Home Fruit Growing

Learn how to grow fresh fruit, berries and nuts efficiently and economically in your own home garden!

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

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Learn how to grow fruit at home!


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 begin growing your own fruit at home!

You will learn how to:

  • Grow fresh fruit, berries and nuts efficiently and economically.
  • Choose the best fruits for your situation.
  • Raise soil fertility.
  • Control pests and diseases naturally without using dangerous chemicals.

Both cool and warm climate fruits are covered, and throughout the course you are given the option to focus your study on the types of fruits you are most interested in.

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.


  • 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.


  • 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.  

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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
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 (c
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, Hort
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