There are many fruits to plant in autumn, and this is the ideal time to plant because this is their dormant stage, from November to March. The ground is also in a good state for planting because it is not yet frozen.

Here are some of the top fruits to plant in autumn:

Raspberries

Firstly, these berries prefer a moisture-retentive, fertile soil that’s slightly acidic, in a sunny position. However, they can tolerate partial shade. Due to the dormant period in the chillier months, bare-root plants can be planted between October and March.

When planting, it’s a good idea to plant them in rows that run from North to South so that they don’t shade each other, because they grow tall. Their tall growth means you should have support in place.

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To plant, add well-rotted manure and general fertiliser or fish blood and bone to the site. Then, plant with 45-60cm apart, adding a thick mulch of organic matter. Once planted, prune the canes to within 25cm of the ground. Then once planted, keep the compost moist and during growing season feed with a liquid general-purpose fertiliser monthly.

Once harvested, you can make the most of the berries which are low in calories and packed with nutrients like vitamin C which is necessary for immune function.

Rhubarb

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Rhubarb has been used in traditional medicine in China for thousands of years and is usually cooked with sugar to sweeten it. Although it’s not extremely rich in nutrients, it is a good source of vitamin K1, which has an important role in blood clotting, heart and bone health.

Get the soil ready for planting by digging in organic matter like well-rotted manure. After preparing the soil, dig a hole wider than the crown and spread the roots so that the tip of the crown is slightly above soil level.

Then, fill in the hole and water in well, keeping it watered during dry periods, so the soil doesn’t dry out.

When the leaves have unfurled and the stems reach around 30cm long, the stems can be pulled gently away from the crown.

Redcurrants

These can be planted in a sheltered position away from strong winds. A spot with full sun is best, but they can tolerate a shaded wall, but it will lead to less sweet fruits when it’s time to harvest.

In a well-drained soil, the bare-root plants can be planted, with 1.5m between each bush. The newly planted bushes should be watered well in dry periods.

In spring, it’s ideal to add a balanced granular fertiliser to the base of the plant, as well as a mulch of garden compost.

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In summer, they’ll be ready for harvesting when the fruits are juicy and firm. They pack a punch with flavour and nutrition as they are rich in vitamins B and C.

Blackcurrants

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Another of the fruits to plant in autumn are these low-maintenance berries. They provide you with plenty of fruit for a little amount of care. They aren’t fussy with soil conditions, but they prefer a well-drained moist soil in full sun.

To plant, dig a hole that is at least twice the diameter of the root ball. When rooting, spread the roots and set each plant at least 6cm deeper than it was before which will encourage new shoots to grow from the base. Then, firm the plant into place and water in well.

Once planted, prune back all of the shoots to 2.5cm, which will encourage new shoots.

Just like other berries, they are a fantastic source of fibre, vitamin C and antioxidants.

Blackberries

Growing best in a sunny but sheltered site in a moisture retentive but free-draining soil, they will be most productive. They don’t like chalky, sandy or clay soils, so if your garden soil needs improving, add plenty of bulky organic matter before planting.

In spring, the plant can be top-dressed with general purpose fertiliser and organic mulch, and young plants should be watered every week or 2 during dry spells.

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From summer onwards, the fruit starts to ripen, and they are best picked as soon as this happens. Eating blackberries can help with problems such as bloating, constipation and stomach pain due to the level of fibre.

Gooseberries

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Another good fruit to plant in autumn is bare-root gooseberries. Prepare the area by mulching with organic matter. Plants should be spaced 1.5m apart for bush plants or 30cm apart for cordons.

In winter, the plants will benefit from a balanced granular feed.

In summer, the berries will be ready for harvesting, but be aware that birds love them too, so protect the ripening fruit with netting. When the fruits are green and under-ripe, harvest every other fruit, for use in desserts and sauces, leaving the rest to ripen. Then the ripened berries can be picked carefully.

These fruits are rich in phytonutrients such as anthocyanins which give the colour to berries. These anthocyanins are linked to eye and urinary tract health.

Blueberries

These berries prefer an acidic soil, that is moist but well-drained, favouring lighter soils rather than heavy clay. A sunny, but sheltered spot is best too. Although, if your garden soil is more alkaline or heavy clay, blueberries can be grown in a container.

These plants should be watered regularly, ensuring the soil doesn’t dry out between watering.

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When watering, it’s beneficial to use rainwater rather than tap water because the latter can increase the pH level, making the conditions less acidic.

From mid-summer, the fruits will start to ripen, then they can be harvested – it’s best to pick the plants gradually, because the fruit doesn’t all ripen at once.

When they are harvested and eaten they’ll be sure to give you plenty of goodness because blueberries are thought to have one of the highest antioxidant levels of all common fruit and veg.

Cherries

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Next are cherries, which dislike shallow, sandy and poorly-drained soils, so a deep, fertile, well-drained soil is best. They should be mulched with well-rotted organic matter and fed with a general purpose fertiliser in February. In addition, if the fruiting is poor, adding an application of sulphate of potash can be helpful.

Winter protection from a horticultural fleece is ideal to protect the cherry flowers from frost damage.

Then, in dry weather the fruits can be picked by the stalks. There are plenty of vitamins and minerals in cherries, particularly fibre, vitamin C and potassium which is essential for blood pressure regulation and nerve function.

Pears

A sunny and sheltered site is best to grow pears, steering clear of poorly drained or shallow soils. When planting in the garden, dig a hole that is no deeper than the roots but is around three times the diameter of the roots so the root system can be spread out.

They don’t demand much care once established apart from watering in elongated dry periods from when the fruit starts to grow.

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The plant will grow best if a balanced fertiliser is applied to the base of the plant in early spring.

The pears should be harvested just before they are fully ripe when they are firm. The fruits are a rich source of many important minerals such as copper and potassium.

Apples

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The best position for planting these fruits in autumn is in a sunny but sheltered site, avoiding shallow or poorly drained soils. Like pears, they should be planted in a hole that’s no deeper than the roots but three times as wide as the root system, for the roots to spread.

Water well during dry periods and when the fruit begins to swell. They’ll be ready to harvest when they look ‘just right’, and the best way to test is to just try it.

When picking an apple, cup the fruit in your hand, gently lift it with a slight twist and if it comes away easily, it’s ready!

Eating apples is beneficial because they are mainly composed of carbs and water. High in fibre, vitamin C and other antioxidants, they’re great to grow in the garden.

So, use these fruits as inspiration to plant this autumn and you’ll have fruit harvests galore.

For more on growing fruit, read this:

Or check out my Pinterest board for more ideas:

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Growing fruit
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