By Ed Laivo
The desire to grow your own has never been more popular thantoday. The benefits of home-grown fruits and vegetables have taken on a new importance in this “safe at home” time we are living. People are embracing the value of a great day in the garden and enjoying the fruits of their labor.
The access to exciting fruit types both old and new has never been better. The internet makes the possibility of what you can grow seem limitless. But there is one factor that all who desire to be successful at producing home grown fruit should considerand that is adaptation.
Getting to know what concerns you should have for your planting conditions is extremely valuable. Cold Winter temperatures, extreme hot dry summer temperatures, inadequate sunlight, poor draining soil conditions or susceptibility tocommon local diseases are some important adaptations considerations.
Depending on where you are growing, your selection of whatfruit to grow should be determined by the plant’s adaptability to your conditions or a clear understanding of the special needs it may require to keep it healthy and productive.
Here are some important things to keep in mind when choosing what you would like to grow1. Is this plant recommended in my USDA climate zone?http://planthardiness.ars.usda.gov/PHZMWeb/
For example, avocados beloved by all but they are only successfully grown in but a few zones (9,10 and 11). You will find if you search on-line people who grow avocados in zones not suited for their success. See what if anything was needed to adapt the selection. If you are willing to put in the extra effort go for it!2. Light is essential to growing and fruiting plants. When selecting a location choose one with at least 8 hours of sun, favoring the morning sun. When bringing citrus indoors for winter protection select a window with as much direct sunlight as possible. In many cases, artificial grow lights will be necessary to provide adequate light for the plants. This is common with citrus and should be researched well. 3. Poor Drainage is the number 1 reason people lose plants. This is common both in the ground where soggy soils deplete oxygen and suffocate plant roots. This also happens in containers where over watering allows too much water to collect in the very bottom of the container where root damaging diseases get started and challenge the plantshealth. Study your drainage in the locations where you intend to plant and always be careful not to over water your container plants, especially in colder climates when bringing them indoors for the winter. 4. Plant diseases can be very disappointing and costly. Research what diseases might be prevalent in your area for your fruit type. Problems like Peach Leaf Curl or Fireblight would be examples of problems that might require extra maintenance. Check to see if there are resistant selections available. Look up your local Ag advisors to get current information on how others are dealing with common diseases and decide if those are adaptions that you are willing to take on to enjoy your fruit choice.
A brief bit of research on these 4 primary considerations will contribute to a more enjoyable fruit growing experience. There are so many varieties of fruit to enjoy that with a little planning and understanding of responsibility, your successful adaptationshould be a sure thing.