What fruit trees to plant in my new garden

spigiJune 22, 2006

Hello all,

Not only I am new to this forum, I will also be new to Georgia in two weeks. We will be moving into our new house in Athens and for the first time will actually have a yard in which we can grow veggies, fruits, herbs, etc. We are fortunate that the current owners of the house have done a great job with most of that... well established herb and vegetable gardens await us. However, I would love to grow some fruit trees and was wondering what the best varieties for the area are?

I'm also unsure about the quality of the soil. Apart from the vegetable garden, which has good quality top soil, the rest of the yard is made up of the ubiquitous red Georgia clay. I think the best thing to do would be to send a sample off to the local extension office for testing, but in general what kind of fruits should I be looking at?

Recommendations for nurseries would also be very welcome as would any other gardening tips.

Many thanks in advance,


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Hi soon-to-be neighbor! I can personally recommend paw-paw trees, native persimmons, fig trees, blueberries and berries of all sort. You might think it's Georgia so peach trees are de riguer but you'd be wrong. Oh sure, they grow well enough but the only way you'll see fruit from them is to spray them with pesticides on a set schedule.

I also just planted some pineapple guava bushes, we'll see how they do. My passionflower vines do great but not everyone likes passionfruit.

Two fruits I'd like to try and believe would do well around Athens are kiwi and muscadine.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2006 at 11:21PM
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Jennifratrix, you took the words right out of my mouth. At first I thought "dang" then I realized I should be proud that there are others that know about the plants you mentioned. As far as native persimmons go, not many people are aware that there are seedless cultivars available from Nolin River nursery and others. Oriental persimmons are great and can be pretty large. You can find seedless and non-astringent varieties of those too.
These can be eaten while firm as an apple, just wait for them to turn orange so they will have developed sweetness. I have discovered that the best time to eat maypops (passionfruit) is November, December, Janurary. The outside will be shriveled and brown but the pulp will be sweet and you eat seeds and all. A few more fruits to try are jujube, mulberry, pomegranate, and Chinese che (cudrania tricuspidata). You can also eat the fruit of cactus which of all things is called tuna. You very carefully remove the glochids then chill them and eat seeds and all. They taste like watermelon. The kiwi come in two types. Let's just say the fuzzy and the fuzzless. There are also two type of edible fruit dogwood you can grow: cornus kousa and cornus mas. Hidden Springs nursery in Tennessee has several of the fruits mentioned. About the pineapple guava, they are perfectly hardy here and the fruit and the flowers are delicious. That leaves crabapple, mayhaw and plums which will feed you and wildlife and make excellent jelly.

Here is a link that might be useful: BittersweetGardens.Com

    Bookmark   June 23, 2006 at 12:34AM
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Eddie, are you near Athens? I know there's an Atlanta-area fruit enthusiasts group but I don't know who around Athens is into fruit trees, except that lady I read about recently in Watkinsville who's starting a pick-your-own blueberry orchard. Maybe we can start our own group :) Are you actually growing jujube and che? How do they taste?

I haven't used BitterSweetGardens.com but they look interesting! I've gotten fruit plants from http://www.johnsonnursery.com/ and Edible Landscaping (http://eat-it.com/) and they've been good for me. I really like looking at plants before I buy them though, so locally my favorite places to shop are:

Thyme After Thyme in Winterville (right near Athens Airport)

Cofer's (east side of Athens)

Pinebush Nursery (www.pinebushnursery.com northeast of Athens)

The Pottery (in Commerce, 30 mins north of Athens but the only place I could find pineapple guava and a huge selection of other plants I couldn't find elsewhere)

    Bookmark   June 23, 2006 at 9:39AM
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jmzms(z7 Alpharetta, GA)

Take it from someone who has a native persimmon...if you can find a seedless kind, you'll want it. Our tree is not seedless, and I am CONSTANTLY pulling little seedlings. We don't use the fruit for anything (it's too small for me), so what the birds and critters don't eat, I end up picking up off the ground. And what I miss, I end up pulling the seedlings the next year. One year, I didn't have a lot of time to pick them up, and they fermented. Our backyard smelled like a brewery for a couple of weeks.
If it wasn't such a mature tree providing shade and privacy, I'd cut it down.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2006 at 10:38AM
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Must be moving from Florida, am I right?

    Bookmark   June 23, 2006 at 10:39AM
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Thanks for the advice! I'd never even thought about persimmons. I'm really looking forward to trying to grow figs though.

We are moving from Charlottesville, VA and we lived in New Castle, DE prior to that and have only had a balcony on which to grow things.

I am sure once we get started in July I will have a many more questions.

Thanks again,


    Bookmark   June 23, 2006 at 2:48PM
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I'm in Athens too, on the east side. My parents live in Watkinsville. I've started to get into the "self-sustaining fruit in yard phase" also. I have two citrus (Pink varigated Eureka and Bearss lime) that are indoor/outdoor plants. I am planning on getting a Dwarf Pomagrante tree and a owari Ststuma mandarin (sp?) to plant in the yard. According to the info I have compiled, Athens is 600 to 800 feet above mean sea level, and is therfore sheltered from extreme winter weather (on average the dip goes down to 33 and 53 degrees respectively in the winter).

Let us know what you do with your home. Always good to know a fellow neighbor is prospering in their garden ^_^

    Bookmark   August 20, 2006 at 9:58AM
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You have to put in some blueberries. Great nutritional value and a nice shrub. Pretty in the fall. If you go by the road that takes you to Thyme after Thyme, on the way to Lexington you go by Wolfskins nursery which has a good selection of perennials at a good price. Keep going 20 mins to Goodness Grows in Lexington

    Bookmark   August 20, 2006 at 7:13PM
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alpharetta(z7 GA)

I am from Atlanta, and start growing the fruit tree 2 years ago when moved into new house. Below are what I have experienced so far:

1. Sweet Cherry - bought from online nusery - survive just OK but does not give much fruit
2. Asian Pear - bought from Pike nusery - Well grown and give lot of good fruits
3. Plum - bought from home depot - well grown but for some reasons the fruits died really young
4. Persimon - bought bare root online - hardly establish. However my friend has very good persimon plant with lot of fruit. I recommend to buy persimmon from local nusery just to make sure there is not problem with transplant.
5. Pluot, Apricot, nectarin - brought from online. Cannot say anything about them yet because no fruit so far
6. Peach - bought from Home depot - have some fruits but cannot eat because of insect and fungus...
7. Watermelon - Excellent
8. Pumpkin - Wonderful


    Bookmark   September 8, 2006 at 9:08PM
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I have two figs, 3 plums, 2 persimmons, 2 pears, two paw paws three plumcots an asian pear and a persimmon. Isons outside of Griffen,Ga will ship to you, you can also find them on the net. The stuff they sell is what they say it is. Plus I have black berries, raspberries and a few other berries. Softball sized persimmons, baseball sized plums. Nothing like it. Depot and not so Highs cant touch them.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2011 at 11:24AM
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Anyone have luck with edible lemon or lime fruit trees? Any varieties that do well here? I read the post above but the person did not say whether they were edible or ornamental. Not related really but, we have great luck with potatoes (in a bed with good potting soil and compost - not the clay)

    Bookmark   March 13, 2011 at 7:07PM
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