Grow Larger Fruit - How to Prevent Small Fruits - Permaculture Vegetable Gardening, Vegie Garden, Food Forest

Grow Larger Fruit

How to Prevent Small Fruits

The one thing that usually shocks new tree growers is the fact that the fruits produced by their tree are much smaller than the ones they’re used to seeing at the grocery store. “What is wrong with my tree?!”, “My God! What have I done!?” are some cried you may hear from the disgruntled tree grower. However, small fruits are a natural occurrence. But while smaller fruits might be what nature originally intended, it is possible to attain larger fruits without any genetic altering or added chemicals. It is only through advanced techniques that the professionals reach such large sizes with their fruits.

Usually in the early stages of a fruit trees growing, veterans do something called “fruit thinning”. The theory behind this process is that with less fruits to pay attention to, the tree will be able to more efficiently send cells to the leftover fruits. When there are hundreds of little fruits on one tree, competing for the available materials necessary for growth, you will most likely just end up with a bunch of stunted fruits. To take care of this problem, simply pluck a third of the fruits extremely early on in the process. You should notice larger fruits that season.

On almost any tree, the success of each individual fruit depends on the spacing. Usually there should not be any fruits within six to eight inches of each other. During the fruit thinning process, this is the distance you should generally aim for to optimize the amount of nutrition that each fruit gets. Any closer and you’ll find they are crowding each other out. Usually this is the first mistake that a new tree grower makes. Having tons of fruit starting to grow is not always a good thing!

Sometimes small fruits are caused by conditions out of the gardener’s control. During the process of cell division that all new fruits go through, cool weather can be fatal to the largeness of your fruits. Likewise, if the weather is particularly cloudy very early in the season, then fewer carbohydrates will be available to your plants. Occasionally, if the factors are all against the well being of your fruit tree, then the fruits will drop to the ground before they are even ripe. A lack of water or certain nutrients, or excessive pests and diseases can also damage the growth of fruits. If you notice these things going on early in the season, you should do more fruit thinning than normal. Sometimes as much as three fourths of the fruits should come off, to allow full nutrition to those who remain.

The best way to find out how to gain larger fruit sizes is to experiment. If your tree has been around for a while, there is almost nothing you can do to it to cause it to die or stop producing fruit. Just test different thinning techniques or anything you can think of to make the fruits larger. You might even head down to your local nursery and enquire about what they would suggest. They will be able to give you advice based on your region and specific tree, which is better than anything I could tell you. So don’t settle with small fruits. Go out there and find out what exactly you need to do to improve the size.

Recommended Viewing

Patch From Scratch & Cottage Gardens, by Peter Cundall and Gardening Australia Patch From Scratch & Cottage Gardens, by Peter Cundall and Gardening Australia (DVD). This is a combination of two videos that used to be sold separately on VHS. The "Patch from Scratch" video is really, really good if you want to learn from scratch about how to grow vegetables organically. In Patch from Scratch, Peter Cundall shows you step-by-step how to start a vegetable garden, beginning with an ordinary suburban lawn. He goes through each season (some of then broken into early and late) for 18 months, describing everything in amazing detail. There is so much information in this video you could watch it 100 times and still learn more. The only real criticism of it I can think of is that it is so densely packed with information, your brain gets saturated after 10 or 15 minutes. So don't expect to take it all in in one sitting. I would recommend watching it through all the way just for an introduction, and then watch just the section for each month that you are up to, and do what he explains in that month/season.

Click here to purchase from Australia (Fishpond)

Recommended Reading

Mini Farming: Self-Sufficiency on 1/4 Acre, by  Brett L. Markham. NEW: Mini Farming: Self-Sufficiency on 1/4 Acre, by Brett L. Markham. Start a mini farm on a quarter acre or less, provide 85 percent of the food for a family of four and earn an income.

Mini Farming describes a holistic approach to small-area farming that will show you how to produce 85 percent of an average family’s food on just a quarter acre — and earn $10,000 in cash annually while spending less than half the time that an ordinary job would require.

Even if you have never been a farmer or a gardener, this book covers everything you need to know to get started: buying and saving seeds, starting seedlings, establishing raised beds, soil fertility practices, composting, dealing with pest and disease problems, crop rotation, farm planning, and much more. Because self-sufficiency is the objective, subjects such as raising backyard chickens and home canning are also covered along with numerous methods for keeping costs down and production high. Materials, tools, and techniques are detailed with photographs, tables, diagrams, and illustrations.

Click here to purchase from Australia (Booktopia)

Click here to purchase from Australia (Fishpond)

Click here to purchase from Australia (The Nile)

Click here to purchase from Amazon

HOTSurvival, Self Sufficiency and Sustainable LivingThis book is the #1 Best Seller in Gardening & Horticulture Reference on Amazon

See Also

Return to Growing Fruit Trees

Sustainable Organic Farming
Starting Your Own Box Garden
Starting a Vegetable Garden
Vegetable Gardening Books
Return to Permaculture and Vegetable Gardening
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