My wife picked out the blueberry plants she likes and I tend to agree with her on this one (don't tell her though) as they are cold hardy to -30 degrees Fahrenheit and grow well in containers. The "Northblue Blueberry" has recommended hardiness zones of 3 to 7 and the fruit ripens mid-season (whatever that means, I assume it ripens in July or August). These will go in two large planters on our deck.
For the strawberries, my wife wants the "Tribute Strawberry Everbearer". It was developed at the University of Maryland, so it should do quite nicely around here. Stark Bros. lists the hardiness as zones 5 to 8. The site also says the plants will bear "steadily form spring to fall with crops of plump, juicy, medium-large berries." I hope so because they are one of my kids favorite fruits! They will go in the new soon-to-be-built raised bed in my garden and be planted in one or two strawberry pots in the garden beds in front of the house. The plan is to fill half of the raised bed and plant the other half with runners.
There are two Varieties of raspberries in our future, the "Heritage Red", which bears fruit in both June and September and the "Anne Yellow Raspberry" which gives fruit in August and will give fruit the first year. The red raspberry is recommended in hardiness zones 4 to 8 and the yellow in hardiness zones 4 to 9. The blackberry varieties I selected are the "Chester Thornless Blackberry" (grows in hardiness zones 5 to 8 and fruit will ripen in July) and the "Triple Crown Thornless Blackberry" (grows in hardiness zones 5 to 9 and fruit will ripen in August). I would like to plant the raspberries and blackberries along the front fence line, but it all depends on how much space is needed between plants.
The "Meyeri Lemon Plant" is a dwarf meyer lemon tree that is hardy in zones 9 and 10, so I will have to grow it in a container and bring it indoors in late fall through sometime in May. Stark Brothers says it will get 8 to 10 feet tall if planted in the ground but will stay smaller when grown in a container and I certainly hope it does...I only have 8 ft ceilings!
I am 90% certain we will be getting all of the above plants. The next ones are the ones I would like, but we really have to check space before we can order them. They are also from Stark Brothers Nursery.
The first is the grapes. I selected Muscadine grapes, the two varieties have 18 or 19% sugar in the fruit. It will be as good for making wine as for eating. Now all I need to get is that crusher/de-stemer contraption! For the Muscadine grape, you need both a male and female vines to get fruit (according to what I have read) and luckily for me, Stark Bros. Happens to carry a male and a female variety. The male vine is the “Cowart Muscadine Grape”. It listed as being hardy in zones 7 to 9 and the graped will ripen in mid-September. The female is the “Scarlet Grape”. It is listed as being hardy for zones 7 to 9 and the fruit also ripens in mid-September.
Secondly are the other trees I am thinking about. I know I can't fit them all in my back yard, but I am looking at making a decision from the following varieties:
The “2-N-1 Asian Pear”, hardy in zones 4 to 8, grows both “New Century” (ripens in late August) and “Starking® Hardy Giant™” (ripens in mid-September). For Plums, the “Burbank™ Elephant Heart Plum Dwarf” (Zones 5 to 8, Ripens in September) and the “Starking® Delicious™ Plum Dwarf” (Zones 5 to 9, Ripens in early August). For Peaches, the “Blushingstar® Peach Dwarf” (Zones 4 to 8, Ripens in mid-August) and/or the “Crimson Rocket Columnar Peach Dwarf” (Zones 5 to 8, Ripens mid-August, grows up, not out). For Nectarines, the “Stark® Crimson Gold Nectarine Dwarf” (Zones 5 to 9, Ripens in July), and/or the “Stark® Crimson Snow™ Nectarine Dwarf” (Zones 5 to 8, Ripens in early August).
Well, that's all the fruits. Maybe next time I'll list the vegetable varieties we are thinking about. Hopefully, I will have the final measurements for the raised bed and maybe some pictures of where it will go. Until then, keep safe and warm, and above all, enjoy life as much as you can.