- Which Plants Can Be Grown Indoors During Winter?
- Cool Season Crops
- Know What to Grow
- Hardy and Semi-Hardy Crops
- Spring Garden Plants: Tips for Success
- Savoy cabbage
- Brussels sprouts
- Jerusalem artichokes
- Sprouting broccoli
- Do Your Research When It Comes To Finding Out Your USDA Zone
- 1. Grapes
- 2. Peaches
- 3. Pears
- 4. Blueberries
- 5. Apples
- 6. Plums
- 7. Apricots
- 8. Cherries
- The Difference Between Dwarf vs Semi-Dwarf vs Standard Dwarf
- Plan On Babying Your Fruits the First Year
- Grazing Under Fruit Trees Or Under Grape Vines
- Precautions To Keep In Mind Grazing Under Fruit Trees
- Growing Cold Hardy Fruit In Containers
- Best Sources For Fruit Trees, Grapes, and Bushes
- Other Cold Hardy Fruits
- Ten easy perennials for winter planting
- Six of the Best Places to Live in the US for Those Who Love to Garden
- Picking the Best Location for your Veggie Garden
- 1. Follow the Sun
- 2. Everything Needs Water
- 3. Give it a Good Foundation
- 4. Flat Ground is Key
- 5. No Clogs
- 6. Let the Air Flow
- 7. Call Before You Dig
- 8. Convenience Matters
- 9. No Toxins
- 10. Avoid Frost Pockets
- 11. Easy Access
- 12. Consider HOA
- Was this article helpful?
- How can we improve it?
- We appreciate your helpul feedback!
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Which Plants Can Be Grown Indoors During Winter?
We all know how disheartening it can be during the winter months to restrict the horticultural pursuits to just a few hours a week, when the weather permits and you can force yourself out into the cold climes. Our green fingers become itchy fingers as we long for the feel of a trowel or hoe in hand, and we gaze outside at the snow covering our favourite gardening playground.
The farming and gardening games on social media don’t really ever fill the void or satisfy the need to garden, to create and to grow, and we start to tick off days until the spring on the kitchen calendar, when we can stay gardening in earnest once again.
But thankfully, when things seem to be at their absolute gloomiest and most hopeless, and we’re pondering an indoors hobby, stamp collecting and the like, a solution makes itself known. Putting together an indoors pot garden is a wonderful alternative for green-fingered enthusiasts looking for a winter fix.
However, winter gardening is very much a different beast, with different plants lending themselves better to growing indoors rather than out in nature and many of our back-garden favourites struggling when cooped up inside. So, if your only indoor gardening experience is popping the Valentine’s Day bouquet in a vase and up on the mantelpiece, you may need a few pointers to get your indoors garden started.
With this in mind, we’ve come to the rescue with this guide, this is the introduction to some of our favourite plants which can be grown indoors during winter.
An easy introduction to the indoors planting guide, African violets flower quickly and with minimal assistance. These adaptable plants flower all year round, so winter poses no problem, and they’ll continue to look their best well into spring and beyond. There’s hundreds of different varieties of the African violet, so you’ve got freedom to pick the colour and appearance which bests suits your tastes and your home.
African violets are best suited to receiving medium to bright light, in a temperature of 18-24°C. Keep the soil evenly moist, and your flowing plant should grow to 8 inches in height and 16 inches in width.
Complete with eye-catching, slightly terrifying name, the crown-of-thorns is ideal for homes which don’t necessarily receive a great deal of light. If you live in a small apartment or an unconventional dwelling which receives minimal natural light, the crown-of-thorns could be for you. Related to the poinsettia, the crown-of-thorns defies its dark habitat and blooms with wonderfully bright and beautiful flowers.
The crown-of-thorns thrives in a temperature of 18-24°C in a moderately dry soil.
As the name suggests, this plant thrives during the colder months. The Christmas cactus enjoys cool temperatures and short days, and just needs to be kept away from the threat of frost. The exotically-shaped flowers in vibrant red make a truly festive addition to the home, and are wonderfully easy to maintain – only growing to a relatively short height of 12 inches.
Keep your home (or at least the Christmas cactus’ room) at a temperature between 21 and 27°C, and in moderately dry soil, and you’ll be able to enjoy a beautiful festive bloom.
A really interesting plant species, the flowering maple can grow tall with bright vibrant leaves punctuated by small blooming flowers which look more like paper lanterns than anything. The flowers arrive in charming red, pink, orange and yellow colours with splodges and streaks of white adding dimension and intrigue.
Keep the flowering maple plant in a temperature of 18-24°C in a position where it will receive medium to bright light for the best results. Ensure your flowering maple is kept in evenly moist soil and it could grow up to five feet tall.
Some types of jasmine are harder than others to grow, with the many-flowered jasmine and Arabian jasmine at the easier end of the scale. These simple-to-grow jasmine plants still boast the beautifully delicate flowers which we love of the species. Alongside the delicate white and pink blooms of the plant, it will also produce the wonderful smell that jasmine is beloved for.
A room temperature of 16-24°C and a spot which receives low to bright light are the best conditions for a jasmine plant to prosper indoors. Again, evenly moist soil is a must, and the plant could grow to four feet tall.
It’s always preferable to grow mint in a controlled area, due to the plant’s tendency to dominate the patch in which its planted. The aggressive little plant is known to take all the nutrients out of the soil all around its roots, depriving neighbouring plants of the goodness needed to survive. So naturally, mint lends itself well to growing indoors, and can offer its trademark scent through the home. Plus, having a few sprigs of mint to hand is always helpful if you’re rustling up a lamb dish or a round of mojitos.
Mint thrives in bright rooms which receive plenty of sunlight, and temperatures of at least 15°C. Make sure your mint plant is watered and moist to give it the best chance of blooming.
Growing an avocado tree takes more than just one winter, but when it starts to take shape, the endeavour is truly worth the time and effort invested. It takes years and years for the avocado tree to bear the superfood fruit, but it still makes a beautiful addition to the home. Plus, it’s possible to grow a tree from a discarded avocado pit, making it a great rainy day game to share with the kids.
One Green Planet have provided this in-depth guide detailing how to grow a full avocado tree from one small pit.
At the three Capital Gardens stores, we stock everything you need to fill your home with beautiful plants this winter. Head over to our three store locations to find your indoor garden essentials.
Image credits: Lee Jordan, Joanna Poe, Lee Jones, Vilche1985
Cool Season Crops
Grow cool season crops like lettuce, broccoli, and potatoes to get an early start on your spring garden. These crops thrive in cooler temperatures and are ideal spring plants. Knowing what to grow, when to plant the seeds, along with a few tricks, will help ensure your spring vegetables and crops thrive.
