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You can grow fruits in small space, follow these tips

Do you want to grow more fruit in a limited space? There's a smart solution: cordon fruit growing! This technique allows even small areas

By Ground Report
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You can grow fruits in small space, follow these tips

Do you want to grow more fruit in a limited space? There's a smart solution: cordon fruit growing! This technique allows even small areas to produce bountiful crops. While each cordon fruit tree and shrub may not produce as much fruit individually, the large number of plants in the same space increases overall productivity.

Let's delve into the art of cordon fruit growing and discover the secrets to a fruitful garden, no matter how limited your space is.

What is Cordon Growing?

The gardeners train and prune a cordon plant to have a single main stem or trunk. It has short fruit-bearing spurs on either side of the main stem. Plants like these grow in an upright or columnar shape and people usually support them with structures like trellises or fences.

Gardeners use the technique of string cropping to train fruit trees or shrubs to grow upright on a single stem along a supporting structure such as a fence or trellis. This method allows gardeners to maximize fruit production in small spaces by accommodating multiple plants in a limited area.

Growing cordon tomatoes – tying in the stem. Photo Credit: Gardenersworld

Although each cordon tree or shrub may produce less fruit individually, the overall yield becomes impressive due to the number of plants grown together. It's an efficient way to grow fruit in tight spaces and enjoy a bountiful harvest.

Which fruits can you grow as cordons?

Cordon growing offers gardeners a versatile technique for growing various fruits, both annuals and perennials. For example, gardeners often train vine tomatoes as cordons, encouraging upward growth with a single main stem while removing side shoots. Similarly, gardeners can prune and train perennial fruit trees and shrubs such as apples, pears, plums, cherries, currants, and gooseberries as laces.

When starting a cordon garden, you have options. You can buy pre-trained trees or shrubs for convenience, or you can choose a year-old tree (damsel) and do the training yourself, which is cheaper.

When selecting fruit trees for cordon cultivation, it is essential to consider rootstock and stem. Look for dwarf or semi-dwarf rootstocks to control plant vigor. The scion should be a spur type, and if you have self-fertile trees, make sure they have compatible pollination partners among your other chosen trees. Cordon growing offers gardeners a space-saving and efficient way to enjoy a fruitful garden.

Fruits and vegetables that can be grown as cordons

Fruits Vegetables
Apples Tomatoes
Pears Peppers
Plums Eggplants
Cherries Cucumbers
Currants Zucchinis
Gooseberries Squashes
Figs Green Beans
Kiwis Peas
Grapes Asparagus
Blueberries Brussels Sprouts
Raspberries Cauliflowers
Blackberries Broccoli
Strawberries Carrots
Passionfruit Beetroots
Citrus (Lemons, Oranges) Radishes
Peaches Spinach
Nectarines Lettuce
Apricots Kale
Olive Swiss Chard

Grow fruits in small spaces with these tips

  • Choose compact fruit tree varieties suitable for small spaces.
  • Try container gardening by growing fruits in pots or containers.
  • Utilize vertical gardening by training fruit trees against walls or trellises.
  • Regularly prune and train fruit trees to maintain a compact shape.
  • Opt for high-yield fruit varieties to maximize your harvest.
  • Grow fruits like strawberries in hanging baskets to save space.
  • Position fruit plants in areas with sufficient sunlight for healthy growth.
  • Use stacking planters to create vertical gardens for different fruits.
  • Utilize companion planting techniques to optimize space and growth conditions.
  • Provide regular care through watering, fertilizing, and pest control for fruitful results.

Support, spacing, pruning—essential cordon care

Choosing the right support system is vital when growing cordon fruits in your garden. Traditionally, these fruits grow on horizontal wires between posts or attach to walls or fences. However, you have various other support options, such as trellises, strong tree stakes for upright fruit tree cordons, or structures like polytunnels, greenhouses, pergolas, or gazebos.

Most cordons thrive best when you plant them in garden soil, but you can also grow them in pots. For smaller cordons in pots, a small trellis or bamboo canes will provide sufficient support.

When planting out cordons, space them around 20 to 30 inches apart. The exact distance will depend on the plant type, whether they are perennials or annuals, and your specific garden setup.

Pruning cordon-grown fruits is usually an annual task. The method and timing of pruning vary depending on the species and variety. The primary goal is to concentrate growth within a limited area, promote abundant fruiting, and maintain the plant's health.

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