Let Love Grow: Benefits of Fruit-Bearing Trees & Vines
Let me be honest with you for a few minutes (I mean, I'm always honest with you, but you know what I mean). There was a time in my life when I did not have a green thumb. Like, at all. In fact it was probably more like a black thumb or a rotting thumb or a why-can't-you-even-keep-a-cactus-alive thumb. (If this is you, there is hope! You can grow all sorts of things, I promise you!). So, in those days growing anything seemed far-fetched, much less vines and trees that get humongous.
Let me let you in on a little secret, though.
Fruit-bearing trees and vines are one of the easiest things you can grow, care for, and maintain. I promise you. Here are some benefits of fruit-bearing trees and vines, along with some tips on growing and caring for them:
They need little maintenance
As mentioned above, fruit-bearing trees and vines need very little maintenance once they start growing. When they are small, they will need a little TLC to ensure they thrive in your environment, but after that, they're ready to leave the nest and grow on their own. For new, small trees, I highly recommend watering bags. You just secure them around the tree, zip them up, fill them with water, and the water will slowly release throughout the day. You should only fill the watering bag every 5-7 days, so once a week would be fine to check on it! That's nothing compared to the water needed for smaller vegetable plants. As the trees start to get taller and stronger, you won't even need the watering bags anymore.
They produce year after year
Fruit-bearing trees and vines will produce year after year without any care whatsoever. The first fruit-bearing plants I planted were a fig tree and a blueberry bush. The teeny tiny ones you get at the garden store in the little bags that fit right in your hand. That was years ago and they still produce every year without any sort of care at all. I water them occasionally when I water the garden, but only because I'm right there. They sit outside all winter long and as soon as spring weather returns, they begin producing gorgeous green leaves, and later fruit.
They provide shade
Most large fruit-bearing trees (think: apples, peaches, pears) provide wonderful shade for your home, which, in turn could lower your electricity bill!
They multiply all on their own
Fruits with lots of seeds in them, like the blackberries shown above, will multiple exponentially all on their own. If you have limited space, this might not be such a good thing, but if you have plenty of area for them to multiply (say, on the very edge of your yard or near a wooded area), they will continuously grow and produce for you. I have more blackberries than I know what to do with these days!
Even if you grow more fruit than you know what to do with (which can happen if you plant a lot of trees and vines!), you have so many options for saving and preserving them. Obviously, you can eat them fresh, but you can also bake with them, freeze them, juice them, and make jam with them. All easy and great ideas for entertaining and gift-giving!
Before this year, I planted blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, grapes and figs. This year, I added peach trees, and pear trees, plum trees; and we have three apple trees on our property, too. Besides the watering bags, we've done nothing else to them and they are thriving already! If you have the space, I highly encourage you to try planting a fruit-bearing tree or vine and see just how easy the fruits of your labor produce (Is that a horribly lame pun?).