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Fresh, locally grown fruit

5
Reasons
to

Grow
FRUIT

 

 

Whether you most appreciate the luscious flavor, health benefits, or visual appeal that fresh fruit brings to the table, it is easier now than ever to grow your own — and to harvest throughout the season. Fruit production involves systems that are a little different from those of vegetables, for planting, cultivation, harvesting, and post-harvest handling, so it's new territory for some growers. With a selection of fruit seed, bare-root plants, and plugs from Johnny's, however, you can enjoy all the benefits fruit has to offer across a wide production window, extending the harvest from spring, across summer, and into the fall.

Here are five good reasons to get started.

FlavorBetter Flavor

For many, the superior flavor of fresh fruit is reason enough to grow their own. For those who grow for a living, the eating quality of their produce speaks for itself: Locovores prize the flavor of produce that skips the long truck ride and reaches the table at peak eating quality. Farmers' market customers flock to vendors with locally grown fruit for sale. CSA members develop stronger ties to farms that supply a wider range of fresh produce. Chefs can highlight the farm-to-table link by listing the provenance of their fruit on dessert menus. And back at home, even the most finicky eaters will snack on tender, naturally sweet ripe berries.


Nutrition Better Nutrition

Fruit consumption is on the rise, thanks in part to findings on its powerful health benefits. Many of the phytochemicals that lend fruit its attractive coloration, aroma, and flavor are also phytonutrients that shore up the immune system, counteract free radicals, support strong bones, and aid in the prevention of cancer, cardiovascular disease, and age-associated cognitive decline. People can feel great about eating fruit!


Easy to Grow Easier to Grow

Fresh, homegrown berry flavor
Fresh berries — easier to grow than ever
Berries and other fruits are easier to grow than ever before. New varieties, production practices, and tools provide options for growers in every region. With proper site selection and preparation, many fruits require minimal maintenance throughout the growing season — especially brambles, blueberries, and rhubarb. Plastic mulches reduce the need for year-round weeding of perennial fruit plants. Berries in particular are popular crops for the hoophouse, because protection from the elements can produce extraordinary yields of high-quality fruits. (See Growing Fruit under Cover.)


Fruit Harvest Program Wider Harvest Window

Johnny's fruit varieties have been selected to fill a sequence of harvest slots, and we offer a number of widely adaptable berry cultivars. Many berry plants need time to reach full fruit-bearing productivity, and the 1–3-year wait for those varieties is worthwhile. Meanwhile, you can plant some of the newer fruit varieties that bear earlier to fill in the gaps. Prime Ark Freedom Blackberry, for example, bears fruit on thornless, first-year canes. To learn more, watch this video » from University of Arkansas cane fruit breeder and professor of horticulture, John R. Clark, PhD. For more details on season extension, refer to our Blueberry, Raspberry, and Strawberry Harvest Programs.


Bottom LineBigger Bottom Line

Home gardeners save money by growing their own fruit. Commercial growers can charge a premium for fresh, ripe fruit, which not only adds visual attraction to farmstand offerings but provides the key ingredient for value-added products (such as blueberry jam) that can be sold or consumed at any time of year. Strawberry plants can be grown from seed for pack sales. Seascape, Gasana, and Tarpan strawberry plants are great for hanging baskets, container sales, and gifts. And our certified-organic strawberry plugs can save you growing time, maximize efficiency of space, and jumpstart the greenhouse season. And because we offer plants in small quantities, growers can trial a range of commercial varieties without a big upfront expenditure.

Getting Started

Fruit Collections for Season-wide Harvesting
Start with a collection designed to fill each seasonal slot
For season-long harvesting, plant one or more of our collections, or use our Fruit Harvest Charts to select a complement of fruit cultivars to fill each slot.
We select our fruit varieties on the basis of outstanding flavor, appearance, and yield across the widest possible harvest window. When you're looking to decide which varieties will best suit your needs, be sure to take note of the harvest times offered by each variety.

If you're new to growing fruit, our Fruit Plant Collections offer a convenient way to get started. We offer a Blueberry Collection, a Red Raspberry Collection, and a Strawberry Collection, each of which include early, mid, and late-season varieties to help you maximize your harvest. For more information on selecting a complement of varieties to fill your harvest slots, see our Fruit Harvest Programs.



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