no WAY I can grow a delicious, sweet pineapple at my house. But yes, you can! In fact, not only is it possible, it’s actually quite easy. According to Tropical Permaculture, “That’s because the pineapple plant is one of the few tropical fruits that are really well suited to growing in pots.” Follow their handy guide that demonstrates what pineapple plants like and don’t like, and how to choose a starter that will fruit the fastest.
Watermelon is my desert island fruit. If I was stranded, I would wish to wash ashore in a place where watermelons grew like weeds. Think about it: You’d have delicious fruit that’s 98% percent water. Two birds with one stone! If you’re tired of paying outrageous prices for watermelon at the market, think about growing your own at home. This WikiHow guide provides takes you through each step of planting watermelons in an outdoor garden, while this tutorial from SF Gate shows how you can grow them indoors, in a container!