Raspberry 'Little Sweet Sister' from Thompson & Morgan
Try growing Raspberry ‘Little Sweet Sister’ in containers on the balcony for early crops of deliciously sweet fruit
Image: Raspberry ‘Little Sweet Sister’ from Thompson & Morgan

Do you want to grow fresh fruit in your garden, allotment or balcony? We’ve brought together a wealth of expert videos and articles to help you choose the best fruit plants to grow so that you can harvest bumper crops of delicious produce. Everything you need to know to start growing fruit is here, whether it’s classic berries and currants or exotic melons and kiwi fruit.

Tanya Anderson – Lovely Greens

Tanya from Lovely Greens next to berry bush
Tanya of Lovely Greens grows nine different fruits in her beautiful allotment garden
Image: Lovely Greens

A jostaberry (Casseille) is a hybrid of the gooseberry and blackcurrant, explains Tanya of Lovely Greens. This hybrid combines the best features of the parent plants, and produces large sweet black berries. Try planting less well known varieties in your garden but, says Tanya, remember to net your fruit bushes just before the berries start to ripen to hold off marauding pigeons. If you’re looking for inspiration, find out which nine favourite berry bushes Tanya grows in her fruit patch.

Thompson & Morgan blog

Pink Currant ‘Gloire de Sablon’ from Thompson & Morgan
Pink currants are rarely available in the supermarket and make show-stopping cake decorations
Image: Pink Currant ‘Gloire de Sablon’ from Thompson & Morgan

Over on Thompson & Morgan’s blog, find everything you need to know about planting and pruning soft fruit. Even if you don’t have a big garden, there are lots of fruits that grow well in containers. Pink currants are an excellent choice for your patio or balcony, producing delicious fruits and requiring very little maintenance other than a light prune in the winter months. Try our popular pink currant ‘Gloire de Sablon’ for something you can’t buy in the supermarket. 

Kelly – Kelly’s Kitchen Garden 

Planting strawberry runners in beds
Allow plenty of space between strawberry plants in your fruit bed
Image: Kelly’s Kitchen Garden

Watch as dedicated homesteader Kelly, creator of popular YouTube channel Kelly’s Kitchen Garden, plants up a brand new soft fruit bed with blueberries, strawberries and blackcurrants. Kelly leaves plenty of space between her new strawberry fruit plants, which she says allows them to get nice and big and produce lots of fruit. The added bonus? “They have lots of space to throw out their runners come the autumn,” she says, encouraging free plants to grow for next year’s harvest. 

Claire Burgess – Claire’s Allotment

Watering currant bushes at base
Water new currant bushes at the base to make sure water penetrates down to the roots
Image: Claire’s Allotment 

After you’ve planted a new blackcurrant bush, water it really well at the base of the plant, says Claire of popular YouTube channel Claire’s Allotment. And, she adds, don’t use the rosette setting on your watering can as this spreads the water too much and prevents it from reaching deep down into the roots. If you want to add compost to your newly planted currant, Claire suggests that you check to see if it contains added slow-release fertiliser – you don’t want to damage your plants by accidentally overfeeding later on!

Stella Bell – @stellabellaestampa 

Redcurrant meringue pie
Turn your redcurrant glut into a tasty meringue pie
Image: @stellabellaestampa

Have you got a glut of redcurrants on your hands? See how Instagrammer @stellabellaestampa freezes part of her crop for use later in the year when fresh berries are no longer available. If your redcurrants aren’t quite looking their best, she suggests disguising them in an impressive (and easy) meringue pie to wow friends and family. Don’t forget to leave a few for the birds to enjoy too. Head over to Stella’s post for the recipe!

Ben Vanheems – GrowVeg

Dessert gooseberry variety
Dessert gooseberry varieties can be picked and eaten straight from the bush
Image: GrowVeg

Are you a newcomer to fruit growing? Try starting with gooseberries, says Ben of Youtube channel GrowVeg. Gooseberries, he explains, “are hardy, grow easily in most soil types, and self pollinate so you can start your fruit journey with just one plant.” Ben’s excellent video explains the difference between culinary and dessert varieties, and shows you how to grow gooseberries from planting to harvest.

Tony O’Neill – Simplify Gardening

Pruning gooseberry braches
Prune your gooseberry branches back to a vertical bud to encourage better fruiting.
Image: Simplify Gardening

Gooseberries usually fruit from vertical growth, explains Tony of Simplify Gardening. Watch him demonstrate how to prune your gooseberries in this helpful video, as he cuts horizontal branches back down to their first upright shoots. Tony compares the shape of a well pruned gooseberry bush to a goblet, emphasizing the hollow middle which encourages air flow and discourages pests like sawfly from laying their eggs on the exposed leaves. 

