Planting fruit in your garden and around your home can be very rewarding when you bite into a fresh tree-ripened fruit. When deciding which type of fruit to grow, select plants from a local nursery that will work well for your area's specific micro climate. Often a fruit-producing bush or tree is grafted onto a rootstock that has been selected specifically for your area. Keep in mind that many types of fruit need to be pollinated by another, similar variety of the same fruit to successfully produce.
Apples are a classic fruit tree in northern climates that receive a frost. There are many different varieties, including golden delicious, which is great for eating right off the tree, or Granny Smith, which is excellent for baking. Plant at least two different varieties so they have the opportunity to cross-pollinate.
One of the best-known pear varieties is the Bartlett pear, which is often seen on the grocery store shelves. When planting pear trees, be sure to research the variety first. Not all pear trees will be able to cross-pollinate each other. This varies depending on the specific variety.
Like most fruit-bearing plants, plums also need at least two varieties planted within relatively close proximity to cross-pollinate. If there are other types of plum trees in the neighborhood this should be sufficient. Plums that have been dried become prunes.
Cherries are closely related to plums and will often cross-pollinate them. The fruit is either sweet like Bing cherries or tart like the Montmorency variety. Tart cherries will self-pollinate, sweet cherries do not.
Peaches are another longtime favorite because of their sweet, juicy flesh. The trees need a winter chill to set fruit and properly grow new leaves and branches. This varies depending on the variety of peach being grown.
Nectarines are very similar to peaches and the care is almost the same. Nectarine fruit is slightly smaller and does not have fuzz on the outside. They are tolerant of many types of soil but do not like to remain wet.
Apricots are small trees that are usually under 12 feet tall. Most varieties do not require cross-pollination and are even somewhat self-pollinating. Honey bees are the usual method of pollination.
Avocado is a subtropical plant that can resist some frost, but not freezing. There are many varieties, but the one most commonly found in the grocery store is the Hass avocado. Technically, avocado is a berry. The fruit only ripens after it has been removed from the tree.
Bananas are a tropical herb that only grow in areas that do not receive a frost like South Florida and Hawaii. The banana most often sold on grocery store shelves is the Cavendish variety. Many varieties are available for the home and greenhouse grower, including dwarf trees.
Mangoes are a tropical tree that only grow in areas that are frost-free all year. These trees can get quite large, up to 100 feet tall, but are very tough plants that produce fruit from even young trees.