For novice and experienced fruit gardeners alike, The Backyard Orchardist: A complete guide to growing fruit trees in the home garden has been the go-to book for home orchardists for over 2 decades. This expanded and updated edition—organized into 6 easy-to-follow sections—offers even more hands-on horticulture. Award-winning author Stella Otto starts by systematically guiding readers through the all-important first steps of planning and planting the home orchard. Learn to:
- evaluate and build healthy soil
- choose the best planting site
- select fruit trees that are easy to grow and appropriate for your climate
Become familiar with the growing requirements of popular temperate zone tree fruit: the pome fruit—apples, pears, Asian pears, quince, and the novelty medlar—and stone fruit—cherries, apricots, plums, their new hybrid pluots and apriums, peaches and nectarines. In-depth chapters on each fruit offer recommendations on:
- disease-resistant varieties to save you time and reduce unnecessary spraying
- size controlling rootstocks choices for smaller spaces
- compatible varieties to achieve proper cross-pollination that leads to a bountiful harvest
For urban gardeners in apartments, condos, and small lots, Otto walks you through the essentials of container growing and even how to winterize figs and other potted fruit trees.
Horticultural fundamentals are simplified into practical techniques for ongoing care and maintenance of a thriving orchard. Gain understanding of soil biology and how nutrient availability impacts the tree. Master how to prune with precision, including the when, how, and why of pruning and its importance to tree health and disease prevention. Water with confidence: learn when why, and how much.
The pests and disease sections are extensively illustrated to help with identification. Control solutions, both biological and synthetic have expanded greatly since the original edition, offering the gardener numerous choices based on their individual situation.
Harvest hints, use, and storage recommendations help you enjoy your fruit at its peak flavor or preserve it for the off-season. A seasonal to-do calendar, resource list, additional reading suggestions, glossary, illustrations, charts, and an index put all you need to know at your fingertips.