Nature

5 Fruit Trees to Start Your Hill Country Backyard Orchard

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Texas Hill Country agriculture is a challenging pastime for even the most dedicated professional, but for backyard gardeners or beginners, it may seem impossible. The soil in the region ranges from tough and rocky to soft and sandy, and the volatile weather lead many potential growers to throw up their hands in frustration and walk away. However, despite the relative ease of going to your local grocer and picking up a fresh, juicy apple, there’s nothing like picking your homegrown fresh delights after a season of hard work. Here are five great fruit trees for Hill Country growers.

1. Sam Houston Peach

5 Fruit Trees to Start Your Hill Country Backyard Orchard

Photo: Facebook/Dallas Farmers Market

Developed at Texas A&M, there’s nothing more Texas Hill Country than peaches, and nothing more Texas than Sam Houston, so this is a perfect match. Due to its low chill-hour needs and self-fertilization, this tree is the perfect fruit for the amateur backyard gardener.

It is relatively easy to care for, grows great in Texas Hill Country agricultural zones, and peaches are ready to go right smack in the middle of the hot Texas summers. Their beautiful spring flowers and sweet smell are just two more reasons to give this Texas treat a spot in your home garden. It’s a great choice when considering fruit trees in Texas.

2. Ein Shemer Apple

5 Fruit Trees to Start Your Hill Country Backyard Orchard

Photo: Facebook/Specialty Produce App

Developed in the arid environment of Israel, this sweet and slightly sour variety is hardy and perfect for the Hill Country region. The Department of Agriculture suggests growing the Ein Shemer in zones 4-8, but growers have successfully cultivated this apple in zone 9 as well.

The low amounts of chill hours, full sun, and slightly acidic soil, is a perfect for the Hill Country. This greenish/red, creamy treat is perfect for both baking and eating fresh from the tree, making it another great option for most growers.

3. Pomegranate

5 Fruit Trees to Start Your Hill Country Backyard Orchard
Photo: Facebook/Ison’s Nursery & Vineyard

Due to their health benefits and flavor, interest in growing pomegranates has increased rapidly across the country. While relatively new to the region, the pomegranate has been grown across the sea for thousands of years, gaining popularity in desert caravans due to their juicy interiors.

Pomegranates require very little watering compared to many other trees, and Texas A&M recommends a thorough watering when planted, but does not require more water for another 2 to 4 weeks. When the “plants leaf out” once a week watering is sufficient for proper care and growth. The “Russian 18” variety is one of the best choices for Texas considering its cold hardy nature and bearing fruit at a very early age.

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