Presented as further proof that everything's bigger in Texas: This weekend's annual Urban Harvest fruit tree sale, the largest single-day sale of its kind in the country, which takes place Saturday, Jan. 16 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Every January for the last 16 years, the master gardeners at Urban Harvest have assembled a massive selection of fruit trees ranging from temperate (peach, plum, persimmon, pomegranate) to tropical (avocado, banana)—Houston's climate supports both.
In addition, you'll also find a diverse array of citrus trees for sale, ranging from blood oranges to Persian limes. Note, however, that any citrus trees purchased in Houston can only be transported and/or planted in Harris, Montgomery and Fort Bend counties; this is thanks to Houston's mild climate, which allows a pest called the Asian citrus psyllids to spread a bacterial disease called huanglongbing. As a result, citrus in Houston has been under quarantine for quite a while, but that shouldn't discourage you from purchasing and planting a grapefruit or satsuma tree of your own.
If you're worried about this or other gardening gaffes, don't be; Urban Harvest specialists will be on hand to help guide you to the perfect tree for your plot of land and your personal skill level.
Take jujubes, for instance. They're not just horrible movie candies that stick to your molars and taste like deflated balloons; the original jujube is an Asian fruit similar to a date. Not only are jujubes very easy to grow in Houston, they're an excellent alternative to apples, whether baked into pies or eaten as a snack.
You can even grow olives in Houston, particularly the Arbequina variety Urban Harvest is selling tomorrow. You can make a simple brine to create your own jarred olives at home, which—trust us—taste nothing like the canned olives you get at the grocery store (which typically aren't fermented but treated with lye, which removes the bitter flavor but leeches much of the olive's natural nutrients).
Prices at this Saturday's fruit tree sale range from $14 for a raspberry tree to $90 for that jujube tree to $175 for unusual multi-graft trees that produce both lemons and limes. Just be sure to take Houston gardening guru Dr. Bob Randall's timeless advice: Buy some good local soil, ditch the national brand fertilizer in favor of Gulf Coast-produced MicroLife organic fertilizer and enjoy the fruits of your labor.