Know What to Grow
Many crops can tolerate colder weather and soil and can be planted as early spring vegetables. These plants are labeled as cool-season crops. Unlike warm-season crops, cool-season crops should be planted so that they mature when the weather is still cool and before the summer heat hits. When warm weather arrives, many of these early crops tend to “bolt” or prematurely run to seed. These crops flourish in temperatures lower than 70 degrees Fahrenheit so planting their seeds or transplants at the right time—ideally, early spring—will help ensure a healthy harvest.
Which spring garden plants you can grow (and when precisely to plant them) depends upon where you live. The USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map—based on the average annual minimum winter temperature, divided into 10-degree Fahrenheit zones – offers expert guidance on which plants are likely to thrive in a given location.
Hardy and Semi-Hardy Crops
Cool-season crops can be planted when the soil and air temperatures are at least 40 degrees Fahrenheit. These crops are often further divided into hardy and semi-hardy categories, depending upon their ability to withstand cold temperatures.
Hardy vegetables tolerate cold temperatures the best—their seeds will germinate in cool soil, and seedlings can typically survive heavy frost. Plant these seeds or transplants two to three weeks before the date of the average last spring frost; they will grow in daytime temperatures as low as 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
Semi-hardy vegetables withstand light frost. These crops grow best when the minimum daytime temperature is between 40 and 50 degrees Fahrenheit and can be sown as early as two weeks before the average last spring frost.
Some cool season crops fare better when direct seeded, while others can be started indoors. This chart outlines recommendations for popular crops:
Spring Garden Plants: Tips for Success
Gauge Soil Temperature: The odds of successfully growing cool-season crops increase if you plant them at the right temperatures so check your soil temperature before beginning. When planting seeds or transplants, measure the temperature at the recommended planting depth. Soil thermometers are available at most garden shops, but almost any thermometer will do, as long as it measures temperatures down to freezing.
Expect the Unexpected: An unexpected hard freeze can ruin young plants. Keep floating row covers or old sheets on hand to cover plants and provide necessary warmth just in case temperatures dip below cold-tolerance guidelines.
Spread Your Bets: Spring weather can be unpredictable in many regions of the country. Sow each crop in a couple batches, staggered about a week apart, to improve your odds of catching ideal growing conditions.
Double-check With the Experts: Contact your local cooperative extension office to confirm which cool-season plants thrive in your area.
White-stemmed forms tend to be hardier than their red counterparts, so expect the latter to turn to mush in harsh frosts (but if you’re lucky they’ll re-sprout a crop of new leaves in spring before running to seed). I’m never without a row or two of Swiss chard. The ‘Bright Lights’ selection (Marshalls) is a cheery mix of whites, yellows and reds. The best chard I’ve found for eating quality is red-stemmed ‘Fantasy’ (Thompson & Morgan) – if anyone’s got any experience of how robust this is, I’d love to know as I sowed it in a mild winter. A tunnel cloche of fleece is handy.
I have memories of helping to cut acres of these as a child, the aroma when leaves chopped and ends trimmed making my eyes sting. I remember my fingers being numb, too… But leeks are an absolute must on a winter plot, as they’re great for combining with, for example, potato for soup, chicken for pies, a rich cheese sauce – they’re also excellent just sweated off with butter and black pepper. If rust is a problem in your area (it tends to be more problematic in mild, moist autumns) choose a variety showing strong resistance such as ‘Oarsman’ (Marshalls). Leek moth is more widespread these days (it used to be just confined to the south), so if it’s known in your neighbourhood, cover plants with fine mesh netting or fleece to thwart it. Purple-leaved varieties tend to be hardier, such as the French classic ‘Bleu de Solaise’ (Real Seeds) and the British bred ‘Northern Lights’ (Dobies). Having been sent up the field to lift leeks for an order on Christmas Eve, I can confirm that it’s sensible to harvest in batches before the soil freezes solid, heeling the plants into a sheltered, unfrozen spot in the garden.
Grow some kale and they’ll stand through the winter before running to seed in spring. Photograph: Kevin Summers/Getty Images
A row of black Tuscan kale (such as ‘Nero di Toscana’, from Real Seeds, who have a mouth-watering selection of kale varieties) is a welcome treat on any plot. The leaves are of the darkest bottle green and the taste is as robust as the veg itself – great with liver and bacon or a hearty lamb stew. Grow yourself some sturdy plants by autumn, and they stand there, proud as you like, till they run to seed in spring. By that time you’ll have had multiple winter harvests from them.
I say savoy because that’s my personal preference; I’m sure there are other great winter cabbages available, but there’s something incredibly appetising about those deep green crinkly leaves. The outer foliage may well get ravaged by caterpillars and dirtied by soil, but the tightly-packed heart will escape unharmed, ready to be sliced, lightly boiled or steamed and dressed with butter and black pepper – casserole fodder like no other. Winter-cropping plants are incredibly forgiving, as long as they’re given the chance to build up a strong root system in summer. Good-sized heads will naturally follow. ‘Alaska’ (Marshalls) is a favourite of mine because it’s compact and stands incredibly well through the winter. It’s an F1 hybrid and an RHS AGM (Award of Garden Merit) winner, to boot.
Again, I’ve memories engrained about standing in a large field of sprouts on freezing cold days. My brother and I were given the job of removing the lower leaves as they yellowed and would be bent over double in our oilskins, in fits of laughter, as we grabbed the leaves and threw them over our shoulders to cover whichever poor soul happened to be standing behind us (generally a parent). Childish I know, but it makes me smile whenever I pick sprouts these days. Anecdotes aside, ‘Montgomery’ (Dobies) is always the variety we choose to grow – it’s an F1 hybrid with a deliciously mild taste. The RHS like it, too, and have given it an AGM. Beginner growers take note: plants need to be sown in April for a winter harvest; sprout tops are delicious, too.
I was recently surprised how hardy annual spinach is – to me it looked quite a delicate, soft leaf but as an experiment, I left an August sowing of ‘Tetona’ (Nicky’s Nursery) over winter last year on the allotment, alongside ‘Reddy’ (Kings). Both provided pickings all through winter (uncloched) and well into spring – I’ll definitely be doing that again. ‘Tetona’ is a classic arrow-shaped green spinach; the leaves developed a beautifully meaty thickness and deep colour as the weather cooled, but they remained incredibly tender. The foliage widened and hugged the ground for warmth so needed a good wash. ‘Reddy’ is a different beast altogether – its leaves became much more spear-like (a little like a dandelion), and the taste wasn’t as buttery, but the prolific harvests of melting foliage let me forgive that fact.
