Home Fruit Growing

Course CodeAHT104
Fee CodeS1
Duration (approx)100 hours
QualificationStatement of Attainment
  

Imagine picking healthy, nutritious, chemical-free, home-grown fruit


There is nothing like eating fruit as soon as you pick it, straight from your own garden.

Have you always wanted to grow your own fruit at home, but weren't sure where to start?


Start here, learn the basics of fruit growing and start growing your own fruit at home.

Save money, eat healthy fresh fruit that you have grown! Growing fruit is so rewarding in so many ways!

You will learn about:
  • Selecting the most ideal fruit for your area- cool and warm climates are covered
  • Growing berries, fruit trees, nuts and vine fruit
  • Improving soil fertility
  • Controlling pests and diseases without using dangerous chemicals

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Lesson Structure

There are 6 lessons in this course:

  1. Introduction
    • An overview of the different types of fruits & nuts:
    • Citrus
    • Berry Fruits
    • Nuts
    • Vines
    • Pome Fruits
    • Stone Fruits
  2. Soils, site preparation & planning.
    • Understanding soil nutrition
    • Fertilising fruit & nut plants
    • Managing soil for your fruit & nut plants
  3. General Cultural Practices
    • Learning about fruit trees to produce more & better fruit
    • Identifying pests and diseases
    • Watering requirements
    • Pruning
  4. Tree Fruits
    • Problem solving issues with fruit trees
    • Fruit trees ideal for your area
  5. Nuts and Vines
    • How to grow in selected areas
    • Description of different nut trees and various vines
  6. Berries
    • Ideal areas for growing berries
    • Timeline for growing berries
    • Conditions for growing berries

Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.

Aims

  • To develop an understanding of the possibilities for growing fruit at home.
  • To better manage soil for growing fruit crops.
  • To manage the growth of fruiting plants in a way that will produce better fruit.
  • To select and grow tree fruit plants in a home situation.
  • To select and grow vines and nuts in a home situation.
  • To select and grow berry fruit plants in a home situation.

What You Will Do

  • Select part of a home garden where the owner would like to grow fruit. Consider the good and bad points about the site and the suitability of different types of fruits to the situation.
  • Take a sample of soil from an area you might consider growing fruit in. Using the method set out in the gardening manual provided with the course, name the soil.
  • Look at the buds on the wood of three different species of fruit. Draw what you see, and label where you think the buds are fruit buds, and where you think they are vegetative buds.
  • Observe the way in which fruit trees are trained or pruned in your locality.
  • Visit a local hardware store, nursery or irrigation shop and look at drip and micro irrigation equipment which is for sale. Take note of the various components of these systems, how they fit together and how they work.
  • Identify pests and diseases in a garden which you have visited.
  • Select 4 different fruits from those you have read about which are grown in your area.
    • For each one, research which varieties of that fruit are commonly grown, and why they are grown.
  • Plan the development of a berry growing area for a backyard. Contact companies, visit nurseries and check the availability, quality and prices of berry plants you would like to grow on your site (or proposed site). Work with an imaginary site if you do not have a real life situation to deal with.
  • Contact Department of Agriculture to obtain relevant information (eg: leaflets, booklets, details about advisory services etc) which relates to fruit growing.

What Fruit Can You Grow at Home?

Growing fruiting plants can be a wonderful addition to your edible garden and pantry supplies in the kitchen when you collect up all your seasonal harvests. 

To grow fruit well in any garden choosing the correct site, the right plants to suit your climate and allocating the amount enough space for them to grow well are important decisions, as they are much more permanent than vegetables.

Fruiting plants will become a part of the whole framework for a garden. Most gardens can fit in at least a few as there are creepers like strawberries, cane fruits such as raspberries, climbers and vines including Chinese gooseberry, passion fruit, grapes and various shrubs and trees such as currants, blueberries, apples and pome fruit, tropical fruits as well as citrus. Many varieties of these, especially the larger growing ones are available in dwarf forms as well as multi-grafted specimens. These have several varieties grafted varieties of plant on the one trunk. Some of the taller trees such as apples and pears can also be espaliered and or grown in large pots, which will also reduce their size,  for sites where space limited.

  • Most common deciduous tree fruits take at least 3 to 4 years to crop well from planting.
  • Strawberries crop well in the first year. Blueberries take several years to produce strongly.
  • Walnuts and chestnuts can take 5 to 7 years before you get reasonable crops.

Berries are a wonderful crop to grow. Unlike other fruits, most berries are small plants, able to be grown in smaller places, they are faster to mature, and often give you a crop in their first year. Though most berries come from temperate climates, you can also grow at least some types in much warmer areas, as long as they receive ample water and appropriate protection.

