Stella Otto: The Backyard Fruit Gardener

Today's Tip: Mow vegetation short around the base of fruit trees and bushes to reduce winter habitat for rodents.

Monthly Archives: September 2013

Containing Your Compost

Compost cooking in the bin

The foot­print of your com­post pile will be some­what dic­tated by the method and loca­tion you choose.  For sheet and trench com­post­ing, the size of your future gar­den bed will be the deter­miner; just as the size of your com­post tum­bler will dic­tate the vol­ume it holds. Sheet com­post­ing will be done right on the […]

Bananas and Apples and Pears, Oh My!

Here is a great recipe for a fall evening when the days are get­ting short and din­ner needs a pick-me-up. This ver­sa­tile dish can be served as a side dish or a dessert. Take your pick. Fruit Fan­ta­sia 3 Tbsp. but­ter 1/3 cup brown sugar 1 tsp. lemon juice ½ tsp. cin­na­mon 1/4 tsp. all­spice 1 […]

Compost — Where to Begin

So, how do you start com­post­ing? First you might want to con­sider how much space and time you have for com­post­ing. Here are 4 basic meth­ods with their pros and cons: Once you have decided which method will suit you, con­sider the loca­tion of your com­post­ing site. Most likely, a spot near the gar­den where you […]

Creating Compost

Pop Quiz: What can pro­vide nutri­ents for your berry bushes, enhance soil mois­ture hold­ing capac­ity and, over time, improve the struc­ture of the soil in your fruit gar­den? Bingo —- organic mat­ter! Organic mat­ter is the foun­da­tion and back­bone for a strong healthy fruit gar­den. Yet many forms of organic mat­ter in their native state are not […]

Soil Testing

Before apply­ing nutri­ents to your plant­ing site it is wise to know what nutri­ents are already present and avail­able in your soil. By test­ing the soil you can avoid spend­ing money on unneeded or incor­rect fer­til­iz­ers. Also, by avoid­ing over-application, you avoid min­eral leach­ing that con­tributes to ground water pol­lu­tion Soil test­ing is quite sim­ple. Samples […]

Picking Pears & Making Pear Bread

Pears are one of the few fruit that should actu­ally be har­vested before the fruit is fully ripe on the tree. If you leave the fruit hang­ing on the tree too long, it will start to break­down and brown at the core and develop an off fla­vor. So be sure to pick your pears when […]