Fruit

Fruit

How to Grow: Pears

Learn about pears, including how to plant and grow this fruit. Listen to Podcast: podcast transcript How to Grow: Pears The soft, sweet flesh of a home grown pear is almost a meal in itself. Of course, I’ll eat them with cheese or in salads, too, but eating pears fresh is the way to go. Unlike other fruit trees, pears like to grow tall, straight in a pyramidical shape. The ones that grow best in our region are European pears. These are hardier than peaches, but not as hardy as apples. Asian pears will only survive in warmer areas (USDA...

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How to Grow: Elderberries

Learn about elderberries, including how to plant and grow them. Listen to podcast: podcast transcript How to Grow: Elderberries Sambucus spp and hybrids   Other Name Elder     Sun Requirements full sun, part sun   Bloom Period and Seasonal Color Spring with white or pink flowers. It also has attractive red or black berries     Mature Height x Spread 5 to 12 feet x 5 to 10 feet     Added Benefits Native, attracts beneficials   Elderberries are common shrubs often found growing wild in meadows, abandoned fields and...

Fruit

How to Grow: Grapes

Learn about grapes, including how to plant and grow them. Listen to Podcast: podcast transcript How to Grow: Grapes Whether you’re growing them for juice, wine or fresh eating, grapes (Vitis) are a great home garden fruit. They’re self pollinating and productive so you can grow just one vine. Grapes can be trained to grow in small space or can be trained over a pergola or arbor. They require little care besides pruning, can grow on less than ideal soils, and fruit for up to 25 years or more. I often recommend people grow them because they...

Fruit

How to Grow: Cherries

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. Sour cherries taste great eaten...

Fruit

How to Grow: Apples

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 reach 40...

Fruit

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 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 leaves. That tells you how...

Fruit

How to Grow: Currants and Gooseberries

Learn about gooseberry and currant varieties and how to grow these under utilized berries in your yard. Listen to Podcast: podcast transcript Here are two related fruits that are loved by Europeans and Brits, but rarely grown in this country. But that's changing. Currants and gooseberries (Ribes) grow easily in our climate, need only one bush to fruit, produce an abundance of tasty fruits for fresh eating or making jams, jellies, and preserves, and are mostly problem free. What else can you ask for in a fruiting bush? Currants come in...

FruitPodcast

How to Grow: Plums

Learn how to plant and grow plums for a northern climate. Listen to Podcast: podcast transcript There are so many varieties of plums (Prunus)  available it's hard to grow just one. I've grown the American plums in my USDA zone 4 garden mostly because of their hardiness. European plums are less hardy, but are self fruitful. Japanese varieties can grow only in warmer parts of our region. There are also tart tasting, native plums and plums crossed with other stone fruits, such as apricots and peaches. These are called pluots. Most plums grow...

FruitPodcast

How to Grow: Melons

Learn how to plant and grow melons in your garden. Listen to Podcast: podcast transcript My wife Wendy grows a big patch of melons (Cucumis melo) each year. Come late summer it's a literal vigil to see when the first melon is ripe. There's good reason to be so interested. Fresh melons picked warm from the garden are sweet, juicy and certainly a decadent treat, much better than anything bought in the grocery store. While melons love the heat, you can still grow these sweet treats in the Northeast if you select the right varieties and have...

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How to Grow: Watermelons

Yes, you can grow watermelons (Citrullus lanantus) in our climate and they're worth the effort. I've grown the small round, ice-box types and kids and adults love to crack them open, munch on the sweet juicy flesh, and have seed splitting contests. While watermelons are mostly, water, they do contains vitamins such as A, B, and C and high amounts of the cancer-fighting anti-oxidant lycopene. Varieties are either oval or round with pink, yellow, orange or red flesh and seeded or seedless. When to Plant Watermelons like the heat, so wait...