Strawberries are one of the most popular berries for home gardens. They can be grown in a wide range of climates ranging from cool temperate regions to cooler positions in tropical areas.

Strawberries bear fruit for up to six months, with each plant yielding up to half a kilogram of delicious fruit each year. Strawberries are used fresh, marketed frozen, processed in foods such as jam and ice cream, or used to flavour drinks such as milkshakes.   

They will benefit from protection against frosts, and against cold and wet conditions during autumn or steamy wet conditions that would encourage fungal rots and other diseases. Movable plastic tunnels known as cloches can give some protection and controlled environment hot houses.

Strawberries prefer deep, well drained, slightly acid to slightly alkaline soils, avoid heavy clay soils. They are heavy feeders, so apply of large amounts of well-rotted organic matter such as composts and manures, prior to planting. Side dressings of fertilisers or cow manure during active growth periods are also important. Regular moisture is important for good fruit production.

HOW THIS COURSE MAY HELP YOU

  • Save money on your food bills
  • Produce extra fruit to make preserves that last the whole year
  • Have fresher, tastier and more nutritious food for a healthier and happier family
  • Indulge you inner gardener and gain the immense satisfaction that comes from growing it yourself

Learning the basics of growing fruit and nuts is a special skill. Knowing how to grow your own fruit can be beneficial to your health in many ways- not just by eating fresh, healthy fruit as well as the healthy benefits that gardening offers- both physical and psychological! 

 
Start growing fresh fruit, berries and nuts efficiently and economically in your own garden now.  


 
 

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Credentials

Member of the Institute of Horticulture Careers Advisory Bureau
Member of the Institute of Horticulture Careers Advisory Bureau

ACS Global Partner - Affiliated with colleges in seven countries around the world.
ACS Global Partner - Affiliated with colleges in seven countries around the world.

Member Nursery and Garden Industry Association
Member Nursery and Garden Industry Association

ACS is recognised by the International Accreditation and Recognition Council
ACS is recognised by the International Accreditation and Recognition Council



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  Rosemary Davies

Leading horticultural expert in Australia. Rosemary trained in Horticultural Applied Science at Melbourne University. Initially she worked with Agriculture Victoria as an extension officer, taught horticulture students, worked on radio with ABC radio (clocking up over 24 years as a presenter of garden talkback programs, initially the only woman presenter on gardening in Victoria) and she simultaneously developed a career as a writer. She then studied Education and Training, teaching TAFE apprentices and developing curriculum for TAFE, before taking up an offer as a full time columnist with the Herald and Weekly Times and its magazine department after a number of years as columnist with the Age. She has worked for a number of companies in writing and publications, PR community education and management and has led several tours to Europe. In 1999 Rosemary was BPW Bendigo Business Woman of the Year and is one of the founders and the Patron, of the Friends of the Bendigo Botanic gardens. She has completed her 6th book this year and is working on concepts for several others. Rosemary has a B Ed, BSc Hort, Dip Advertising & Marketing
  Robert James

B.App. Sc. (Horticulture), Dip.Ag., M.Sc., Grad Dip.Mgt. Over 50 years experience that includes, Nursery Manager Brisbane City Councoil, Grounds Manager (University of Qld), Lecturer Qld Agricultural College, Propagator/Nurseryman at Aspley Nursery, Horticulturist, Horticultural Scientist, and Horticultural Consultant
  Dr. Lynette Morgan

Broad expertise in horticulture and crop production. She travels widely as a partner in Suntec Horticultural Consultants, and has clients in central America, the USA, Caribbean, South East Asia, the Middle East, Australia and New Zealand.
  Maggi Brown

Maggi is regarded as an expert in organic growing throughout the UK, having worked for two decades as Education Officer at the world renowned Henry Doubleday Research Association. She has been active in education, environmental management and horticulture across the UK for more than three decades. Some of Maggi's qualifications include RHS Cert. Hort. Cert. Ed. Member RHS Life Member Garden Organic (HDRA) .
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Learn how to grow vegetables, fruit, cut flowers, herbs and other plants hydroponically. This classic is now re-published with new images, a new layout and revised text. A must have resource for anyone who wants to grow hydroponically.
  Fruit, Vegetables and Herbs
Home grown produce somehow has a special quality. Some say it tastes better, others believe it is just healthier. And there is no doubt it is cheaper! Watching plants grow from seed to harvest and knowing that the armful of vegies and herbs you have just gathered for the evening meal will be on the table within an hour or two of harvest, can be an exciting and satisfying experience.
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