Emma – The Unconventional Gardener

Blueberry 'Spartan' from Thompson & Morgan
Grow blueberries for super sweet summer berries
Image: Blueberry ‘Spartan’ from Thompson & Morgan

The pH you’re trying to achieve is between 4 and 5” for blueberries, advises Emma, AKA The Unconventional Gardener. If your garden soil is naturally alkaline, she recommends growing your plants in containers of ericaceous compost and using rainwater to water this acid loving fruit. Emma’s article: Blueberries: grow your own superfood, is packed full of practical pointers that will help new and established growers alike. 

Sue Sanderson – Thompson & Morgan

Cutting back blueberry stems
Cut back the old woody stems at the very base to keep your blueberry bush healthy
Image: Thompson & Morgan

Blueberries produce different buds for fruiting and leaf growth, which is important to recognise when you prune your bushes. Watch as Thompson & Morgan’s resident horticulturalist, Sue Sanderson, demonstrates how to prune a blueberry bush, removing only dead and damaged older stems to keep the plants healthy and producing plenty of fruit. 

Gary O’Neill – The Allotment Garden and Kitchen

Raspberry 'Polka' from Thompson & Morgan
Autumn fruiting raspberries produce fruit on the fresh growth produced in the spring
Image: Raspberry ‘Polka’ from Thompson & Morgan

There are two different types of fruiting raspberry plants, says Gary from The Allotment Garden and Kitchen. Summer raspberries fruit on the previous year’s growth, and are technically known as floricanes. Autumn raspberries fruit on fresh spring growth and are called primocanes. Gary shows you how to recognise the two types, important when it comes to pruning and helping first year raspberry growers get a crop. Check out his friendly and informative video ‘how to grow raspberries’ for lots more top tips. 

Rich and Nick – Two Thirsty Gardeners

Raspberry 'Glen Prosen' from Thompson & Morgan
Raspberry jam is delicious and simple to make
Image: Raspberry ‘Glen Prosen’ from Thompson & Morgan

The number one use of a raspberry glut for the Two Thirsty Gardenersis a good old boozy mashup. They explain that the acid in the fruit makes it perfect for making all sorts of drinks, from whisky to beer. But Rich and Nick also recommend making your own jam. If you want to preserve raspberries to enjoy over the winter months, simply “put the same weight of fruit and sugar (use the stuff with added pectin) in a pan, squeeze in some lemon juice, bring to the boil and let it bubble for 10 to 15 minutes.” 

Huw Richards

Blackberry 'Reuben' from Thompson & Morgan
‘Tip layering’ blackberries creates easy new plants ready for potting up and sharing.
Image: Blackberry ‘Reuben’ from Thompson & Morgan

When layering your berries, such as blackberries and loganberries, remember to lightly wound the stem with a knife to encourage rooting, says Huw Richards. Secure the wounded stem section down on the soil with a stick so the new plant can develop. Watch as Huw expertly demonstrates his two favourite methods, tip layering and simple layering, effective for strawberries and gooseberries too. 

Woody – Cumbrian Homestead

Loganberries from Thompson & Morgan
A loganberry is a tasty cross between a blackberry and a raspberry
Image: Loganberry plants from Thompson & Morgan

If a huge harvest of one fruit crop starts to become too much to deal with, don’t be afraid to remove a bush or two to make way for a new type of fruit says Woody, creator of youtube channel Cumbrian Homestead. Watch his video as he replaces a gooseberry with a loganberry and shows off his ingenious post and wire support. Top tip from Woody — add a handful of blood, fish and bone into the planting hole to get your new berry bush off to the best start.

Claire – @pegsplot

Strawberry 'Just Add Cream' flowers
Strawberry ‘Just Add Cream’ produces delicious fruit and pink flowers
Image: @pegsplot

Strawberry season is a much anticipated time of the year for Instagrammer Claire, creator of @pegsplot. Take a look at her post about the gorgeous pink-flowering strawberry ‘Just Add Cream’, an unusual variety with pretty flowers and super sweet scented fruit. Claire says that ‘Just Add Cream’ ticks all the boxes for a smaller garden, being both ornamental and productive. “That first warm strawberry straight from the plant won’t be too far off now, and I hope it’s the same for you” she says!