Coming in to a steaming bowl of curried parsnip soup is blissful after a spell out in the cold, so make sure you have a row of these hearty roots handy. There are a few things to watch for: the seed’s shelf life is short so buy fresh each year; avoid over-rich soils, as this can give excess leaf at the expense of root; don’t sow too early as germination will be poor on cold soils and it also increases the likelihood of canker disease; sow seeds in clumps in the soil, then thin to the strongest seedling. Don’t let all this put you off – just sow little clusters of fresh seeds in May and avoid being heavy-handed with the fertiliser. There are some great canker-resistant varieties out there: ‘Gladiator’ (D T Brown) and ‘Countess’ (Mr Fothergill’s) being two.
Jerusalem artichoke plants make the perfect windbreak on the plot. Photograph: Jill Mead for the Guardian
I’ve never bought Jerusalem artichoke tubers, they’ve always been volunteer plants on my plots (so you could probably get smoother-skinned varieties than I’ve experienced). This is the thing with these sunflower relatives – once you’ve got them you’re never without them which, if you like them, is rather handy. The swollen tubers can reach deep into the soil, especially sandy ones, so despite all your digging efforts you’ll never get them all out. Plants grow tall – 6-8ft at least – so utilise this by making them into a windbreak for more delicate crops. Introduce them gradually into your diet, because they contain inulin rather than starch and once this reaches our large intestine, digestive bacteria have a bit of a party converting this into gas. Lots of gas. They’re delicious roasted, having a sweet, nutty, melting flesh a little like a mild parsnip. I’ve not tried them as a soup yet but apparently this is good, too.
Purple sprouting broccoli seeds need to be sown in April to guarantee a good crop. Photograph: Frank Baron for the Guardian
Most of us are familiar with the purple form of this brassica (affectionately referred to as PSB) and it is one of my favourites. There is also a white form, which is underrated, prolific and delicious (try ‘White Sprouting Early’ from Kings). Both types make large plants when grown well – at least 1m tall and wide – and they need to be sown in April in order to give you crops worth waiting for. The classic season for this plant is early spring (when growing, for example, ‘Purple Sprouting Early’ from Thompson & Morgan) and such old types are reliably hardy. Improvements in spear size and expansions of seasons have led to some varieties being less hardy, so a harsh frost would knock things on the head (a bit frustrating when you’ve waited so long for those precious pickings). I’m an old stick in the mud here and like the ones I grow.
Beginner gardeners take note: winter- and spring-cropping caulis are far easier to grow than summer or autumn ones. Pop yourself a few plants in, in June or July, water well to avoid any check in growth, and await impressive curds come the cool season. Wider spacings (80-100cm) will give you larger curds – great for big families. Plant closely (20cm apart each way in a grid) for mini-curds, ideal for one person portions. ‘Moby Dick’, ‘Aalsmeer’ and ‘Mayflower’ (all Mr Fothergill’s and all with an RHS AGM) will together give a good harvest over a long period. Try ‘Clapton’ if clubroot is a problem in your area, because it shows resistance to this troublesome disease.
• Lucy Halsall is the editor of Grow Your Own magazine, which contains a wealth of information about growing your own vegetables. There are even more resources on the website, including the new growing guides section.
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Most of us don’t think of homegrown fruit and vegetables as being plausible in the wintertime, but that’s not actually the case. There are many vegetables that thrive in the cold weather, and there are proven techniques for growing them without heated greenhouses. As for fruit, there are several fruit trees that aren’t harvested until late fall/early winter and some that hold fruit into the depths of winter.
The trick is to cultivate what works. Rather than concluding home-produced fresh fruit in the winter is not possible. We have to think beyond convention. That means we grow fruit trees that might not be the first we think of, and/or we might grow fruit trees in places we not immediately think of.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at some fruit trees that do, in fact, yield for wintertime harvests.
Source: Design Build Love/Flickr
The immediately thought for winter fruits should go to citrus. After all, December is the time when all those boxes of Cuties and bags of mandarins start overtake the produce section. It’s an exciting time for many, and it happens when it does because those fruits are in season. Now, the challenge with growing citrus in the cold is that they are semi-tropical fruits, usually unwilling to keep going below 25 degrees Fahrenheit. The good news is that many can be grown in containers, and that there are cold-hardy varieties.
Oranges, meaning larger sweet oranges as well as tangerines and mandarins and the whole collection of little fellas, are generally ripe for the winter harvest, even into January. The smaller, sweeter fruits like mandarins and tangerines are more cold-tolerant, surviving down into the low 20s. Dwarf varieties are also available and can be grown in pots, which can be moved to shelter for cold snaps.
Source: Georgios Alexandris/
Lemons aren’t necessarily something we are excited to eat, but they do, however, show up in more recipes than any other citrus fruit. We use them often in the kitchen and in the teapot. So, they are worth growing. Several East Asian lemon varieties (Ichang, Tiwanica and Yuzu) survive down below the teens, and there are also popular potted choices like the Meyer, Eureka and Ponderosa.
Grapefruit is often overshadowed by oranges and lemons, but it is absolutely delicious and provides tasty juice to boot. Most grapefruits can survive into the mid-20s. As with the lemons and oranges, dwarf trees that can grow in pots are also available, though these aren’t as common. Grapefruits, like mandarins and tangerines, reach their peak at around Christmastime.
Source: Takashi M/Flickr
But, citrus fruits aren’t the only fresh fruits available in the winter. Oddly, the next four on the list are often grown as ornamental plants, not necessarily as “fruit” trees. However, they produce tasty, nutritious food that can be harvested when homegrown crops are getting sparse. All of these are delicious and full of health benefits.
Source: Anni Wernicke/
Pomegranates are considered both bush shrubs and/or small trees. Like citrus, they can be grown in containers, moved in and out of shelter as needed. Pomegranates are another sub-tropical favorite and are in season through the fall and through most of the winter. These trees like arid climates and have been cultivated for thousands of years around the Mediterranean.
Persimmons and Sharon fruit (Oriental persimmons) are often overlooked because they don’t transport well when ripe and are ridiculously astringent (not delicious) when underdone. However, off the tree, at the right time (when soft), they are incredible. These are temperate trees and deal with the cold no problem. They are also beautiful and commonly planted for that reason alone.
Source: Natalia Fedulova/
Hawthorne trees are often grown as ornamentals, but they have delicious, edible berries. (Note: The seeds, like apple seeds, are not edible and are slightly poisonous.) Hawthorne berries arrive in the fall, but as with persimmons, they can hang on until mid-winter. They aren’t a conventional treat, but they are a treat nonetheless.
Source: Leonid Ikan/
Mountain ash is another tree with edible berries that can be harvested in the winter. American mountain ash can be found in the wild throughout eastern North America, but as the name suggests, it doesn’t grow at low elevations. However, where they do grow, their fruits can be used to make tasty jams and jellies. The berries should be cooked before eating in order to break down small amounts of cyanide, which is in lots of foods we eat.
With these fruit trees yielding in the winter, as well as preserves from the summer and autumn, it is easy to have homegrown fruity goodness throughout the year in most places. Taking advantage of the seasonal production keeps our diets varied and interesting, as well as balanced and nutritious.
