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: January 2014

Four Seasons in the Fruit Garden thru the Lens of a Camera — Winter

Snow on primocane-bearing raspberriesraspberries

Every blog needs a photo, right? Well, I have to con­fess to being less than stel­lar with a cam­era in my hands.…but I can learn. As a belated New Year’s res­o­lu­tion, I’ve chal­lenged myself to prac­tice. To keep at it, being held account­able helps. So here, for bet­ter or worse (prob­a­bly worse for a while at […]

Brrr.… It’s Cold; Does My Fruit Garden Care?

Fruit garden covered in snow

These deep and extended cold win­ter tem­per­a­tures have sure given gar­den­ers cause to hiber­nate. Many are won­der­ing, “How will this affect my fruit gar­den?” Assum­ing your fruit gar­den con­tained rel­a­tively strong, healthy plants and trees, the answer is, luck­ily, the impact is likely to be min­i­mal. We’ve had sev­eral fac­tors work­ing for us:   Fruit trees and […]

Avoid Common Fruit Garden Mistakes

weeds around newly plnated fruit plants

When fruit gar­den­ers, espe­cially first-timers, come to me with their prob­lems, I often dis­cover those prob­lems have their roots in a few basic mis­takes or over­sights when the gar­den is first planted: Dream­ing too big With all the promises of “no main­te­nance” gar­dens and entic­ing descrip­tions of every fruit vari­ety that ever graced a nurs­ery cat­a­log we […]

10 More Words to Help You Demystify Fruit Nursery Catalogs — Part 2

Primocane bearing red raspberry

In Part 1 of this post, I cov­ered a num­ber of terms fre­quently found in tree fruit nurs­ery cat­a­logs. Some also apply to small fruit. The fol­low­ing terms, and their “codes” in paren­the­ses, are more com­monly found in berry and vine fruit nurs­ery cat­a­logs: Tis­sue cul­tured plug/plant (TC) — This is a clone, typ­i­cally taken from […]

Thaw Out — Chill Out


Hope­fully you sur­vived the deep freeze of 2014. Even though tem­per­a­tures are mov­ing back into the nor­mal range for Jan­u­ary, there’s still plenty of win­ter left around the coun­try. When cabin fever hits and you just have to get back out in a gar­den, but the weather isn’t any­where close to mak­ing that a reality, […]

10 Words to Help You Demystify Fruit Nursery Catalogs

Apple rootstock in the nursery row

With the new year upon us, visions of nurs­ery cat­a­logs and plant orders dance in our heads. This can be an over­whelm­ing time, espe­cially for the novice fruit grower. All the vari­ety descrip­tions sound so per­fect. I always want one of every­thing! As I come back to real­ity — tem­pered by lack of money, space, […]