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: February 2014

Four Seasons in the Fruit Garden thru the Lens of a Camera — Winter, Part 2


I didn’t want my New Year’s res­o­lu­tion to become so short-lived that it didn’t even make it through Feb­ru­ary. It was hard though. Our weather was bru­tal and not at all  moti­vat­ing to get out in. I did give it a lit­tle try though. This col­lapsed snow drift on the com­post pile reminded me of Wisconsin. […]

The Latest in (G)Uber Fashion for Northern Fruit Growers

Really, I don't know this guy!

Or is that Goober fash­ion? Really, I don’t know this guy. He just wan­dered in mum­bling some­thing about need­ing to get to Savan­nah for a sweet tango. “Four­teen below, it’s time to go.” Note to Boss­man: This man needs a vaca­tion REALLY badly! TTFN. More after we enjoy a lit­tle work at the Swee­T­ango® grow­ers’ meet­ing and some […]

Not Far From the Tree: A Brief History of the Apples and the Orchards of Palermo Maine 1804–2004 — Book Review

Cover photo of Not Far From the Tree

Book Review   Title: Not Far From the Tree: A Brief His­tory of the Apples and the Orchards of Palermo Maine 1804–2004 Author: John P. Bunker, Jr. Strong points: A very enjoy­able and poetic read. Lots of hor­ti­cul­tural learn­ing clev­erly inserted into the sto­ries and jour­nal entries. A per­fect exam­ple of what fruit explor­ing and her­itage variety […]

The Apple Grower: A Guide For the Organic Orchardist — Book Review

The Apple Grower - Book cover

Book Review Title: The Apple Grower: A Guide For the Organic Orchardist Author: Michael Phillips Strong points: The Apple Grower real­is­ti­cally cov­ers the goals of grow­ing a small scale com­mer­cial organic orchard. It both points out the chal­lenges of grow­ing organ­i­cally and pro­vides solid options for deal­ing with those chal­lenges. It is very evi­dent that Michael has […]

Collecting Dormant Scionwood

sticks of scionwood suitable for grafting

While north­ern gar­den­ers are buried in snow, west­ern gar­den­ers are del­uged with rain, and south­ern­ers are coated with ice; it’s not too early to think about any fruit tree prop­a­ga­tion you may be plan­ning for the spring. This will require a sup­ply of dor­mant scionwood (aka bud­wood.) Before spring arrives, it will be time to […]

Prognostications from Punxsutawney Phil & Why 6 More Weeks of Winter is Good

Wisconsin-shaped hole in the snow cover

It’s the day after groud­hog day and the great prog­nos­ti­ca­tor of spring’s arrival has “spo­ken.” We are in for 6 more weeks of win­ter.…… Yes,  I can hear your col­lec­tive groan of res­ig­na­tion and dread, but really, for the fruit gar­den this is a good thing. Here are a reason-a-week, and some sug­gested gar­den activities […]