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For those that are in colder or more temperate climates it may seem like you are severely limited in what you can grow.
The truth is that thanks to some innovative fruit breeders and horticulturists, there is a plethora of fruits out there that you can grow at home without fearing each little cold snap that comes along.
Do Your Research When It Comes To Finding Out Your USDA Zone
“Cold hardy” is a broad term. You should think about how cold your area gets during a very cold year.
Sometimes even the spread of land you are on can be a bit colder than other places around you if you are on a north facing slope for example. USDA zone maps are a good guideline but they are not 100% accurate.
There is definitely some room for variation when it comes to these maps. To some degree the USDA has acknowledged this and split zones into A or B so you might be zone 5A or 5B depending on location and average temperatures.
Regardless of your stance on the reasons for a changing climate, the evidence is there that some places are simply warmer than they used to be. Older people in my area remember much colder winters and I don’t think that is just because they lived in more poorly insulated homes than people do now.
I think that while the USDA says I am in the colder part of zone 7, the elevation we are at and the microclimate makes our property perform more like it is Zone 6. Realizing just how many microclimates are possible in a small region is eye opening and very helpful when planning out long term fruit production.
Getting some trees, shrubs, and vines up to full production can take years so you want to try to make the right choices when it comes to varieties.
The many different weather stations that others have put up on Wunderground.com can help you more accurately predict how your local climate really stacks up. The data on this site is invaluable. In fact you may decide that a small weather station is a fun and worthwhile endeavor for your own place.
I know first hand that grapes are one of the major things you can grow in a colder climate. While the mountains of western North Carolina might seem warm to those in the midwest or further north, the truth is that at 3000 feet in elevation on the side of a mountain it can get to -10 degrees Farenheit in a cold winter.
The record is -20 in the nearest town. Grapes are a lot of work and investment which means that planting varieties that could not handle a very cold year was not a risk we were willing to take when planting our vineyard.
Of the varieties we planted, the most cold sensitive will start to see damage at -15 without any hilling or extra care being taken.
Our most cold hardy is good down to -40 degrees thanks to the outstanding grape breeding programs undertaken by the fine folks at the University of Minnesota. That being said here are a few of the most cold hardy grapes out there. There are more than what I list here but these are a few of my favorites.
NOTE: Traditional wine grapes are often produced in climates that are at the bare minimum USDA Zone 6 but work best in Zone 7 or 8. Only a few even work well in Zone 6. When I am talking about cold hardy grapes I do not list any that are not hardy in Zone 5 or lower.
This grape was developed for making a deep red wine in the coldest of temperatures. If wine is not your thing then it will still produce a heavy load of fruit that can reach a very high sugar percentage.
The vines grow fast and the wine from this grape is highly acclaimed.
This is one of my most favorite grapes in our vineyard. It reaches a high sugar and although it can be susceptible to early Spring frosts, it will still produce even if the buds get frosted on a time or two.
This grape is done maturing and ready to pick before a lot of the others so you can get your crop in before fall sets in.
It is prone to bird damage though due to a small berry size which means you need to use netting when they start to get some color on the fruit. A flock of starlings can take it all if you don’t. Birds love small berry size.
While peaches are assumed to be a hot weather fruit, there are some varieties that will grow in USDA Zone 4.
The Reliance Peach above is hardy to Zone 4 and available from Stark Bros.
Starking Hardy Giant Asian Pear
Check out the Starking Hardy Giant Asian Pear here!
Pears need another variety to pollinate them but they will grow in colder areas. If you get a late frost, you can prevent fruit loss by covering trees with a sheet.
It has been a challenge for producers to create pear tree crosses that taste good and do well in a colder climate. Currently there are a few crosses available that can take USDA Zone 4.
If you are in Canada then you may have access to more varities than us down in the United States. Over the years there have been a lot of people working on cold hardy pear research.
Here is a link to Hardy Fruit Tree Nursery in Quebec, Canada. They have pears that can be grow in areas as cold as Zone 3a!
The Patriot Blueberry can be grown in as cold a climate as USDA Zone 3!
Ah the blueberry. This gorgeous little shrub is great for edible landscaping and there are enough varieties out there that if you want to plant a lot you can get fruit for an extended season.
If you don’t like to pick fruit regularly during a season and prefer to get your crop all at once then you will need to plant two types of blueberry that harvest at the same time. You have to have two types anyway that bloom at the same time in order to get pollination and fruit set.
When buying blueberry bushes, you should make sure to get them from a reputable place.
Don’t buy blueberry starts from box stores like Tractor Supply, Lowes, or Home Depot. Those small starts that are $5 and in a bag are often allowed to dry out too much and do not survive a season. We calculated our loss at 50% when buying from these places.
When we got our bushes from a real honest to goodness nursery, we barely lost any. Also, don’t buy marked down bushes that have been setting on the shelf and not taken care of.
Most blueberry varieties are cold hardy to Zone 4 but there are exceptions.
There are hundreds of types of apples out there. Besides finding cold hardy ones, you need to also make sure that you find ones that are good for the purposes that you want.
The Ben Davis Apple is hardy to Zone 3!
Some apples keep better whole than others while there are some that are excellent for canning and cooking. Those that like a crisper apple and tarter flavor should look at green types of apples rather than the typical Red Delicious that you see in the grocery store.
The Bubblegum Plum: Hardy to Zone 4
Plum trees can produce a lot and we are lucky to have a few out there that can handle Zone 4.
If you are in Zone 5, there are many types to choose from. With a plum tree you can dry out your own prunes for use year round!
Apricots will grow in USDA Zone 4 but you can grow a lot more varieties if you are least in Zone 5. Harcott apricots like those in the picture above are some of the most cold hardy. These are very beautiful trees for your property and the gorgeous orange colored fruit is so good for drying and putting back.
The apricots you get in the store are often treated with sulfites to help preserve them so if you suspect you are sensitive to sulfites or just want to limit exposure, drying out your own home raised apricots is one solution.
No more paying $10 a lb for organic apricots when you have a good supply from your own back yard.
It is hard to beat the first cherries of the year but the price tag at the grocery store can be a bit off putting! I think Ranier Cherries are $6 a lb at the grocery store here when they first come in season in Washington state.
The North Star Pie Cherry from Stark Bros.
Shipping cherries to North Carolina is not the cheapest way to get fruit. When we first moved onto our property I bought some cherry trees that were from a really cheap nursery.
Cherry trees are not something you want to buy from the cheapest place. I think I was give wild sour cherries but didn’t find it out until they trees were a few years old and had not really done much.
The Difference Between Dwarf vs Semi-Dwarf vs Standard Dwarf
If you start to order fruit trees, you will notice that they can sometimes come in up to 3 different sizes. You also need to know that these size classifications have other implications.
