Fruit fertility sense
UNDERSTANDING pollination is useful when you’re buying a new fruit tree, cane or bush. Without successful pollination, the flowers won’t turn into harvestable fruit! Some fruit crops have simple pollination requirements, while others are more complex.
Cane fruits (raspberries and blackberries), bush fruits (currants and gooseberries), plus figs, grapes, strawberries, peaches, nectarines and apricots are ‘self-fertile’. This means they’ll set a crop by themselves: just plant, water and wait for the harvests.
Other tree fruits such as apples, pears, cherries, plums and gages are termed ‘self-infertile’, which means they need to be planted alongside another suitable tree for pollination to happen and fruit to set; blueberries will also set a larger number of fruits per bush if you grow more than one variety together. An apple won’t pollinate a pear, but one apple variety will pollinate a different apple variety; you must choose at least two varieties of the same crop. Those varieties must flower at the same time for pollination to occur. These crops are divided into flowering groups to ensure they’ll be blooming simultaneously.
Cherry trees often need an extra variety nearby, but a gooseberry bush will set a crop on its own