Notes from Wisconsin Garden Expo talk on Growing Fruit.
Check out what your neighbors and friends are growing.
Fruiting plants need full sun and good soil.
Don’t buy from big box stores.
Choose your rootstock.
Protect plants when small with tree tubes, hardware cloth, chicken wire, wire screen, etc. and prep/buy before planting time!
Mulch trees and shrubs with wood chips, strawberries and melons with straw .
Plant bulbs and other companion plants – herbs, dutch white clover, etc. around your fruit trees.
Preparation is the Key to Your Success!
- Research! Classes, books, experts, etc. Don’t believe everything you read online. Look for Extension/University publications
- More research! Soil type, slope, light levels, spacing, etc.
- Get a soil test and improve your soil by growing a cover crop, adding compost, and/or sheet mulching. It all starts with the soil!
- Prepare cardboard, tree and shrub cages/fences ahead of time! Fence everything when it is small – I like hardware cloth, zip ties, and 6 inch landscape staples
- Prepare to water for 1 – 2 years after planting
- Emilyplants.com has a pre-planting checklist
The Backyard Orchardist by Stella Otto
Growing Organic Orchard Fruits by Danny L. Barney
The Holistic Orchard by Michael Phillips
The Harrowsmith Book of Fruit Trees by Jennifer Bennett
Anything by Lee Reich
Fallingfruit.org – find or list a fruit or nut tree!
Davesgarden.com/products/gwd – Garden Watchdog rates mail order nurseries
Uncommonfruit.cias.wisc.edu – fruit reviews
MidFEX – Midwest Fruit Explorers
NAFEX – North American Fruit Explorers