Top 1o Super Fruits You Can Grow Yourself

The term superfood has become somewhat of a buzz word over recent years and you’ve probably heard of the benefits these nutrient-rich ingredients can offer.

Don’t be suspicious of the hype, it isn’t an overstatement. More and more research has been done into superfoods backing up findings that they can do more than just boost your vitamin and mineral intake (see a few very interesting articles here, here and here).

These foods can, in fact, help prevent all sorts of chronic diseases, achieve better health and just make you feel happier and healthier.

Mixed _super-fruit-salad

As with all food the fresher the better and what could be fresher than growing your very own superfood parlour fight outside your back door (or even inside your home).

Not only will this save money you’re sure to eat more if you can just grab some whenever that craving for something sweet and juicy strikes (which if you’re like me is really quite often).

Fresh fruit from your garden tastes great and it’ll be fresher and healthier than anything store bought. Fruit is often shipped thousands of miles from where they are grown so growing your own reduces your carbon footprint by saving on both plastic and transport; it’s better for everyone!

If you fancy giving growing your own a go (even a little bit) then it’s really worth the time and effort and don’t worry, all of the plants listed below are pretty easy to grow (some do need a little pruning and TLC) and even if your green fingers aren’t well worked or you don’t have a lot of space you should be able to tackle most of the things on this list.

Nearly all of the plants listed below take a few years before they will fruit when grown from seed so the general rule of thumb is to buy a 2-3 year old sampling from your local nursery (if they have been locally grown and organic even better).

As I live in the UK the advice below will be based around our climate but as long as you live somewhere mild (although it definitely doesn’t feel that way sometimes) and rainy you should be along the right lines if you follow planting times detailed here. Planting times are more important if you’re planning on always keeping your plants outside and unprotected, if you’re keeping your plants inside you can easily bend the rules.

I am a permaculture junkie and try to apply practices wherever possible. Even if you only have a balcony you can grow food and there are a few things we can all do to make our gardening practices as natural and productive as possible. So first things first, check out my top 10 tips for the new gardener!

Plants

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1. Blueberries

Tiny blue rockets of nutrients blueberries are one of my favourite snacks. Perfect on their own or with, well just about any sweet dish. They are brimming with disease-fighting antioxidants as well as plenty of vitamin C and K. They have also been shown to help protect against cancer and heart disease, lower cholesterol and help retain cognitive function.

Being fans of cooler weather makes them a perfect addition to any hedgerow and they do very well in large pots not getting any bigger than 5ft high. They require very little pruning and if you buy a 2-year-old sapling you will only have to wait a year for a good crop of berries that will continue to increase year after year. Make sure to water well and get a few different varieties and you will have beautiful blueberries from late spring till early winter. If you’re really short on space there are some dwarf varieties that still produce a lot of berries.

2. Goji Berries

As a Himalayan species, the Goji berry is well suited to our rather miserable climate either in the ground or a large pot. High in vitamin C, B2, A, iron and antioxidants, they are an awesome superfruit boost to any smoothie or served with oats. Goji berries have also been shown to help prevent eye disease, protect against skin damage and inhibit the growth of cancer cells.

They are quite sour so may not be for everyone but I love them fresh and dried. These guys can get pretty big (up to 10ft tall) so keep them well pruned and give them a good drink every so often but don’t worry about frost or harsh weather. If you look after your plants you can expect a good harvest when the plant is 2 years old (most sapling are sold around the 1 year mark) but could get up to a kilo of berries come it’s 4th birthday. Harvest in mid-summer when the berries are dark red and slightly squidgy.

 

3. Plums

These reliable plants will produce a bumper crop of juicy tart plums that can be used in all sorts of recipes and eaten as a healthy superfruit snack. They contain high levels of antioxidants and you can buy dwarf varieties to go in pots if you don’t have space for one in the ground.

 

The branches will require some support when they fruit in summer and you need to keep on top of watering but they are pretty hardy plants and will look after themselves for the most part. Position in a sheltered but sunny spot to protect the delicate blossoms from any cold spring winds. Purchasing a sapling from a nursery will speed up the process but they are also pretty easy to grow from seed if you have the patience. Self-fertile varieties are also available if you only want one.

 

I love to forage raspberries in autumn but growing your own at home is easy enough and makes sure you have a reliable source for all those superfruit smoothies. High in fibre, vitamins, calcium, iron, potassium and zinc, so you’re really getting a bang for your buck with raspberries. They have also been shown to benefit allergies and help prevent type two diabetes.

