How to Plant Wall-Trained Fruit

Turn a wall into a lively fruit garden with this step-by-step guide.

Wall Trained Fruit is Productive Space Saver

Wall Trained Fruit is Productive Space Saver

Fans and espaliers are popular ways of training fruit trees to grow against a wall or on a trellis. Most varieties can be trained and are easier to maintain and a bit more productive. Training requires time and patience, but the rewards will be great.

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Materials Needed

  • fruit plants
  • galvanized wire
  • vine or screw eyes
  • soft string
  • canes
  • mulch
  • garden hose

Step 1: Secure Wire

Vine Eyes and Wire Used to Train Climbing Vines

Vine Eyes and Wire Used to Train Climbing Vines

A system of vine eyes threaded with wire along a fence is the simplest way to train a vine and provide support.

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Horizontal wires, spaced 2 feet apart, are ideal for training fruit against walls and fences and are easy to fix using vine eyes or screw eyes. Use strong, galvanized wire, which is very long lasting.

Step 2: Mark Out Distances

Mark Out Planting Distances for Wall Trained Fruit

Mark Out Planting Distances for Wall Trained Fruit

Mark out planting distances for wall trained fruit trees, making sure they are evenly spaced before planting trees.

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

If planting a row of wall-trained fruit, mark out the planting distances first so they are evenly spaced. Cordon trees and shrubs can be planted more closely than free-standing plants, as little as 12 inches apart.

Step 3: Train Plants

Train Stems to Run Along Wall Wires

Train Stems to Run Along Wall Wires

Train the fruit trees against the wires until they were strong enough to keep the straight and narrow shape. Use old panty hose or soft string to tie the new branches loosely into place. Remove ties once stems are mature.

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Once planted, train the stems and branches as required, whether vertical, angled or fan-trained, and tie them onto the wires with soft string. Use canes to hold young stems straight, and remove them once mature.

Step 4: Water Plants

Wall Trained Fruit Trees Bloom Profusely

Wall Trained Fruit Trees Bloom Profusely

Make sure that wall trained fruit is well watered since rain may have difficulty reaching the roots that are too close to the wall. Mulch plants to help retain moisture, and water the plant during dry spells.

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Rain may have difficulty reaching the roots of wall-trained fruit, so plants should be watered frequently until well established. Mulch plants to help retain moisture, and water mature fruiting plants well during dry spells