With more and more people growing vegetables at home, you might be thinking about trying to grow fruit and nuts as well! If you’ve tasted fresh homegrown tomatoes, greens, beans, and corn, you’d be right to think that a fresh-picked apple or pear might be incredible as wlel.
The good news is, while the care of fruit trees and berry bushes can be a bit different from what you do in the vegetable garden, it isn’t hard – and with a little info you’ll be off and running. The important points are selecting the right tree for your climate, selecting the right site in your yard, providing the right pollinator trees, and proper pruning.
In this episode, Joe takes some of the mystery out of the selection and care of fruit trees, from picking your trees at the nursery, buying potted versus bareroot, to a little info on planting site, and how fruit trees are propagated through grafting. He also helps vegetable gardener Jamie select the right site and plant her very first fruit tree. Whether you have an acre or a balcony, you too can have your very own backyard orchard.
A note on pruning from Elmer Kidd at Stark Bros:
“The biggest mistake homeowners make with their first fruit tree is not pruning. Folks are scared that they are hurting the tree by pruning it, but nothing could be further from the truth! Pruning is absolutely critical for the success of a fruit tree. Pruning encourages horizontal growth, which helps get the tree in balance so it can produce abundant fruits.”
Pruning By Year:
1st Year = for Survival
2nd Year = for Shaping
3rd Year+ = for Performance
For more information:
- The Holistic Orchard: Tree Fruits and Berries the Biological Way (book)*
- Stark Bros “Find Trees By Zone” Tool
- The Importance of Fruit Tree pollination (Stark Bros)
- Tree Fruit Pollination Facts including pollinators by variety (Colorado State Univ Ext)
- More great tips on tree selection, region, chilling times, and more (Sandy Bar Nursery)
- Home Orchard Pollination (Purdue University Ext)
- Masanobu Fukuoka and nature farming
- Recipe: Pan-fried Pork Chops with Port Cherry Sauce
*Links related to books and merchandise are affiliate links