James Middleton – The Allotment Garden

Melon 'Perseus' F1 Hybrid from Thompson & Morgan
Nothing beats a freshly picked home grown melon for breakfast
Image: Melon ‘Perseus’ F1 Hybrid from Thompson & Morgan

You don’t need a greenhouse to grow melons in the UK, says James Middleton of The Allotment Garden – try using a cold frame instead. According to James a cold frame is a cheap and easy way to increase the temperature, and you can simply prop the lid open on a really hot day. When his melon plants mature, James selects the 4 best fruits on each vine and removes all the others. Check out his fantastic article and find out how to grow your own juicy melons outdoors.

Holly H – @mummybeargrows

Watermelon vines in greenhouse
Watermelon vines can be trained up a strong support or trellis
Image: @mummybeargrows

Instagrammer Holly H of @mummybeargrows shares a great picture of her watermelon flowers and miniature developing fruit, after sowing a couple of Thompson & Morgan’s Melon ‘Mini Love’ F1 hybrid seeds. If you want to have a go at growing your own watermelons, Holly says you’ll need plenty of space. She says, “I can already see that the biggest issue I’m going to have is supporting the sprawling vine and any growing fruit in my already packed 2x3m tunnel.” Check out the rest of Holly’s post for the whole story!

Elena – @little_green_tomato

Melon Alvaro being held
Melon ‘Alvaro’ will fully ripen when grown outdoors in the UK
Image: @little_green_tomato

Grow Melon ‘Alvaro’ says Instagrammer Elena of @little_green_tomato: “It needed hardly any attention and didn’t take much room at all, just tucked behind the tomatoes.” If you’re unsure when your melons are properly ripe for harvesting, Elena said the smell in her polytunnel gave them away! A polytunnel is the perfect place to grow melons, however Alvaro can be grown outdoors in the UK too. Check out Elena’s post for a pic of her enticing freshly sliced melon!

John Harrison – Allotment & Gardens

Kiwi ‘Jenny’ from Thompson & Morgan
Kiwi ‘Jenny’ is a self fertile variety that is also hardy in the UK’s climate
Image: Visions BV, Netherlands

Make sure you grow a male and female kiwi plant to encourage fruiting, advises John Harrison of blog Allotment & Gardens. “All female varieties tend to crop better so long as there is a male plant nearby to pollinate them. The ideal ratio is one male per three or four females,” says John. If you would rather grow just one vine, he recommends planting a self pollinating variety that will crop reliably without any other kiwis around. John’s article is a fantastic guide containing everything you need to get started growing kiwis outdoors.

@poppyokotcha

@poppyokotcha holding up foraged wild kiwis
Poppy Okotcha foraging wild kiwis that thrive in the UK’s climate
Image: @poppyokotcha

For @poppyokotcha, growing her own kiwi vine ensures that she can avoid buying expensive and unethically produced kiwi fruit. Expect your vine to fruit three years after planting, says Poppy, and treat the plant like a long term investment. It grows hard and fast though, so make sure you give your vine something sturdy to climb up. Check out her favourite varieties to grow and find more essential kiwi tips in her excellent Instagram post.

Dan – Home Gardens

Grape 'Phoenix' from Thompson & Morgan
Grow dessert grapes to pick and eat straight from the vine
Image: Grape ‘Phoenix’ from Thompson & Morgan

Always choose a wooden container to grow your grape vines in, says Dan of Home Gardens. That’s because grapes don’t like to have warm roots, and wooden pots absorb less heat than black plastic. Dan stresses that grape vines need to be moved outdoors for a short period during the winter months as the cold stimulates growth and keeps the plant healthy. Remember to check the variety too. You don’t want to pick a bitter wine grape expecting a sweet dessert flavour! Check out Dan’s video to learn how to grow grapes in containers

Ann Marie Hendry – @that.vegetablist

Cape gooseberries in a greenhouse
Grow cape gooseberries inside a greenhouse for the best fruit yields
Image: @that.vegetablist

Ann Marie Hendry of Instagram page @that.vegetablist  grows her two cape gooseberry plants inside a greenhouse, describing them as the ‘surprise hit of the year’ after harvesting 160 fruits! Ann Marie reminds us that plants can be cut back completely at the end of the year — especially after frost damage and a botrytis hit. Remember to give your plants plenty of space to develop, she says. Check out Ann’s cape gooseberry plants at her Instagram now.

We hope you’ve enjoyed our selection of fantastic fruit growing content, and have found plenty of inspiration to get you started! Find more advice on growing and selecting the right fruit for your garden at our dedicated fruit hub page. We always love to hear from you – please share your own fruit growing successes with us via #YourTMGarden on social media. Happy planting!

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