There is a trade off in getting dwarf trees and not the larger sizes. First off the smaller sizes get to fruit bearing size sooner but produce less fruit due to a smaller size.
On the other side of the coin, you can plant them closer together and they are much easier to harvest. Here are some specs so you can make the right choice.
1. Dwarf Fruit Trees
- 8 ft-10 ft tall on average
- Quick to produce
- Production slows down faster. Expect to replant every 15 years
2. Semi-Dwarf Fruit Trees
- 12ft-15 ft on average with the exception of sweet cherry trees that are 15ft-18ft if semi-dwarfs
- Slightly slower to produce than dwarf trees
- Harder to harvest without a longer ladder or special fruit picking tools
- Longer productive lifespan than a dwarf
3. Standard Fruit Trees
- 15 ft and up except for standard peach or nectarine trees that can be as little as 12 ft at maturity
- Slowest to produce but can give a very large crop
- Very hard to pick if allowed to reach full height unless you have a lot of courage a big ladder
- Can live to be very old but production can drop as tree health decreases
For the small producer, I recommend getting dwarf trees and replanting as needed. You can pack a lot of them into a small space, spray and treat them easier, and the fruit requires little if any tools.
At the very most, you might want a 2 ft ladder or a small fruit picker that resembles a small basket on the end of a stick. They are inexpensive and can save over reaching or dropping fruit too much.
When I was younger, the adults would just shake trees and we would pick up the fruit but this can also bruise fruits so it is a trade off and it can be hard to shake some trees enough to get the job done.
Plan On Babying Your Fruits the First Year
When first establishing a small orchard or fruit growing area, you need to keep in mind that it is at its most fragile state. Developing strong and healthy roots is crucial.
Letting plants get too dry is asking for trouble and can even result in a total loss for the year. If you are not getting regular rains then make sure to water regularly. If you choose to use soil amendments and fertilizers be careful to follow directions well.
Some fruits have different nutritional needs than others. For example, blueberries like a more acidic soil than grapes who prefer a more neutral soil pH.
Some fertilizers can raise or lower pH so you need to make sure that you are not going overboard one way or the other. Strong nitrogen fertilizers can even burn roots if used in too great of a quantity.
I am partial to organic fertilizers that add actual biomass to the soil. Mulches and composted manures don’t burn. Fish based fertilizers can be a bit smelly to use but they are inexpensive and non burning as well.
Grazing Under Fruit Trees Or Under Grape Vines
It is very possible and quite common for people around the word to graze livestock through fruit producing orchards and areas during parts of the year. Animals keep rotting or bad fruit from laying around and spreading disease and attracting insects plus they keep grasses and weeds at bay so fruit can grow more easily.
For the small producer, the grazing can provide meat,fiber, and sometimes milk. It is a win win if you can get it to work.
Our Shetland Sheep in the vineyard about 6 weeks before bud break on the vines. March 5, 2016. They have been an enormous help in reducing the amount we have had to mow and weedeat. The section they are in was heavy with Privet. There is better forage coming back now.
We use sheep and geese in our woods and vineyard.
By using them in our vineyards, we have been able to reduce the amount of mowing and weed eating that needs done substantially and they help lay down fertilizer and beneficial microbes that keeps the land more productive and healthy.
From our vineyard, we plan on getting a regular wool crop and meat from our Shetland Sheep that graze the property. They are very easy to manage and a lot more my speed after trying to keep cattle and pigs.
It was good to have the experience but as I have got older, I am thankful for my chilled out old world sheep that are 2 feet high and sweet!
Of course this grazing method is only practical if you plan on planting a good sized space. It does bring up the fact that you can glean sub par fruit from the ground or your plants to feed livestock so that nothing goes to waste.
I am a firm believer in using as much as you can of what you produce with your hard work!
Precautions To Keep In Mind Grazing Under Fruit Trees
Wilted cherry leaves can be dangerous and toxic to livestock like goats, sheep, and cattle. Once the leaves are brown you are ok but when they are green and wilty they can have cyanide in them. Just double check after a storm for dropped branches if you are grazing.
Vitamin and nutritional deficiencies or just being hungry can cause animals to strip bark off trees, particularly during the lean months of winter. Keeping a mineral and salt block out that is appropriate for what you are grazing can help prevent some of this.
If you see bark stripping, you might also just have a hungry animal. Fall or late summer is popular times to allow intensive grazing and clean up, ideally after your harvest. If grazing during the spring and major growing season, graze just enough to keep the grass and weeds eat down but don’t over do it.
You definitely have to be careful about allowing animals to graze if you are spraying pesticides or herbicides of any kind on or near fruit areas. Even organic sprays can be problematic.
Sheep for example are copper sensitive so if you are spraying copper then the sheep cannot graze for awhile. Most sprays have withdrawal times listed but when it doubt, check out some sites to double check how soon after spraying you can allow animals in.
Growing Cold Hardy Fruit In Containers
Blueberries can definitely be grown in containers if you are lacking space or renting. It is sometimes just nice to have some plants around and if they give you some fruit to put back or enjoy fresh that is a bonus.
Those that are still planning their exit from city life can get started growing fruit this way and then bring it with them and transplant it to the ground on their land at a later time if it works out for them.
Columnar apple trees are kind of a new thing but they are able to be grown in a pot in a narrow space and produce an impressive amount of fruit. They can reach 8 ft- 10 ft in height if allowed to but are only 18-24 inches wide! They are sometimes called Urban Apple Trees too.
Blushing Delight Urban Apple Tree
You can check out the Blushing Delight Urban Apple Tree here.
Growing some fruit is an affordable and easy to do thing that gives you some delicious fresh fruit while also beautifying your home and surroundings.
If you have children then this is something they can take part in and feel very accomplished when they help you harvest the goodness!
1. Planning Your Location
If you live in a place where it gets pretty cold then it is even more important that you consider where you want to grow your fruit. If there is not a lot of sun during the day then it might not be the best choice even if you think it would look good.
If you have not already taken the time to observe, pay attention to sunlight patterns. If it is late in the day before the sun hits an area than fruit can be more prone to molds and mildews from dew or rain setting on them for an extended period of time.
You also need to think about the very long term. You don’t want to plant somewhere only to realize a few years down the road that you need that space for something else.
Also consider what is adjacent. Is there a chance you are going to want to put an outbuilding next to the space later on that may block the sun more?
2. Size Of Your Trees
While I mentioned height of trees you also need to consider how much a fruit tree can spread out. Apple trees are very prone to this. The space a tree or bush takes up is much more than it’s mere height.
If your tree is going to reach over onto an adjoining property when grown for example, you need to think about if that is okay or not.
3. Elevation Considerations
Elevation can have an effect because soil types can vary if you are higher up than a lot of growers in your area.
