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.

The Backyard Orchardist, 2nd edition: Reviews

Author: Stella Otto

Pages: 320
Size: 6x9. Trade paperback
Black & white line art illustrations
Resource lists
Trouble shooting guide
Monthly almanac
Glossary. Index.
$24.95 USD

ISBN: 978–0-9634520–4-7

Pub Date: Jan­u­ary 18, 2016

Published by: Otto Graphics (Distributed by: Chelsea Green Publishing)

Early Praise for The Back­yard Orchardist, 2nd edition

From the fore­word:
”…I’ve eaten deli­cious fruit from Stella Otto’s gar­den. Her small back­yard fruit plant­i­ngs are a model of order, clar­ity, and bounty. Sim­i­larly, The Back­Yard Orchardist sets a high stan­dard for “how-to” hor­ti­cul­tural wis­dom. Her advice is clear, con­cise, wise, and infor­ma­tive. This new and expanded edi­tion is a prac­ti­cal book that makes fruit cul­ture eas­ier and more pro­duc­tive. The charts, illus­tra­tions, and text pro­vide a sound intro­duc­tion to renew­ing this country’s most impor­tant hor­ti­cul­tural tra­di­tion, enabling any mod­est gar­dener the oppor­tu­nity at gath­er­ing their own ‘pre­cious refreshment.’ ”

- Peter J. Hatch, Direc­tor of Gar­dens and Grounds Emer­i­tus for the Thomas Jef­fer­son Foun­da­tion and author of The Fruits and Fruit Trees of Mon­ti­cello, Thomas Jef­fer­son and the Ori­gins of Amer­i­can Horticulture


For over twenty years, Stella Otto’s book The Back­yard Orchardist, has been a sta­ple ref­er­ence for the home grower and adven­tur­ous land­scaper designer. The newly updated and expanded ver­sion of this clas­sic hits per­fect stride with the grow­ing inter­ests in uncom­mon fruits, con­tainer gar­den­ing, and nat­ural fruit tree care. The new edi­tions will soon be dog-eared and smudged along with my orig­i­nal copy.”

- Michael Judd, author of Edi­ble Land­scap­ing with a Per­ma­cul­ture Twist


Over the years I have seen many gar­den­ing books on land­scap­ing, shrubs, trees, and orna­men­tals. There has always been a need for an intel­li­gent, easy to under­stand, well writ­ten book on fruit. Stella Otto’s first edi­tion of The Back­yard Orchardist set the bar high. This sec­ond edi­tion improves on what I feel has long been the best ref­er­ence on grow­ing fruit trees. Thank you for this won­der­fully writ­ten book. I rec­om­mend it to any­one, from those who are just start­ing out, to a pro who wants to refresh them­selves on the why, when, and where they do what they do.”

- Bill Ford, speaker, 3rd gen­er­a­tion fruit grower, owner(retired) John­son Nursery 


…does a great job of sim­pli­fy­ing the com­plex sci­ence of fruit grow­ing to a prac­ti­cal level that a novice home grower can use and enjoy.”

- Dr. Nikki Roth­well, Exten­sion Spe­cial­ist and Coor­di­na­tor, North­west Michi­gan Hor­ti­cul­tural Research Center


Wel­come to the ‘grow it, eat it’ move­ment. If you’re about to dig in, good! The Back­yard Orchardist will move you along the way with prac­ti­cal up-to-date infor­ma­tion to ener­gize your journey.”

- Michael McConkey, Edi­ble Land­scap­ing nursery


The Back­yard Orchardist sim­pli­fies the com­plex­i­ties of man­ag­ing home orchard pest and dis­eases. It helps you under­stand and weigh the choices: form safer, more eco-friendly sterte­gies through the occa­sion­ally nec­es­sary pes­ti­cide options avail­able to the home gardener.”

- Emily Pochubay, Tree Fruit IPM Edu­ca­tor, Michi­gan State Uni­ver­sity Extension


Stella’ book, The Back­yard Orchardist, has been a long time favorite and taught me a lot.”

- Jan Riggen­bach, gar­den writer


Stella’s approach to the topic is sim­ple, yet detailed enough to help any home orchardist with their most fre­quent pest challenges.”

- Dr. Duke Elsner, Michi­gan State Uni­ver­sity Extension