Although the Lexington, Kentucky, area is known for its fertile, limestone-fed soil, gardening in the Lexington area is not without challenges. Lexington is located in a mountainous region and although the area is rated in zone 6 for hardiness by the USDA, the rolling terrain provides the area with a number of microclimates. Because spring in Lexington can bring variable temperatures and sudden cold snaps, it can be difficult to grow many types of fruit in Lexington. In order to grow edible fruit in Lexington, you must learn to work within the conditions that the region provides.
Select fruit varieties that are more cold-tolerant as well as varieties that produce blossoms and fruit later in the year. Examples of fruit plants that will grow and produce fruit in the variable temperatures of a Lexington spring include apple trees, strawberries, blackberries and grapes. The Kentucky Vineyard Society maintains a list of grapes that grow well in the climate found in the Lexington area. Avoid fruit trees that bloom early, such as cherry trees. These trees will not produce fruit in Kentucky's climate.
Test your soil before planting. Lexington soil is loamy with heavy limestone content. While this soil is notoriously rich in nutrients, it may be too alkaline in nature for acid-loving plants such as blueberries. Before planting acid-loving plants, find out the pH of your soil and add amendments to help such plants grow.
Cover tender varieties of fruit such as tomatoes against sudden frosts with polyethelene row covers at night or during a sudden cold snap.
Grow tender plants in inexpensive, portable greenhouses such as high tunnels or hoop houses. These greenhouses can be quickly assembled and disassembled and cost very little. They can increase the growing temperature inside, as well as keep frost off of tender plants.