While I could not find any indication that the mulberry trees sold commercially are elevation sensitive, I do know that wild Mulberries don’t usually occur above 2,100 feet in the North Carolina mountains.
There is no harm in asking a nursery what they think about what you are planting if you are living in a high elevation area.
4. Dealing With Excess Fruit
Having some fresh fruit can help you and your family eat healthier and make it cheaper to eat that way. If you grow many trees or bushes then there is a good chance you are going to have excess fruit to put back.
Dehydrating fruits is an excellent method of preservation. You can use oxygen and moisture absorbers in a vacuum seal bag and keep dried fruits delicious for a long time.
Canning fruits in syrup or making excess into apple butter, jam, and other products is also popular. If you have a lot to put back you might want to do all kinds of things with your fruit.
The important thing to remember is that fruit is easy to preserve and a healthy alternative to processed sweet snacks.
While it is true that many home jam and jelly recipes contain white sugar, you can use other sweeting methods to make it a bit healthier. Honey is expensive but it does make a superior jelly.
Best Sources For Fruit Trees, Grapes, and Bushes
The Stark Brothers is a well known nursery that was started in 1816 and continues to provide the latest in fruit trees, bushes, etc at a reasonable price. They really care about their customers and will work to make things right if you ever have a problem.
While the prices may seem a bit higher than your local home improvement store, the quality and varieties offered more than make up for the additional cost. You can put your zip code in and they will tell you what trees and fruits have the best chance of producing well in your area.
This also tells you your USDA zone so you can use that info when researching other fruits to grow.
Even if you don’t choose to buy from them, they have a site that has a ton of valuable tools and they even have a live chat option so you can ask anything you want with ease which is a big help when planning out even a small orchard or fruit bush area.
Willis Orchards is another nursery that has been around awhile.
They have very reasonable prices and an easy drop down menu that allows you to just tell them your USDA zone and then you can just browse all the fruits they offer that will work for you. Willis is a good source of a huge range of cold hardy fruits including mulberries.
Other Cold Hardy Fruits
As you can see there are a lot of different fruits to choose from out there. While I have covered some of the basics, there are many other fruits developed for cold regions such as:
- Goji Berries
There are plenty of other as well. I hope this article has helped you realize that you are far from limited when it comes to cold hardy fruit production.
If you know of a great variety that is not mentioned here or have anything to add, please comment below!
Author Bio: Samantha Biggers lives on the side of a mountain in North Carolina with her husband and pack of loyal hounds in a house her husband and she built themselves. When not writing she is working in their vineyard, raising Shetland sheep, or helping her husband with whatever the farm and vineyard can throw at them.
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Perennials may not be much to look at this time of year, but out of sight does not have to be out of mind. Winter is a great time to get them in the ground, says Guy Barter, expert at the Royal Horticultural Society. Most are tough as old boots, so you can transplant them when you like.
Perennials are non-woody plants that die back in autumn before returning in spring. Many are loved for their guarantee of flowers and air of luxury, and include such favourites as lupins, heleniums, aster and phlox. In summer, they are the star performers of the herbaceous border; but in winter they hunker down to get their breath back, rebuilding themselves below little mounds of rotting stalk and leaf.
Despite appearances (or lack of them), there are advantages to planting perennials now. You won’t need to water, unlike those planted in their summer prime. And many will be putting out roots in mild weather, settling in and getting used to their new surroundings, so that, come spring, they’re raring to go.
Of course, planting perennials in the off-season has drawbacks. The vital thing is that the soil shouldn’t be very wet, Barter says, otherwise you’ll be paddling about, ruining the soil structure by standing on it; it’s also pretty unpleasant for you. In fact, heavy clay soils that stay cold and damp are unsuitable for some perennials – delphiniums, say, are likely to rot. There are others where it’s worth holding back whatever type of soil you have: Bergenia deciduata, certain salvias and the pennisetum family, for example, are best put in once the earth warms up in spring. Other rules are just common sense. Don’t plant in ground that’s frozen like a brick – it won’t do the plant any favours, let alone your back.
As for planting itself, do as you would at any other time of year. Assess the soil and act accordingly, says Fergus Garrett, head gardener at Great Dixter. If it’s sticky and wet, add some crushed horticultural grit to help with drainage. And always give new arrivals plenty of organic matter, such as homemade compost, to get stuck into. If your plant arrives and the weather takes a turn for the worse, leave it outside in its pot, not in a greenhouse or other shelter. That’ll only soften it up, so when you bring it outside, it could die off.
The real trick to the successful planting of off-season perennials is to find a suitable supplier. Most garden centres and superstores won’t be any help, because they do not display perennials at this time of year. After all, it’s hard to shift a plastic pot of earth with a promise of beauty to come. Quality mail-order nurseries are just the job here. What’s more, they should be cheaper, too, and the best will counsel you on suitable plants for your conditions. All that’s left for you to do is to cast your mind forward to the summer ahead.
Mail order suppliers include Beth Chatto Gardens; Great Dixter; Claire Austin Hardy Plants; Knoll Gardens; Woottens of Wenhaston. And try the RHS Plant Finder or online nursery.
Ten easy perennials for winter planting
Helenium ‘Moerheim Beauty’. Photograph: Jan Smith/Gap
Acanthus spinosus Stately plant with unusual mauve and cream spikes above large, fingered leaves.
Phlox paniculata Hard working; slightly domed clusters of small flowers until the first frost.
Geranium Huge range to choose from, often used as ground cover, typically in pinks or blue. Cut right down after first flowering, water well, and they’ll give you a second show
Helenium ‘Moerheim Beauty’ Daisy-like, red-orange flower heads in late summer.
Japanese anemone Cup-shaped, single or double flowers on tall stems in late summer. Tough and reliable, happy in some shade, too.
Rudbeckia fulgida ‘Goldsturm’ Daisy-like flowers with black centre in late summer. Upright and lasting sometimes until November.
Aster ‘Little Carlow’ The best of the Michaelmas daisies.
Knautia macedonica Maroon pompoms on branching stems. Deadhead regularly and it’ll go all summer.
Echinops ritro ‘Veitch’s Blue’ Round, thistle-like blooms on upright stems that sprout out from sharply divided leaves.
Lupin Upright, early season perennial: buy the variety whose colour you like the most. Cut back after flowering and protect from slugs and snails when young.
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Six of the Best Places to Live in the US for Those Who Love to Garden
Posted by partridg
Gardening is a hobby that many homeowners across the United States love. Whether you want to have some fresh fruits and vegetables, or you prefer an entire flower farm, gardening can truly be a highly engaging task. Spending time in a garden can be a true adoration for outdoor enthusiasts because they can experience a reward for their hard work and diligence. If you truly love gardening, read about six of the best places in the U.S. where you can “grow” your passion.
