Arkansas has a relatively mild climate, giving homeowners lots of opportunities to make a home orchard, a kitchen garden, or even just plant a couple of trees.
Arkansas stretches right from Zone 6 of Northwestern highlands to Zone 8 of Southeastern lowlands.
The state is largely kept away from extreme weather given the warming effect from the Gulf of Mexico to the South, and the plains in the West.
Homeowners have many options for fruits to grow in Arkansas due to all these favorable reasons.
What fruit is native to Arkansas?
Arkansas’s weather and terrain is such that the State is rich in fruits.
The subtropical climate gives it hot summers and mild winters.
Such weather ensures you can enjoy plenty of wild berries grown in the region, as you sweat your heart out during summers.
There are many types of wild berries enjoyed by the Arkansans, of which some like blackberries may also seem very common.
Let’s have a look at some berries popular to Arkansas.
Wine berries: By the looks of it, these seem like raspberries but are much sweeter relatively, and some also claim they are waxy and tart.
Though, it also depends on when you pick them.
Juniper berries: Juniper berries grown in Arkansas have a very distinctive flavor and smell, and are typically used to infuse gin or season meat.
Blackberries: Blackberry picking is a very popular activity in Arkansas. They are grown all over the country road and surroundings like wild.
Arkansas blackberries are considered being one of the best and premium blackberries you will find anywhere in the world.
American Beauty berries: Another fun activity for Arkansans is foraging for the beauty berries, that many people use as an ingredient in ice cream syrup, pie fillings and jellies.
Sumac berries: These have a very versatile and delicious taste, and are used for a variety of purposes like making jellies, tea, sumac-ade—a lemonade drink, using it as an alternative to paprika in hummus, and a lot more.
Northern Spicebush berries: An untapped treasure in Arkansas is the spicebush berry, which, many people do not forage as many do not even understand what it is and what its uses may be.
Muscadines: Another favorite treat in Arkansas, used for wine, jams and jellies or even just as an evening snack in late summers.
Which produce grows best in Arkansas?
Spicy peppers, juicy tomatoes and crisp cucumbers—these are just a few fresh treats to name that you will find in Arkansas.
The state produces ample fresh produce for you to enjoy almost all year long.
A variety of fruits and vegetables are available at the farmer’s market, and if you are keen for it, you can easily grow some for yourself in your backyard as well.
Right timing is the only key to it, and you can enjoy a wide range of fresh items.
Besides fruits and vegetables, herbs are also grown in Arkansas—all that’s needed is the right amount of sunlight.
If you are growing some for yourself at home, you can also plant them in a pot and move it around to sunny spots and shadier places, alternatively as and when needed.
From apples and berries to cucumbers and tomatoes, to all different herbs—parsley, basil, cilantro, chives dill, mint, etc.; you will get it all in Arkansas.
Do apples grow well in Arkansas?
Apples can be grown easily in Arkansas, with little to no attention needed.
In fact, Arkansas is considered being a blooming place for apples thanks to its cool spring and fall months.
Apples grow great even in snow and frost.
Although the entire state is suitable to grow apples, the Ozark Plateau region is great for their cultivation.
You can expect apples to tolerate just any kind of soil in the region, and they are very low maintenance to require irrigation or other things.
You may just have to do some light pruning here and there.
Apples are considered a great produce for Arkansas because:
– Cold hardy: Unlike other flowers and fruits, apples can be grown even during frost and snow in late spring, which lets them thrive in the cool fall and cold spring months of Arkansas.
– Easy to Grow: You don’t need any fertilizer or loads of watering for an apple plant—it can be grown in any kind of soil and just needs some pruning making it one of the easiest fruits to grow anywhere.
– Great for any yard: Apple trees are perfect for any gardener’s yard and can be grown anywhere, so even if you have some space in your backyard, you can easily plant a couple of apple trees and enjoy its fresh produce.
– Heavy Harvest: Apple trees have one of the heaviest harvest among fruits, you can pick them between August to November and enjoy!
What fruit grows well in Arkansas?
To understand the best fruits that can be grown in Arkansas, it is also critical to understand the hardiness zone of Arkansas.
Arkansas is in a pretty favorable zone and so, there are many fresh fruits that can be grown in the state easily.
– Peaches: Peaches are self-fruitful, which means only a single variety of harvest is needed, although the harvest increases when over one variety is used.
They also do particularly better in hotter climates as compared to other fruits like cherries, apples, etc.
Peach cultivation can be done easily in hot summer climates.
– Plum: Plums thrive and produce better fruit in summers than winters.
They are very hard and resistant to diseases and pests, meaning; they are also pretty low maintenance in that regard.
All that’s needed is them to be protected from animals like squirrels, rabbits and deer who love to feast on them.
– Fig: Although unestablished trees are typically killed off in cold winter spells, one can easily grow figs in Arkansas.
They are usually pest and disease free and a fruit of choice to be grown in the region.
– Permission: Asian permission is another hardy and tolerant fruit that can do well in heat and hence grows great in Arkansas.
It ripens between August to December and has a good shelf life.