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: December 2013

Pin-up Girl in the Garden of Eden

Trans­la­tion: The Back­Yard Fruit Gar­dener is now on Pin­ter­est. As I try to keep pace with the dig­i­tal age via today’s social media, Pin­ter­est is my first big foray. Not what you expected from a sexy title per­haps. Hope­fully I can deliver more than that momen­tary sweet bite of fruit! Join me on the journey […]

The Tradition of Wassail

Fruitfully laden apple branch ready for harvest

Was­saile the trees, that they may beare You many a Plum and many a Peare: For more or lesse fruits they will bring, As you do give them Was­sail­ing.” Although hard to date pre­cisely, the orig­i­nal tra­di­tion of “waes hael” likely dates back prior to the 1600s. Tra­di­tion was, that to ward off evil spir­its and […]

Knowledge is One Thing No One Can Take Away From You

Books - Knowledge is somthing, once acquired no one can take from you.

I’ve always encour­aged my chil­dren to learn as they grow and told them “once gained, knowl­edge and a work ethic are two things no one can take away from you.” Con­tin­u­ing the pur­suit of knowl­edge is some­thing that I have tried to prac­tice over the years. What more per­fect way to do that than curl […]

Dealing with Raised Beds, Strawberry Pyramids, and Containers in Winter

Sit­u­a­tions where straw­berry plants are more exposed to soil freez­ing and the root and crown dam­age that accom­pa­nies it bear spe­cial con­sid­er­a­tion. This would include plants grown in raised beds, pyra­mids, bar­rels, and pots. Ide­ally mov­ing con­tainer grown plants to a pro­tected but unheated garage may help pro­tect them from wind dessi­ca­tion and mild freezing. […]

Floating Row Cover vs. Natural Mulch for Strawberries

In my last post, I talked about using straw or other nat­ural mulch to pro­tect straw­ber­ries from win­ter freeze dam­age. Float­ing row cov­ers can be used as an alter­na­tive or adjunct to nat­ural mulches. They offer the advan­tages of increas­ing yield and an ear­lier har­vest because light pen­e­trates the row cover and more flower blossoms […]

And THIS is Why we Mulch Strawberries in the Winter.……

From 44°F to 14°F in 2 days; it’s these dra­matic tem­per­a­ture fluc­tu­a­tions in a short time that wrecks havoc with fruit­ing plants. Add to that a wind chill that put tem­per­a­tures in the sin­gle dig­its and you have a recipe for tis­sue des­ic­ca­tion (dry­ing out) and crown injury to exposed straw­berry plants. Early in the win­ter, the […]

Founding Gardeners: The Revolutionary Generations, Nature, and the Shaping of the American Nation — Book Review

Founding Gardeners book cover

Book Review Title: Found­ing Gar­den­ers: The Rev­o­lu­tion­ary Gen­er­a­tions, Nature, and the Shap­ing of the Amer­i­can Nation Author: Andrea Wulf Strong points: Found­ing Gar­den­ers is metic­u­lously researched. It is as much or more an his­toric doc­u­men­ta­tion as it is a hor­ti­cul­tural recount­ing. Agri­cul­ture was inex­orably inter­twined with our country’s early growth and strength. Andrea does a masterful […]