The first location on the list as a great place to garden can be somewhat surprising. Despite brutally cold winters, Vermont can truly be a gardener’s paradise in the warmer months. Much of Vermont has a countryside landscape that makes it perfect for this hobby. Many Vermont natives take advantage of being outside during the warmer months when cold winters are a reality every year.
Unlike Vermont, Arizona has more moderate temperatures throughout the year. As a state that experiences much sunshine, people move there for that reason alone. Gardening in this state would be preferable for individuals who want to enjoy their hobby most of the year. Although Arizona can become cooler at times, a gardener can still produce crops during that time. Vegetables, such as cucumbers, corn, carrots, and lettuce are just a few of the dozens of crops that can be grown for most of the year in Arizona.
Florida residents can do gardening in this state nearly a 365-day event. Especially in the summer months, a gardener must know how to keep their garden maintained with the soaring temperatures. However, if you truly love gardening, Florida is a great place escalate your interest. Be cognizant of the fact that you need proper understanding and knowledge to have a garden all year in Florida.
4. North Carolina
Having the history and tradition as a state that produces bountiful harvests, North Carolina can also be a haven for gardening. Much of the lush landscape can allow the perfect opportunity for gardeners to produce some great crops, such as collard greens and sweet potatoes, for Southern cooking.
As an enormous state with much landscape, California can be a great place for gardening. Especially if you like to grow apples, grapes, and oranges, this state is responsible for a big portion of fruit production in the U.S. If you like the sweeter side of gardening, this is the place to be.
This might be the most surprising place for gardeners on the list. If you contemplate Alaska, you probably do not imagine a place where people garden. Although demanding, it can be a truly satisfying experience. Some summer days can be as long as 12 hours, allowing vegetables to grow to an immense size.
Gardening is no easy task, but it is worthwhile. Consider these different locations around the U.S. if gardening in your cup of tea.
Got a green thumb? If you live in a big city and your residence doesn’t afford space for a personal garden, there are other options for you to display your gardening prowess. Urban gardens are agricultural and horticultural areas set within city spaces, often in unused or vacant lots. Community members are able to plant, water and harvest, and they can create small oases amidst the concrete.
To discover which are the best cities for urban gardening, we asked the following questions:
- Are there community gardens? We included the number of community garden plots per 10,000 residents in our analysis.
- Does the city prioritize green space? We assessed the city’s capital spending on parks and recreation per resident.
- Is it sunny? We looked at the average percentage of sunshine per year.
Best Cities for Urban Gardening
1. Washington, D.C.
Washington D.C. is an urban gardener’s dream, offering 27 community garden plots for every 10,000 residents. This past June, the Neighborhood Farm Initiative, an organization devoted to increasing awareness of urban gardening and farming, was awarded a grant from the DC Humanities Council to take down an oral history of urban gardening in the city. The George Washington University has a GroW community garden that gives university students, faculty and staff the chance to learn about sustainability and food cultivation in urban areas. Produce grown in the garden is donated to Miriam’s Kitchen, a local soup kitchen.
2. Las Vegas, Nevada
Las Vegas isn’t quite as urban as Washington, D.C., but its desert setting makes it equally appropriate for alternative gardening techniques. The city’s first urban farm, Vegas Roots Community Garden, was created in 2010 in downtown Las Vegas by the community organization Together We Can. The garden helps Las Vegas residents develop a sustainable local food source. The University of Nevada, Las Vegas makes sustainability a part of campus life by maintaining xeriscape gardens around the school.
3. Phoenix, Arizona
Phoenix urban gardeners beautify their neighborhoods and provide valuable resources to community residents. Valley Permaculture Alliance is a Phoenix non-profit with the goal of educating people about the benefits of sustainable desert living. They offer classes, technical assistance, demonstrations, and tours of sustainable homes. The University of Arizona’s Cooperative Extension in Maricopa County provides classes on urban gardening to the Phoenix homeless to help them improve their nutrition and learn valuable skills.
4. Seattle, Washington
Seattle actively promotes community gardening to city residents. The city has a program called P-Patch, which officially maintains and develops community gardens. Seattle Tilth is an organization focused on promoting local agriculture and farming. They have a variety of educational programs for aspiring urban gardeners and farmers. The University of Washington’s Center for Urban Horticulture is a part of the university’s botanic gardens and offers 16 acres of green space, with a variety of plant life interspersed throughout campus walkways. The Soest Herbaceous Display Garden helps local gardeners determine what plant life is best suited to Seattle urban growing conditions.
5. Sacramento, California
Sacramento’s Department of Parks and Recreation manages community gardens in several different areas of the city. The Sacramento Area Community Garden Coalition is a grassroots group dedicated to maintaining and increasing awareness of community and school gardens. Soil Born Farms is an urban agriculture and education project that seeks to bring community members together, increase local food production and provide food resources for the entire community.
6. Fresno, California
The Fresno Community Garden Coalition, a project run by the Fresno Metro Ministry and supported by the City of Fresno, has developed and maintained several community gardens in the city. Their goal is to improve every community member’s ability grow their own food and ensure that they have enough to eat everyday. A 2012 status report showed the Fresno community gardens had helped make fruits and vegetable more affordable, and provided a valuable source for exercise and stress relief.
7. Tucson, Arizona
Tucson is a major green city and encourages residents to take part in community gardens. Community Gardens of Tucson is an all-volunteer non-profit that manages the city’s community gardens and helps educate community members on urban food cultivation and sustainability. Earlier this year, the Marshall Foundation established a garden in Geronimo Plaza to supply local small businesses with fresh produce. The garden will be maintained in part by students from the University of Arizona’s Students for Sustainability.
8. Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Milwaukee has a variety of urban agriculture programs. Will Allen, founder of Growing Power, helped pioneer aquaponics and has developed several urban farms in Milwaukee. Growing Power provides training, demonstrations and technical assistance to Milwaukee communities to develop safe and affordable food resources. Sweet Water Organics is an urban fish and vegetable farm inspired by Allen, and they support local communities and businesses. Milwaukee Urban Gardens is a part of Groundwork Milwaukee, and they work to help maintain and grow community gardens.
9. El Paso, Texas
El Paso’s Department of Parks and Recreation manages the Vista Del Valle Community Garden and invites residents to visit the garden, attend educational programs and sign up for their own plot. The department encourages community members, schools and other organizations to apply to start their own gardens. Community gardens have also been established by the El Paso Master Gardeners, a program in the Texas A&M Agrilife Extension Service. They built a community demonstration garden at Ascarate Park, eventually creating an educational program for community youth called Fit to Grow.
10. Denver, Colorado
Denver Urban Gardens, a local organization, maintains over 120 community gardens in the “Mile High City”. The group oversees the process of securing land, building gardens, designating leadership and helping to educate community members. They also manage a community farm and several training programs. Denver University’s DU Environmental Team established the Bridge Community Garden in 2009, a garden for neighbors and community members to work alongside university staff and students. Urban Roots, a gardening store, also provides training and assistance in creating your own personal urban garden.
