Houzz Logo Print

Fruit Trees -Basics need recommendation on planting

YunaIesca .
last month
last modified: last month

Good Day,

NOTE: I talk a lot – if you want to skip the chit-chat go below the dotted line

Moved to FL 5 yrs ago. Used to live up north. Only did Vegetable gardening x2 years and it was very successful (been years so my “knowledge” base is rusty) – besides very different environments – temp, soil, pests etc etc. Never tried Fruit Trees. Now that I have a “garden” I want to try my hand at it. I love sweet tasting things

Live in 10A (was 9B 3-yrs ago) – Hillsborough/Manatee County. I want to turn one side of my house into a fruit tree haven. Size (see images) ~ 10-16.6 feet wide (depending on section) x 72 feet long. I do have some room around the property too… we’ll see


1- My lack of knowledge

2- Garden facing the NNW – I know NW = strongest winds (or so told).

3- Spacing/Pruning – Want to make the most of my space

4- Root Growth – would it hurt the house?

5- Disease, pests, mold, maintenance etc etc

6- Many many many other things I don’t know how to do – see #1

We get a decent amount of sun – shade typically closer to the “house side”. We do get a decent amount of wind on all sides (maybe because we got a pond behind us?) – but the two houses on our side are 2 stories (we are one) so we are somewhat shielded (were during the two hurricanes too LOL).

Chose that side because grass is kind of dead/weeds so can start over (other side we got new grass). Anyhow, went to the Manatee Fruit Tree sale – which ignited my need to garden and I bought 2 mango, 1 guava, 1 lemon, 1 blackberry… and an olive tree (yes this last one may not work depending on “chill” hours). Hoping to get some Fig, Lychee, Strawberry and some Citrus (tangerines or clementines – I love sweet things)? I don’t know looking at other fun options like dragonfruit (they look sooo cool), mulberry, Barbados cherries or not. I don’t know. I’m excited but I need to be realistic. Hopefully some responses here can help with that. I also understand Citrus has a lot of diseases here… Avoiding Banana because the whole “death” after fruiting sounds scary


Where I need help (in the most economical way!):

1- How to set this up. Up north, I till my soil while I add compost to it. Plant my veggies and weed daily (which was feasible since the growing season is shorter)… but I can’t weed 365 days in FL! So what would you do here to fill the empty spaces (aka avoid weeds)? Fill it with strawberries/herbs? Mulch the entire garden? (that’s a lot of mulch)

2-Compost – I typically just add manure/worm casting – any recommendations for fruit trees?

3- These trees are self-fertilizing but - Companion trees – of the above trees/shrubs I’m interested in – which do you avoid planting next to each other or plant close by? The almac said Guava trees help Mangos – but I can’t find anywhere online if that’s true. And strawberries help Fig etc etc

4- Looks like Mango trees become massive – is it possible to keep them smaller? Growth rate is “fast” – unsure what exactly that means. What about Mulberry Trees?

5- Any other sweet fruit trees (other than Lemon) that you recommend I look into? Specific types/subtypes or ones to avoid from the above? Pest/Disease Hardy Trees?

6-Was reading some spacing guidelines - like mangoes needing 19 feet of space between them and the next plant. That's a lot (and hard to imagine when the plant I have isn't even 5 feet) - okay to use a partially shaded shrub in the middle?

7- Any initiative things I can do to minimize disease/pests. Someone recommended adding tap to the tree stem to stop ants.

8-ANY advice/thoughts/ideas are appreciated!


Comments (10)

Michael Nash Design, Build & Homes
Average rating: 4.9 out of 5 stars256 Reviews
Northern Virginia Design Build Firm | 18x Best of Houzz