I live in the south, and am attracted to the idea of growing fruits: fruit trees.
Many local organic farmers, some very small scale, produce fruits already here (Aude, Pyrenees Orientales) so I am not thinking of becoming a farmer and make a business out of it, just doing it for pleasure.
However I am a city woman and know nothing about it. I wonder if anyone who when s/he started knew not a thing about fruit growing, went brave and is now enjoying and picking his/her fruits :)
lucky old you down in the South you should be able to grow almost any top fruit; plums cherries apples apriots etc.
The Royal Horticultural Society of Great Britain publish an excellent handbook in conjunction with Mitchell Beazley called "Growing Fruit" which is a fairly comprehensive introduction. Published price should be around 10GBP.
Have a good look round local nurseries and plant suppliers and see what varieties they are selling. They won't want to sell things that don't do flourish locally.
There are a few trees that need similar trees nearby to pollenate them, check this out when you buy them, otherwise if you get one with no pollenator nearby it will never fruit. Some are self pollenating and this means even if you only have the one tree you will get fruit....(hopefully with a following wind etc). It is not that difficult and we are about to start planting fruit trees in our new place but we are lucky we already have quite a few there already just not sure what type of fruit they are! I think one is an apricot but the stones under the tree, hubby thinks plum. 3 are definitely figs. One may be plum round the back or greengage we will see in the summer. It's quite exciting really. Good luck and enjoy!
Hi, Tess, we live near Elne, and came here 25 years ago, and inherited a apricot farm with the house, which we picked and sold for a few years. You will have no trouble with cherries and figs, but things like apples, pears and especially peaches and apricots are prone to fungal attack, and do need to be treated at the appropriate times (generally well before you eat them). Bio people would use sulphur or blue bordelaise, but we used anti-fungal sprays. If you are planting from saplings, you will need to arrange watering ( they say you should spend as much on water as on the tree), and learn how to prune fruit trees. Hope this helps.
We looked at various sites on the internet and bought cider apple ' whips ' from Adams Apples in Dorset. We brought them over with us and friends brought other varieties when visiting. We just listened to his advice and went for it ! Don't expect any fruit from trees for several years and accept what the weather throughs at you too ! We came here 5 years ago and maybe will get a harvest this year as the weather has not been kind. Alternatively, the Brit run garden centre called Arbres et Abeilles in dept 16, again you can find them with google, get their stock from Adam. Good luck !
Not much to it actually. Buy tree > dig big hole > mix cheval with wood ash and soil from hole > drop tree into hole and back fill with previously mentioned mixture > stake the tree > cover planting site with pine bark as mulch > have a glass of wine.
I did this with a cerise mourette three years ago. First year was stick with leaves. Second year a few cherries which the birds immediately ate when ripe. Third year the stick had increased to an undesirable height but was making nice side branches and produced many more cherries - which the birds ate. I topped the tree this winter to a manageable height that can be easily covered with a bird net come time for ripening cherries. This summer hopefully my efforts will "bear fruit."
I knew absolutely nothing about cultivating fruit but am a greedy pig & have lots of greedy piglets so over the years I have planted different varieties of each of the following: cherries, plums, greengages, apricots, peaches, nectarines, pears, apples, persimmons, medlars, nashis, walnuts, hazelnuts, figs, as well as soft fruit which all produce lots of fruit (sometimes too much) and I don't do much to them - I don't use any really nasty chemicals on them just the ones that claim to be 'bio' (& still contain some fairly nasty things). I am going to plant black & white mulberries next. It is just a question of suiting the tree to your soil (look it up online or get a book) planting & staking them and then making sure you water them well for at least the first 3 years.