Data was obtained from the Trust for Public Land and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association
Are you toying with the idea of growing a vegetable garden? Before you launch this plan, you need to think about the location.
Growing a garden isn’t as simple as picking a spot in your yard and digging it out. There are many things you need to take into consideration.
If you aren’t sure what you need to be looking for to give your garden the best shot, you came to the right place. I’ll tell you what you need to look for to find the best spot for your garden.
Picking the Best Location for your Veggie Garden
Here is what you need to look for in a garden location:
1. Follow the Sun
Most vegetables desire full sunlight, which means they will need access to the sun for at least six hours a day.
But most plants are happier with more. If you can find a location that gets full sun for six to ten hours a day, you found a spot that is worth keeping under consideration for your garden.
If you don’t have a location on your property that gets that kind of sunlight, consider clearing trees (if you have the option.)
However, if you can’t clear trees, then try to find a location that gets morning sun.
2. Everything Needs Water
We all need water. We can’t live without it. You need to keep this in mind when looking for a vegetable garden location.
You’ll want a vegetable garden location that is near water. If you must drag your water hose 20 feet just to water the garden, there is a good chance it will get neglected. Make things as easy as you can to care for your garden by placing it near water.
Consider putting your garden near a water spigot. If that location doesn’t work well for other vegetable garden location criteria, consider running a water hose to your garden to make watering easier.
Also, if you have well water on your property, consider putting your garden near the pump. That way you can hook directly into the well for watering.
3. Give it a Good Foundation
The soil is the foundation of your garden. You can always work on your soil to make it better, but if you have a place in your yard that already has decent soil, that would be the ideal place to start.
From there, if you want to enrich the soil, you have that much better of a foundation to start with. It will give your garden a significant boost and one more reason to thrive.
If you are unsure if the soil is good, try the soil test. Drench the area with water and let it stand for a day.
The next day, grab a hand full of dirt and squeeze it as hard as you can to compress it.
When you open your hand, if the soil immediately crumbles, you know that it is too sandy. If it falls apart gently like a brownie, you know that the soil is good.
4. Flat Ground is Key
If you’ve ever planted anything, you know that it is essential to plant on flat land. The reason being that if you plant on a hill, the water will run downhill when you water your garden.
Your plants can be drowned, or you have an unequal distribution of water, and seeds will wash away during watering or a rainstorm.
These are not ideal conditions, which is why you’ll want to find flat ground to place your garden.
5. No Clogs
Do you enjoy working in a sink that clogs easily? The answer to that is a universal, “No!” The reason being that when a drain clogs, it makes it difficult to get the job done.
The same reasoning goes along with well-drained soil. If the soil doesn’t drain, the plants can’t grow. They’ll suffocate under the water.
If you pick a vegetable garden location with well-drained soil, the plants can thrive because they can get the amount of water they need without being overwhelmed.
6. Let the Air Flow
Your garden needs to be in a location that can breathe. You don’t want to plant it among a dense array of other plants because it will be hard for air to circulate there.
Instead, choose a vegetable garden location that will give your garden ample space to breathe. It needs to be able to feel the wind.
It may sound trivial, but proper airflow can deter different types of mold and mildew from growing on your plants. These diseases can kill your garden, and they spread easily.
Airflow is one of the primary preventions for these diseases.
If you worry about your garden getting too much wind, consider putting up a garden wall. It should keep the wind from being harmful to your garden while still giving it plenty of air for breathing.
7. Call Before You Dig
It is always important to call your local authorities before you begin digging a garden, especially if you live in urban areas.
If you don’t, you could easily hit a water line or another type of buried utility line, quite dangerous for the person digging!
However, it can also cause issues for your household and your neighbors as well if you accidentally hit a buried utility line.
But more importantly, if you hit an electric line underground when digging, it could be fatal. Be sure to know what is under your potential vegetable garden location before you begin creating it.
8. Convenience Matters
There are different reasons to start a garden. You could be growing for survival, growing for beauty, but regardless you must enjoy gardening on some level, or you wouldn’t do it at all.
That is why it is recommended to put your garden in a convenient location. That way you don’t have to go out of your way to get to it and enjoy it. Keep the garden as close to your house as you can for simplicity sake.
Also, if you want to put a patio in your garden to entertain in, it makes the location more convenient and functional as well.
9. No Toxins
Most people will not have to worry about this step in the vegetable garden location process. On the off chance you are someone that might have this issue on their property, it is worth the mention.
If you know that substances such as oil or lead paint have been dumped in a specific area on your property, do not grow in those areas. These substances can be in the ground and could show up in your food. It is not safe or healthy!
With that in mind, avoid gardening in these locations. Make sure that you place your garden as far from these locations as possible.
If you are concerned about the safety of your soil, consider testing your soil for contaminations.
10. Avoid Frost Pockets
Frost pockets can make gardening difficult. We know that cold air sinks while warm air rises because cold air is denser than warm air.
For this reason, cold air can find the lowest part of your garden and will rest there causing frost pockets.
Avoid planting in these areas because if you plant a seedling in a frost pocket, it can be easily killed.
Keep in mind where frost pockets could be located. If you can eliminate them from your garden, do it. If you can’t, you’ll need to mark them on your garden plan to avoid planting in those locations.
11. Easy Access
I already mentioned that it is ideal to choose a convenient vegetable garden location. Surely you don’t want to hike through the woods to get to your garden.
Instead, place the garden where you can take a short walk through your yard and enjoy it easily.
Along the same line, you want your vegetable garden location to be easily accessible as well. If you could put your garden near a walkway, that would be ideal.
A walkway makes it easier to walk to your garden whether it be to care for it or entertain in it.
Also, make sure you can maneuver a wheelbarrow easily to get to your garden. It needs to be located where you can get garden supplies to your garden as simply as possible too.
12. Consider HOA
If you live in a rural area, you may not have to consider where you put your garden. It is important to speak with your landlord if you don’t own your home before planting a garden.
But if you live in an urban area, you’ll want to check your HOA rules before planting a garden. You don’t want your garden location to cause an uproar in the neighborhood.
By planting your garden according to your neighborhood rules, this will ensure that you can enjoy gardening for years to come without upsetting any neighbors.
But what if your HOA makes it challenging to garden?
You should consider planting edible items that are also ornamental. You can plant asparagus in between flowers in beds. You could also plant blueberry bushes as shrubbery. It just may take extra creativity on your part.
You could also consider planting a container garden if you have HOA or landlord issues.
Now you have 12 items to take into consideration when deciding where to plant your garden. The right vegetable garden location can determine how well your veggies prospers, and can also make caring for it much more manageable.
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