Nearly a third of us are now growing our own fruit, and with retailers reporting rocketing sales of fruit plants it looks set to become just as popular as homegrown veg.
Fruit plant sales on the up
B&Q has seen a 26% jump in sales of edible fruit plants this year compared to last, with their most popular being grapes, followed by strawberries.
Fruit supplier Ken Muir has seen an increase in fruit sales, too, along with more catalogue and newsletter subscriptions. Blackmoor fruit nursery saw an increase of 17% in 2009, 18% in 2010 and 20% this year. Its two best-sellers are apples and plums, but peaches and nectarines are also on the up.
The most popular fruits
It seems that apples, plums and strawberries are topping the charts of people’s favourite fruits to grow, with less traditional fruit, such as blueberries, grapes and peaches, steadily catching up. If you want to know how to grow them, read our free guide packed with everything you need to know about how to grow soft fruit.
Why grow your own fruit?
Fruit from the supermarket is pricey – especially soft fruit, which is hard to transport and has a relatively short season. It also has a limited shelf-life and is often, in the case of peaches, plums and nectarines, sold unripe. Picking your own fruit from the garden can reduce your shopping bill, and you can pick only what you need. It’s very satisfying and healthy, too.
Free advice on growing fruit
If you haven’t already tried growing your own fruit, you might be surprised at how easy it is.
Our free guide, ‘grow soft fruit‘, provides easy-to-follow advice on growing soft fruit in your garden, as well as the best varieties to try.
Also, read our free factsheets on growing fruit, vegetables and nuts for further advice on pruning fruit trees and growing unusual varieties.
Which fruit varieties are worth buying?
Which? Gardening regularly tests different fruit varieties to find the ones that perform best throughout the season, provide the biggest crop and have the best flavour. If you’re thinking about growing fruit, we recommend these varieties:
Eating apples: ‘Discovery’, ‘Elstar’, ‘Fiesta’, ‘Golden Delicious’ and ‘Pixie’
Cooking apples: ‘Bountiful’, ‘Bramley’s Seedling’ and ‘Edward VII’
Plums: ‘Cambridge Gage’, ‘Czar’, ‘Marjorie’s Seedling’ and ‘Victoria’
Strawberries: ‘Darlisette’, ‘Malwina’ and ‘Sonata’
Put us to the test
If we can’t back something up, we won’t say it. When you come to us, you get informed answers. Whatever you’re buying, we can help you make the right choice. Try Which? today for £1.
We test thousands of products and services that people want to buy, from fruit, veg and flowers to lawnmowers and hedgetrimmers. Our information and advice put you in control. We care about what matters to you – so, when we put products through their paces, we test how you would use them to uncover how they really perform.