Fruit Trees: Summer Pruning vs. Winter Pruning

Fruit Tree Pruning

To grow the most varieties of fruit on my small suburban lot, I am experimentally trying a technique called Backyard Orchard Culture developed by the fruit tree-growers at Dave Wilson Nursery. Proponents will tell you Backyard Orchard Culture or BYOC (“Bring Your Own Cherry? Citrus? Cherimoya?”) is a great way for space constrained gardeners to [Continue Reading…]

Stop Chickens From Scratching Up Your Trees and Shrubs

Protect Trees from Chickens

Happy chickens scratch. They scratch a lot. Trees and shrubs are not so fond of having their roots unearthed by chickens, but that does not dissuade the chickens, who will happily scratch and dig until they practically uproot a small tree if they think there might be a worm in it for them. In my yard, [Continue Reading…]

Backyard Orchard Culture: Designing Fruit Tree Quartets


The whole idea behind the Backyard Orchard Culture method is to prune trees so that they produce an extended harvest of manageable quantities of fresh fruit rather than one really big harvest all at once. This is achieved by planting trees with different ripening times and keeping them small through aggressive but thoughtful pruning that includes annual summer [Continue Reading…]

Backyard Orchard Culture: A Mini-Orchard In The Making


About a month ago, I talked about our plans to attempt the high-density fruit growing method called Backyard Orchard Culture.  Well, plans have become reality and the mini-orchard is planted! A few weeks ago our bare-root trees came from Raintree Nursery. A box arrived that was about the size of me. I was very excited to see the [Continue Reading…]

All Cooped Up! (Almost)


This weekend has been a total whirlwind. We’ve been building a coop for our new chickens and planting fruit trees like crazy. I had hoped that I’d have a nice, wrapped-up project to write about for Monday morning, but the truth is, as I write this post at Sunday at 10 pm, none of our [Continue Reading…]