Advice from the Help Desk of the
UC Master Gardener Program of Contra Costa County
Client: Hello, I live in Contra Costa County and am basically a newborn to the gardening world. I want to grow fruit trees in my home "orchard". I have a “big” question: What fruits will grow well where I live and how do I grow them?
The Home OrchardHelp Desk: Thank you for contacting the UC Master Gardener Help Desk. There are many types of fruit that will grow well in our County. UC Cooperative Extension and UC Master Gardeners Program of Contra Costa have produced a December 2015 guidance document (free download), Fruit, Nut and Grape Varieties for the Contra Costa Home Orchard that lists specific varieties for you to consider that are recommended for this County. Also, be sure and establish which climate zone you reside. Climate zones are designated in the guidance document. For example, Antioch is in (Sunset) Zone 14; so be sure to choose varieties that are indicated to do well in your zone. Once you have chosen the particular fruits that you would like to grow, you should feel free to contact us again for specific information on how to plant and care for them. The best time to plant fruit trees is when they are available as bare root trees at nurseries during the late fall and winter. You also may find some still in containers at the nursery. You may also have to special order some of them, either over the internet or special order at your local nursery. Timing is important if you need to special order, so check with your nursery. You could also get a start on educating yourself about having a backyard orchard by visiting this (free) website http://homeorchard.ucanr.edu/Fruits_&_Nuts/. You may also be interested in the UC publication on the home orchard that may be at your local library or can be obtained at this link (http://anrcatalog.ucanr.edu/Details.aspx?itemNo=3485)
UC's Home Orchard publication
I hope that this information is helpful. Good luck on your “orchard”.
Help Desk of the UC Master Gardener Program of Contra Costa County
Note: The UC Master Gardeners Program of Contra Costa's Help Desk is available year-round to answer your gardening questions. Except for a few holidays, we're open every week, Monday through Thursday for walk-ins from 9:00 am to Noon at 75 Santa Barbara Road, 2d Floor, Pleasant Hill, CA 94523. We can also be reached via telephone: (925) 646-6586, email: firstname.lastname@example.org, or on the web at http://ccmg.ucanr.edu/Ask_Us/ MGCC Blogs can be found at http://ccmg.ucanr.edu/HortCoCo/ You can also subscribe to the Blog (http://ucanr.edu/blogs/CCMGBlog/).