Using Fences, Walls, and Espaliers to Grow Fruit

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Plant new trees and shrub in the fall—or, in more severe climate regions, in the spring. Ever grown berries on a wall or grapevines on a fence? How about fruits as an edible hedge to your garden? See how!

Trained Fruit Trees

Apples, peaches and pears can be grown against a wall or fence in trained forms such as fans, espaliers or single-stemmed cordons. Walls that face the midday and afternoon sun will help to ripen fruits and are great for warmth-loving fruits such as figs.
You can also train fruit trees along freestanding post-and-wire supports to make screens or divide up areas within your garden.

Vining Fruits

Some fruits, including grapevines and kiwi fruits, will soon cover a wall or fence if grown on strong, sturdy supports.

Wall-hugging Berries

Redcurrants, whitecurrants and gooseberries can be trained as fans against a wall, or encourage blackberries to ramble along wire supports.

You can add these fruits and more to our Garden Planner. Select the ‘Fruit and Nuts’ option from the drop-down menu, then add the plant you wish to grow to your plan. For more unusual fruits, select one of the generic fruit types then double-click on it. Select a variety from the drop down list, or create your own variety.

Hedgerow Fruits and Nuts 

Many fall-cropping shrubs can be planted as a hedge. Make sure to grow hedgerow plants with others of similar growth habit and pruning requirements for ease of maintenance.

Include a rowan (mountain ash) for berries that can be used to make jelly to go with meats; rambling roses for their hips; elder for its flowers and berries, both used for wine-making; hazel for nuts and stems that can be turned into plant supports and wicker hurdles; and pectin-rich crab apples, useful in jam-making.

Stock- and people-proof hedges of blackthorn also produce sloes, which are popular for making sloe gin. Hawthorn leaves and flowers can be used in salads, or use the berries to make fruit leathers.

Use our online Almanac Garden Planner to best plan your trees, vines, and shrubs!
 

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