Grow your own apples, figs, plums, cherries, pears, apricots, and peaches in even the smallest backyard! Ann Ralph shows you how to cultivate small yet abundant fruit trees using a variety of specialized pruning techniques. With dozens of simple and effective strategies for keeping an ordinary fruit tree from growing too large, you’ll keep your gardening duties manageable while at the same time reaping a bountiful harvest. These little fruit trees are easy to maintain and make a lovely addition to any home landscape.
In his accessible style, Ralph propagates several new ideas about fruit trees to the backyard gardener. The first is that fruit trees should be small certainly no taller than the gardener herself. This allows better access to the fruit, and makes managing crop size easier just enough plums rather than so many that everyone in the household resents anything round and purple. The second is to prune in winter for shape and in summer for size. Winter pruning inspires growth, whereas summer pruning keeps the tree small. The third is to plant bare root trees and make a severe initial prune, the so-called head cut, at knee length. Ralph keeps the rest simple enough. Water infrequently but deeply, mind pests in a live-and-let-live relationship, and pick when ripe or, in the case of pears, pre-ripe. And she swears by worm castings for a variety of fruit tree ailments. This will be a thrilling read for the backyard farmer wants fruit all year round from a small, sunny space.
Haven’t finished it- but its inspiring and easy!
I just bought the book this weekend and am half way through it. I am new to gardening and tree pruning/work. I am so inspired because this seems so do-able. I don’t have to be a pseudo arborist or lifelong tree caretaker. I’m new to the art and so far I’m really glad I purchased this little book. I’ll update my review when I’ve finished the book.