Stella Otto: The Backyard Fruit Gardener

Today's Tip: Dormant fruit trees & berry plants that arrive before you are ready to plant can be heeled-in in a shady spot.

Bundle of scionwood
BackYard Orchardist & BackYard Berry Book covers

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


The Fruit Garden After Snow-melt: The Good, the Bad & the Ugly

April 14, 2014

The Good We have spring! Really, truly; the snow is largely melted, the rest will go fast. The days have warmed and buds will soon begin to swell. .….…Or at least that’s how it was Fri­day when I started this post. Today, Mon­day, we had rain and now, snow; enough snow to turn the pas­ture outside […]

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A Compact, Fruitful Garden Plan

April 7, 2014

As promised last post, here is a sketch of a model fruit gar­den that I saw dur­ing a work­shop last sum­mer at the Berk­shire Botan­i­cal Gar­den. This com­pact gar­den could be used or mod­i­fied slightly to fit even the small­est sub­ur­ban lot. I’ve embell­ished the orig­i­nal design with a few addi­tional ideas of my own. […]

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Fruitful Harvest Starts with a Garden Plan

March 31, 2014

Although many of us are still buried under sev­eral feet of snow or tak­ing refuge from sin­gle digit tem­per­a­tures, it is offi­cially spring. I’m itch­ing for the plant­ing and grow­ing sea­son to begin and I bet you are too! Whether you are wait­ing out the extended win­ter or lucky enough to have spring weather, it […]

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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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