Top 10 Fruit Species For Winter (Cold Resistant Species)
Could you think about growing fruits when grounds are blanketed by thick layer of snow? May be you can’t even imagine right? But, there are some highly beneficial intriguing fruits that add beauty and wealth to your home gardens even in harsh winter season. You might even be unaware of some of them. The most important things for winter cultivation is selection of appropriate species where many of us lack behind.
But, the major questions lies in what are the best fruit species to grow in winter that have high-market demand and unimaginable beneficial properties? Let’s explore some fruits that are best suited for winter season with supporting evidences and facts!
Winter gardening! might sounds very difficult to all of you. Winter season with chilling cold are considered as worst time period by many cultivators and gardeners, as they believe their garden die on this period. But, this is only a viewpoint of those who are unaware of winter opportunities. In this very situation; its remind me one of the famous quote of H. Tuttle “Every winter has its springs”. The literal meaning of this quotes is that every winter has its own beautiful parts. Similar to this, there are also many favorable winter fruit species with unrecognized benefits as like spring crops. Variety of fruit species with multiple uses will definitely add inspiration to your garden.
In harsh winters your garden might look dread and dreary. But, the chilling cold and extremely low temperature also provide us with excellent opportunity to grow certain cold-resistant horticultural species such as honeycrisp apples, Persimmons, Passion fruits, etc. So, it’s important to know and understand about certain best species that can withstand these type of conditions and provide us with utmost benefits.
HOW FRUITS COPE WITH COLD MONTHS
- Certain fruits like apple, winter-berries, grapes, etc. could tolerate harsh winters by becoming dormant. The cells of these fruits usually release water which prevents damage from freezing.
- Some fruits loose their leaves that fell down in ground and acts as a mulch. Mulching reduces loss of water from evapo-transpiration.
WHY APPROPRIATE SELECTION IS CRUCIAL?
- To ensure high adaptive capacity and chilling or freezing cold enduring ability.
- In Winter, resistance of the body decreases. Thus, appropriate fruit will boost immune systems.
- To ensure aesthetic architectural landscape with mesmerizing beauty.
- Certain deciduous fruit trees require at least few cumulative hours below 45°F every winter to end their dormancy. Then only it flowers and bear fruits. This is known as chilling requirement.
TOP 10 BEST RECOMMENDED COLD RESISTANT FRUIT SPECIES
To get you started, here are some of the best fruit species recommended for you to grow in winter season:
1. Reliance Peach (Prunus persica ‘Reliance’)
Reliance peach is an extremely cold-hardy fruit species that was primarily bred for northern climates. This species of peach from Rosaceae family produces soft pink blossoms in early spring. Reliance peach trees are hardy to -25°F (-32°C) and could be grown as far north as Canada too.
Free-stone fruits of this species usually ripens in early to mid-august. According to North Carolina State University Extension, “Reliance” peaches usually require an average of 1000 chill hours i.e. the number of hours spent at temperatures lower than 45°F per year. This species contain phosphorous (prevent osteoporosis), calcium and Vitamin C (strengthen jaw bone and gums).
2. Honeycrisp Apple (Malus domestica ‘Honeycrisp’)
Honeycrisp apple is also known as Honey crunch in Europe. Apples in winter have a stark and mesmerizing beauty. According to research conducted by University of Minnesota; whole part of this fruit species could usually tolerate freezing temperature ranging about -25°F to -30°F . But, Buds could survive even more i.e. up to –60°F during mid-winter (Mexal et al., 1991).
The harvest season of this species usually ranges from mid-September to mid-October. As we all know apple is highly nutritious fruit with multiple health related benefits such as weight loss, lowering of blood sugar, improving heart health, preventing cancer and asthma, and many more; this species is highly recommended to grow during cold winter.
3. Fig Tree (Ficus carica)
If you want a nice cold hardy tropical plant bearing fruit, i think there is not any better species than fig tree which could also provide fodder in addition. These trees are adaptable to different varieties of soil and climate; thus, are preferred for winter season if you rare livestock. It can tolerate temperature up to -20°C. Especially Gillette (Caprifig) variety are preferred.
Figs are rich source of minerals such as calcium, magnesium, iron, copper and antioxidants as well as vitamin A and K. 40 g of fig is recommended per day to extract its multiple health benefits such as improving digestive and heart health, managing blood sugar and promote healthy skin.
4. Pomegranate (Punica granatum)
Pomegranate is one of the highly preferred fruit species to grow during cold winters as well as hot summers. This species is found to be evident of having cold hardiness up to 12° F. But it generally prefer high temperature during the fruiting period despite of having ability to sustain cold temperature.
