Fruit

Learn about ways to select and plant your own apple tree. Listen to Podcast: podcast transcript Apples (Malus domestica) are one of the easiest fruit trees to grow in our climate. Don’t believe me? Just look around. There are thousands of wild apple trees growing in abandoned fields and meadows, left overs and off spring from cultivated varieties on old farms. Some actually taste pretty good and I love wandering fields in fall taste testing these wild apples. While most heirloom or old fashioned varieties grew on trees that could […]

Learn about Asian pears, including varieties and how to plant and grow them. Listen to Podcast: These fruits have been grown for more than 3000 years in Japan and China. Although they share a name with a similar European fruit, they present themselves totally differently. They are round, crisp textured, and juicy. We call them Asian pears. Asian pears are also known as “apple pears” because many are round shaped, but they’re not a hybrid of a pear and apple. They’re in another branch of the pear family that has […]

Learn how to use bird netting to keep birds from eating berries and fruit. Listen to Podcast: There’s nothing better than watching the summer birds soaring around my yard, except when they decide on eating my prized berries! After coddling berry plants for years, bird protection is serious business. Cherries, strawberries, blueberries and elderberries are just some of the berry crops that birds love. Here are some ideas on preventing the damage. Bird netting is the most common protective device. Consider placing some tall stakes and a framework over the […]

Learn all about the best varieties of blackberries to grow in the North, including everbearing types. Listen to Podcast:   podcast transcript   How to Grow: Brambles Brambles (Rubus) is the general name given to plants in the raspberry and blackberry family. I think they’re essential to grow in the yard because the fruits are so perishable and expensive in the store, only fresh fruit from your garden will do. These little jewels of fruits come in red, yellow, purple, and black and grow like weeds. I often go scouting […]

Learn about growing blueberries including the best varieties to grow for your location. Listen to Podcast: podcast transcript How to Grow: Blueberries I don’t know why more people don’t grow blueberries (Vaccinium). They’re one of the easiest and most beautiful fruiting shrubs to grow in our climate. They have few pests and diseases, can withstand our cold winters, and can produce healthful fruits for 30 years. What else could you ask for in a berry bush? I love walking out during blueberry season and picking a handful of ripe berries […]

Brambles (Rubus) is the general name given to plants in the raspberry and blackberry family. I think they’re essential to grow in the yard because the fruits are so perishable and expensive in the store, only fresh fruit from your garden will do. These little jewels of fruits come in red, yellow, purple, and black and grow like weeds. I often go scouting in abandoned fields looking for patches of wild brambles to harvest. They are one of the first species to colonize a pasture after the animals and man […]

Learn about cherries, including how to plant and grow them. Listen to Podcast: podcast transcript How to Grow: Cherries I remember as a young boy riding in my uncle’s bucket loader as he hoisted me up to pick bushels of cherries from his tree. I still remember the stained smiles of my cousins and me from eating and picking those cherries (Prunus). Cherry varieties are either sweet or sour. While sweet cherries are mostly eaten fresh, and sour or pie cherries used for cooking, don’t let the names fool you. […]

Learn about chestnut trees, including varieties and how to plant and grow them. Listen to Podcast: On my recent Garden and Food Tour of Sicily, we visited Mt. Etna and I was amazed at the groves of Italian chestnuts growing in the forests there. They were loaded with prickly covered nuts. It got me thinking about our American chestnut. Chestnut trees used to grace the eastern forests from Georgia to Maine providing food for humans and wildlife and great rot resistant lumber for building. Chestnut fruits are unique. They are […]

There’s nothing like the taste of home grown citrus. Unfortunately, only gardeners in USDA hardiness zones 8 and warmer usually get this experience. But even gardeners in colder climates can enjoy some citrus in containers grown as houseplants in winter and moved outdoors in summer. In warm climates citrus can grow into medium-sized trees (20 to 30 feet). But grown in a container they stay manageable and dwarf. How to Use in Foodscaping Outdoors grow citrus trees in the yard as a specimen plant or grow dwarf varieties in a […]

Learn about companion planting, including what plants grow well next to other plants and which to avoid. Listen to Podcast: Gardening is known for its folklore. Some of these old wives tales have some truth to them and others, not so much. I often get asked about companion planting for insect control. Although many say plants such as onions, marigolds and rue can deter pests, scientifically, few of these folklore remedies have been proven. It might happen that you get fewer pests on your tomatoes if onions are growing nearby, […]

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