Stella Otto: The Backyard Fruit Gardener

Today's Tip: Remove dropped fruit and rake up fallen leaves to reduce pest and disease problems next year

Seasoned Advice for Successful Fruit Gardening

Are you wondering when to prune your fruit trees? Are bugs bugging your berry patch? Do you need hands-on advice to create a fruitful berry garden and home orchard? It’s at your finger tips right here - Stella Otto, horticulturist, teacher, and award winning author shares her years of experience and answers your questions while guiding you on the path to many fruitful harvests!

Latest from the Orchardist's Journal


Expanded and Updated Backyard Orchardist Coming Soon

October 10, 2015

It’s offi­cial! A new expanded and updated edi­tion of The Back­yard Orchardist: A com­plete guide to grow­ing fruit trees in the home gar­den has gone to press. After more than 20 years as the home gardener’s go-to source for in-depth infor­ma­tion and solu­tions to your tree fruit grow­ing chal­lenges, it was time for an update. You’ll […]

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Choosing Apple Varieties for Your Home Orchard

October 5, 2015

Octo­ber is National Apple Month; time to cel­e­brate the crunch­ing, munch­ing great fla­vor of our all-American fruit! For some folks that means a trip to the local u-pick, cider mill, or farm­ers’ mar­ket. For oth­ers, maybe you, it is an entice­ment to grow a few apple trees right at home. Plan­ning is one of the keys […]

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The Tree of 40 Fruits

August 19, 2015

When it comes to graft­ing fruit trees, most of us would be hard pressed to top Sam Van Aken. How­ever, in urban areas around the United States, small bands of intre­pid grafters give it a clan­des­tine try. Not only does Van Aken  seek to cre­ate a fas­ci­nat­ing tree of great beauty, his unique cre­ation could […]

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The Orchardist, Stella Otto


Stella Otto has a B.S. in Horticulture, fruit production specialization, from Michigan State University. She resides in northern Michigan’s Leelanau county, Cherry Capital of the world. She gardens together with her husband, son, and daughter. Their 2 horses contribute copiously to the compost pile, while their 3 cats handle some pest control patrol.
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