They are happier in raised beds but can be grown in fairly deep and long containers. The majority of the plant needs to be trained using canes or a trellis so any ground space they take us is minimal. Being a native species most varieties are hardy to British weather so you are good to keep them outside all year round. Simply remove the branches that produced fruit a few weeks after harvesting and the remaining ones will supply next years bounty. There is a whole host of different varieties that fruit at different times so I would recommend getting a few and trying them out.

5. BlackCurrants

These guys are tiny but hold of a massive amount of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. They have also been shown to reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease, and type two diabetes. These guys do better in the ground (unless you have a very big pot) and are perfect in hedgerows. They require some savage pruning when you collect your berries in late summer/early autumn but apart from that they are very self reliant.

Keep in a sheltered sunny location and make sure you beat the birds to all those lovely berries.The branches will require some support when they fruit in summer and you need to keep on top of watering but they are pretty hardy plants and will look after themselves for the most part. Position in a sheltered but sunny spot to protect the delicate blossoms from any cold spring winds. Purchasing a sapling from a nursery will speed up the process but they are also pretty easy to grow from seed if you have the patience. Self-fertile varieties are also available if you only want one.

6. Cranberries

Cranberry juice has featured in so many detoxes and diets I would be surprised if you weren’t already aware of their health benefits. They are antibacterial so they’re effective against gum diseases or stomach ulcers and they’re also high in vitamin C so are great for you skin. 

They don’t need much pruning but you will have to stay on top of weeds (mulching my friend is the answer to this) as cranberries are very anti-confrontational. Keep in a sunny spot where it isn’t too windy and come late autumn you will have some lovely berries to pick. Don’t worry if you don’t pick them all, birds absolutely love cranberries and will quite possibly beat you to a lot of them if you don’t use a net.

 

 

 

7. Honeyberries

Even the name of these bright blue berries found on a type of honeysuckle plant sounds heavenly. Honeyberries taste similar to blueberries with a (you guessed it) honey like after taste. They are high in antioxidants and vitamins and will help prevent things like heart disease while boosting your immune system. 

The little bushes only get to about 3ft high so can be popped in the smallest of bright corners. Native to Siberia they are very hardy, withstanding temperatures down to -40°C so will laugh at our measly British winters and are good with drought so don’t worry if remembering to water isn’t your forte. You will need at least two as they aren’t self fertile but hey, the more honeyberries the merrier.

 

8. Pomegranates

Pomegranates are a fantastically unusual addition to your garden and they are expensive so you could be saving yourself some money as well as all the health benefits! Full of antioxidants and fibre they are great to throw into a salad for some sweetness and colour. 

Most varieties are very hardy and can withstand temperatures down to -10°C but for the fruits to ripen you may have to wrap your plants in fleece if the summer is a chilly one (is it just me that thinks wrapping plants in blankets to keep them warm is the cutest thing!). They can be grown in a big pot (more than 2ft deep) inside or outside as long as they get plenty of sun when fruiting. They are self-fertile so one will do if that’s all you have space for.

I know you’re thinking; growing oranges? In Britain? This may seem a ridiculous proposition for UK weather but when grown inside in pots the dwarf varieties of orange trees can produce beautiful fruits perfect for tackling those colds with. Packed with vitamins especially vitamin C they are a healthy addition to your morning as a juice or snack.

You should not let the temperature go below 10°C or the plant will become dormant but during the warmth of summer, it’s good to put your orange tree outside and let it get some fresh air. You need a pot at least 1 ft deep to allow your orange tree room to breathe and well-drained soil is really important (these guys really hate excessive watering) so make sure to put stones or broken crockery in the bottom of the pot for drainage.

10. Pumpkins

I know it’s a surprise but pumpkin really is a fruit. These bright orange (or yellow, green and even stripey) squashes are bursting with potassium and beta-carotene helping to prevent high blood pressure. Either in pie or soup they are very tasty (don’t forget the seeds that’s where most of the good stuff is) and after harvesting in October you will be primed and ready to eat and then carve.

These guys are also easy to grow from seed but they do need a little more space than the others. Although you should start the seedlings indoors you will need to move them outside to bed when the last frost has passed. There is loads of varieties of different shapes, sizes and colours so go crazy if you like. Water well and leave fruit on for as long as possible to allow it to ripen and for the skin to go hard.

So now you should have some pretty good ideas about what superfruits you are going to try out this season! 

Thanks for your time, we hope that you’ve enjoyed the article, is there anything you’d recommend that we’ve missed; or is there anything you’d love to learn more about? If you’re keen to keep it green then we’d love to hear more from you and if you’d like to hear more from us, you can subscribe below on any of our social medias. Can’t wait to hear from you!

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