Cold hardy Russian Pomegranate is best preferred as they even don’t need any protection during winter. But, some mulches or 2-3 feet of wood-chips will make them best adapted. This species is believed to be suited also for USDA Plant Hardiness Zones: 6b-11 too. This species is rich in anti-oxidants, low in fat, and are good source of fiber, Vitamin D and C.
5. Carrots ( Daucus carota subsp. sativus)
Carrots are resistant at least up to 18 °F (-8 °C). Roots of carrot could tolerate even colder temperatures than the top. It might sound little unbelievable but the hard freeze of the winter season produce more sugar and the root become much more sweeter. Accumulated sugar acts as a natural anti-freeze that protect it from freeze damage.
For easy harvesting mulch carrots when cold temperature arrives or cover them with low tunnel (cold frame). Eating carrot provide multiple health related benefits too such as preventing cancer and ageing, treating fungal infections, reducing cholesterol and improving vision. One important thing for its cultivation is to plant 8 to 10 weeks before first frost.
6. American Persimmon (Diospyros virginiana)
This is the native species of kentucky (North America). This tree species could tolerate up to -25°F. But, it could not withstand high temperature. It is most favored species of Persimmon for cold winters. On ripening, fruits of this species usually comprises thick pulpy jelly encased in a waxy thin skinned shell. This species are softer, dryer and full of sweet flavor as compared to Kaki.
Some cultivars are parthenocarpic (seedless too). This fruit is high in tannins, Vitamin C and calcium, and is effective in curing head-ache, back pain and foot ache. If planted in appropriate site; this requires very little maintenance. It is also considered hardy to U.S Department of Agricultural plant hardiness zone 5 too. Due to these properties, it is highly favored by most of the U.S northern community.
7. Passion fruits (Passiflora edulis)
This vine species of passion flower is native to southern Brazil through Paraguay and northern Argentina. This species possesses tough root which could often survive extreme harsh winter even if other parts die and have capacity to regain vigor again after winter. It could tolerate less than 25°F temperature and bounce back later.
For care during winter feed this fruit species with nitrogen fertilizer and potash fertilizers so that it ensure high fruit production. American community usually favors Maypop variety as it is one of the high cold resistant among the species. This fruit are rich source of anti-oxidants and good source of fiber. Besides this, they are also found to support heart health, boost immune system and reduces stress.
8. Cold-Hardy Kiwifruit (Actinidia arguta)
This hardy kiwi is a native perennial vine of Japan, Korea and Russian far east. This species could tolerate temperature up to -40°C. Hardy kiwi could be grown directly from seed or cuttings (propagation). In eastern United States it could grow as far as north as Maryland. But, it require some care too as they are sensitive to late spring frost.
Although it is cold hardy; avoid planting of this species in frost pocket. The fruits are green, brownish or purple with smooth skinny flesh. Hardy kiwifruit are sweeter than kiwifruit. This species contain more than 20 essential nutrients with minerals, pigments, phenol. Vitamin C and lutein. Hence, also considered as healthy snack.
9. Plum tree (Prunus subg. Prunus)
European plum are great fruit trees suited best for cold climatic condition. But, it requires certain chill hours for proper growth and food production. It could sustain up to -30°C. A hybrid of the Japanese plum and the American plum has also been developed so that it can withstand cold hardiness of zone 3 and 4.
Trees of this species goes dormant in the winter but also depends on hardiness zone. Plums are delicious, sweet and juicy fruits with many health-related benefits such as reducing blood sugar, constipation and anxiety, and improving heart & bone health and many more. They contain over 15 different varieties of vitamins and minerals along with fiber & anti-oxidants.
10. Red and Yellow Raspberry
Some varieties of raspberries could do very well even in winter season. Mostly Red and Yellow Raspberries are preferred for attaining best result in harsh cold weather. Red raspberries and Yellow raspberries can tolerate temperature up to -20 degrees F. (-28 degree C) and -25 degree C respectively. Cold-hardy raspberries are also resistant to diseases and are easy to maintain.
Winter injuries is less likely to happen when snow cover is deep as it keep the canes covered. But, mulching is preferred to be on safe side. Raspberries are low in calories but rich in fiber, vitamins, minerals (especially potassium) and antioxidants. Thus, this species possesses many health-related benefits such as reducing oxidative stress & blood-sugar level, improving arthritis, aiding weight loss and reduce ageing.
How do you feel about this article (blog/post)? I hope all of you will benefits from the above-mentioned information and share it with others so that it reach to maximum people. I believe that this article will help you to learn about how to convert dry winter garden to beautiful one with these multi-beneficial fruit species.
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- Mexal, J. G., Sammis, T. W., & Herrera, E. A. (1991). Cold-hardiness and dormancy of apple trees. What’s the difference. In Frost Injury and Frost Control in Apple Orchards Conf., Albuquerque, NM (pp. 2-11).