While attending an Austin culinary arts program, you may want to learn about growing your own ingredients. Windowsill planters are great for herbs, and if you have the space, you can grow an entire garden full of veggies and items to use in your cooking. But what about fruits? Instead of heading to a farmers market to buy citrus and other fruits, try growing them at your own home. Here are a few kinds to consider planting:
There are hundreds of apple varieties to suit your needs. Are you looking for sour ones to use in baking? Maybe you’d rather be able to eat one right off the branch. Apple trees are hardy and can last through cold temperatures. They do take up a lot of room and produce quite a bit of fruit, so keep that in mind when considering planting one. According to How Stuff Works, apple trees start making fruit when they are around 4 years old and can continue bearing fruit for up to 100 years. That’s a lot of apple pie!
Peaches are self-pollinators. If you buy one peach at the store, you can soak and plant the fruit’s pit and have a peach-laden tree within three years. Warmer climates in the Southern U.S. are famous for growing giant, luscious peaches that are amazing to eat right off the tree. They also are key ingredients in juices, jellies and jams. They are even used in soft drinks and candies. If you’re looking for a sweet fruit, you may enjoy growing a peach tree in your back yard.
Texas is a great place to grow citrus. The hot, dry climate is an excellent place for lemons, limes, grapefruit and oranges to grow. If you don’t have a lot of room (or a yard) to keep a fruit tree in, opt for a dwarf version. These trees will not grow nearly as large as their outdoor cousins and can be grown inside so long as they have full sunlight and warmth. Plant some oranges or grapefruits if you want to enjoy a fresh one for breakfast or a snack. If you consider yourself a mixologist and like experimenting with different alcoholic beverages, you might enjoy having a lemon or lime tree at hand.
Pears are very close relative to apples. The way they seed and the structure of their cores are very similar. They also happen to grow well in like climates. Pears can be used in many dishes – as a part of a marinade for a juicy steak, in a reduction sauce to be added to ice cream or cake and even as bruschetta. These trees bear a lot of fruit, so you may want to take up jam-making to keep up with them.
Yes, technically avocados are fruit. If you seriously love guacamole, this is the tree for you. According to Tree Hugger, these full-size trees can take as long as 15 years to produce avocados. For a quicker version, look for a grafted or dwarf tree. They are much smaller and can be moved indoors in case of frost. They require a large container and may need to be repotted every several years to provide the most likely chance of survival, but how cool is it to grow your own avocados?
Keep in mind
If you are not planning to plant several trees of the same kind, you’ll want to look for self-pollinators. These trees don’t need another tree of a different flower sex to pollinate and produce fruit. Apples, plums and pears don’t need a counterpart and some varieties of citrus are also self-sufficient. Ask the grower if you are unsure about the pollination process of a specific kind of plant.