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.

Category Archives: Uncategorized

The Backyard Orchardist goes on a Blog Book Tour


What fun! The Back­yard Orchardist is get­ting to meet new fruit gar­dener friends all over the coun­try as we go on vir­tual tour. We’re stop­ping in to visit a num­ber of gar­den­ing, home­steading, and per­ma­cul­ture blogs and hope you will join us in vis­it­ing these great stops. Here are some past stops, with more to […]

The Groundhog Predicts a Fruitful Year with the Expanded and Updated Backyard Orchardist

Backyaard Orchardist cover 72 dpi

It’s offi­cial! A new expanded and updated edi­tion of The Back­yard Orchardist: A com­plete guide to grow­ing fruit trees in the home gar­den is off the press and avail­able to help you get the com­ing grow­ing sea­son off to a fruit­ful start! Punx­sutawney Phil has pre­dicted an early spring. Make sure you are ready to […]

Back to the Blog

After tak­ing the dor­mant sea­son to rest, reor­ga­nize and re-energize, the Back­yard Fruit Gar­dener is bud­ding once again. I’ll be mak­ing some changes for the sea­son ahead with some likely tweaks along the way. Later this year, I’ll roll out a project that has kept me quite busy behind the scenes these past months. Check […]

Glossary of Fruit Gardening Terms

As promised, I’ve com­piled the glos­sary of fruit gar­den­ing terms and it’s live online now. Enjoy! I hope it adds to your under­stand­ing of this great hobby. I’ve only included glos­sary def­i­n­i­tions as they apply to the fruit gar­den just to keep things focused. There may be addi­tional mean­ings both within hor­ti­cul­ture and within daily usage. No […]

Pomology — What Does That Word Mean?

Some­times learn­ing a new hobby can be like learn­ing a new lan­guage. Many hob­bies come with their own set of ter­mi­nol­ogy and fruit gar­den­ing is cer­tainly no excep­tion. This point was brought home to me recently in an edit­ing class I am tak­ing. One of my fel­low class­mates liked the piece —  a blog post […]

Fruitful Harvest Starts with a Garden Plan

Apple blossom

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 […]

SweeTango — a Lesson Driven Home

Head­ing off to the Swee­T­ango grow­ers meet­ing saw my hus­band and I lit­er­ally expe­ri­enc­ing a 100°F tem­per­a­ture change in an 8 hour period; from –24°F (yes that is minus) in chilly north­ern Michi­gan to 75°F in Savan­nah, Geor­gia. It was a wel­come change for us humans! It is, how­ever, not one that would do fruit trees […]

To Remain Nameless — Book Review

To Remain Name­less; what a strange title for a book on fruit gar­den­ing. Well, actu­ally that’s not the title of the book. I decided to take this approach since I have encoun­tered a book on my review list that is so full of defi­cien­cies and mis­in­for­ma­tion that it really should not be in your library. Normally, […]

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 […]

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, […]