Introduction to Home Fruit Growing

Sugar Lady

If you are new to home fruit growing, welcome and congratulations! - you are already one step closer to picking tree-ripened, fully-flavored, healthy fruit from your own trees. You also might be about to begin a uniquely rewarding hobby.

Wondering where to begin? These three articles will lead you to all of the DWN home fruit growing information:

1. What Is Backyard Orchard Culture? Explanation of a simple, practical method for producing a longer season of fresh fruit from the available space in your yard. Introduction to high-density planting and summer pruning for tree size control.

2. Selecting Varieties and Rootstocks What to consider when choosing fruit trees for your specific planting site.

3. Planting Your Backyard Orchard Soil drainage, site preparation and how to plant trees.

Ultimately, however, your most important learning experience will come from the first trees you grow. If you choose fruit trees suited to your area and ensure your planting site drains well, your first successes are almost certain. Thereafter, the more varieties you plant, the more you observe and learn, the more success you will have.

If you are still undecided about growing fruit in your backyard, consider the following:

  • Home-growing is usually the only way to have perfectly tree-ripened fruit of the tastiest varieties. Home fruit varieties are selected for flavor, not shipping quality, and home-grown fruit does not have to be picked before fully ripe for shipping to market.

  • Sharing with friends the surprise and impact of the most delicious, sensational new fruit variety you’ve ever tasted is an incomparable pleasure.

  • Fruit is an essential part of an enjoyable, balanced, healthy diet.

  • A supply of fresh fruit picked daily from your own backyard is equally convenience and luxury.

  • Growing fruit-yielding plants, perfecting your methods, perhaps advising others, is an engrossing, satisfying and rewarding hobby like no other.

  • Fruit trees can be uniquely beautiful – many have distinctive branching or bark, lush foliage, fall color, or showy blossoms.

  • Home fruit growing is a family-friendly activity for all ages. It’s outdoors. It’s growing plants, learning how different trees, vines and bushes grow. Learning about fruit-growing is learning biology – who doesn’t love biology?

  • A home orchard can be a perfect vehicle for teaching children responsibility and the rewards of effort.

  • So many occasions can be enhanced by a bowl or tray of tree-fresh, delicious fruit - imagine family and friends diving into an assortment of fantastic fruits just picked from your own trees! (Have your friends ever tasted a tree-ripe Snow Beauty White Peach? Flavor Grenade Pluot®? Spice Zee Nectaplum®?)

You really must try it – how else will you know? Once you’ve savored your own home-grown fruit, perfectly ripened to a wonderful sweetness and luscious flavor - and experienced the special pleasure of sharing it with family and friends...

The first Fruit Tube™ video to watch is Backyard Fruit Tree Basics. DWN's Tom Spellman reviews the essentials of Backyard Orchard Culture and reasons to grow fruit at home. The lecture/demonstration includes summer pruning to control tree size, successive ripening for continuous harvest, backyard microclimates, paying attention to rootstock, benefits of a raised bed for planting, reasons to mulch and the basics of fertilizing.

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