ABOUT PATIO FRUITS

ROSACEAE

Relatives: Pear, Quince, Cherry, Apricot, Raspberry; Almond, Plum, Cherry, respectively

Our Patio Fruit tress are true Genetic Dwarfs, meaning that they are grafted onto true dwarf root stock which will have the Patio Peach maturing at about four to five feet tall and about four feet wide, and the Patio Apple maturing at about seven feet tall and five feet wide. They are all self-fertile and the fruits are self-ripening. They do not have to be moved indoors in the winter because like their larger cousins, they, too, need proper chilling hours for total fruit set. Both our Patio Fruits can be easily pruned if even their dwarf habit becomes larger than you want.

DESCRIPTION

Trees vary, usually by group: All are small trees with tight, spreading canopies; peaches tend to be more winter hardy than nectarines.
Leaves: All are deciduous, with either blunt shaped or pointed, leaves that tend to be very lightly serrated along the margins. Some fall color in both the apples and peach leaves.
Flowers: White to pink, rather delicate and small and occasionally a little fragrant. Pollination is by bees and insects, although there are several self-fertile and self-ripening Patio Fruits, including the ones we offer at Rabbit Ridge Nursery.
Fruit: Both the Patio Peaches and Patio Apples are firm (will get mushy spots when they are over ripe), round shaped fruits in beautiful color. Peaches are medium to large with a yellowish skin and a red blush; flesh is yellow and freestone and they are VERY profuse in production; ripens in mid to late June. Apples are small to medium, greenish-yellow (red in cooler climates) and bear VERY HEAVY at a young age; ripens in early October.

CULTIVATION

Our Patio Fruits are very easy to grow and are especially well suited for the beginning small fruit gardener. They are probably the most forgiving fruit we sell, as they come with their own soil and in their own container; all you have to provide is water (when needed) and sunshine.
Location: Simply put, they grow best in full sun; because of their smaller size, they are fairly wind tolerant; some shelter from continual, strong winds will help and avoid setting them out in low lying ‘frost pockets’ to help minimize dangers to spring blossoms. (That being said, and unlike many of their larger cousins, if frost is a danger, our Patio Fruits are small enough to cover with a blanket or sheet to protect their tender spring blooms.
Temperature: Our Patio Fruits grow best in warm areas but can actually survive freezing temperatures. See Location above.
Chilling: Chilling refers to the number of hours, 45 degrees F and under, during the dormancy period. All fruit and nut trees need a specific amount of chilling hours before they will produce fruit. The amount varies with each variety and the hours need not be continuous. For example as listed: (500 hours).
Soil/water/nutrients: Any balanced fertilizer such as 8-8-8 or 10-10-10 would probably be fine, applied as a top dressing in the spring. No attention to soil is necessary as they come to you properly planted and in the correct soil.
Pruning: Our Patio Fruit Trees need to be pruned in early autumn if they are pruned at all. Mainly necessary is to pay attention to cross branching and to keeping the center open to allow sun and good air circulation.
Pests and diseases: Our Patio Fruit Trees have the same susceptibility to pests and diseases as their larger cousins. Refer to Apples and Peaches for a more detailed listing. Keep an eye out for the birds and the neighbors once fruit production kicks in. Don’t be surprised if you to have shoo birds away with one hand while you pick your Patio Fruits with the other one.

CULTIVARS

There are not many true Patio Fruits to choose from as they are quite unique. You can find many semi-dwarf fruits on the market that are sold as “Patio Fruits”. Unfortunately, many have been severely pruned to resemble our Patio Fruits; they are neither true genetic dwarfs nor are they any better- and are often far inferior- than ours. Rabbit Ridge Nursery currently offers the following cultivars, which will do quite nicely in our area:

(Click on Patio Fruit Variety to link to that Patio Fruit)