• How to Plant, Grow, Prune, and Harvest Loquats

    Loquat bigstock Close Up Bright Loquat Fruits 308549260 scaled

    Loquats are easy to grow. They produce plum-sized fruits that are sweet and tangy. Loquats are large evergreen shrubs or small trees. They can grow 20 to 30 feet tall but are usually about 10 feet tall or slightly larger. Loquat fruits are round, oval, or pear-shaped, 1 to 2 inches long with a smooth, […] More

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  • How to Plant, Grow, Prune, and Harvest Plums

    Plums are a diverse group of fruiting trees. Plums can be found in most temperate regions of the world. There is a wide range of tree sizes, forms, colors, and flavors. European plums are blue and widely grown. Japanese plums are red and very popular. Native American plums are small and tart. Damson plums are […] More

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  • Apricots: Kitchen Basics

    Apricot slices1

    There are two apricots you must simply eat out of hand: ‘Blenheim’ is a medium to large, sweet and aromatic, and very juicy apricot with a classic apricot flavor; ‘Moorpark’ is a large, sweet, aromatic, and juicy apricot with a rich plum-like taste. You will find dozens of varieties of just picked apricots to choose […] More

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  • Planning the Home Fruit Garden

    blueberry bush

    Planning the home fruit garden requires a bit more future-thinking than the vegetable garden. Most vegetables are annuals or biennials and spend just one or two seasons in the garden. Most fruits are trees or shrubs and live for 10 to 50 years or more. The first consideration in planning an edible garden—either fruit or […] More

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  • Fruit Tree Chill Hours

    Apple bigstock Close up Droplets On Opening S 299396203 scaled

    Chill hours are the number of cold hours or days that a deciduous fruit tree (or nut tree) requires for flowering and fruit production each year. Every fruit tree variety has its own number of hours of chill needed for fruit production. Some fruit trees need as few as 100 chill hours, others need as […] More

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  • Spring Fruit Calendar and Maintenance

    Apple blossoms

    Spring is the time for planting fruit trees, bushes, brambles, and other soft fruits. The best location for fruit is a place in full sun, with deep, well-drained, humus-rich soil. Grow fruits away from frequent breezes or winds and away from low spots where cold air and frost can settle. Bare-root and balled-and-burlapped fruits will […] More

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  • Strawberry Plant Starting Tips

    Strawberry in pot

    Strawberry plants are perennials. A strawberry plant will bear fruit for 2 to 3 years. A single plant will send you several runners towards the end of each season; these runners easily establish themselves as new, independent plants. There are many varieties of strawberry. Some can be started from seed but most are started from […] More

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  • Dormant Spraying During Winter

    Peach leaf curl

    Diseases and insect pests that often attack fruit and nut trees, grapes, and brambles in spring and summer can be headed off during the winter. Dormant sprays—which kill overwintering pests and some diseases—are best applied when plants are in the dormant stage—after leaves have dropped in the fall and before leaf buds open in spring. […] More

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  • Mealybugs Natural Insect Pest Control

    Mealy bugs on leaf female

    Mealybugs are very small soft, oval insects that are usually covered with a white or gray waxy fluff. A mealy bug is about 1/10 of an inch long. Mealybugs suck the juices from citrus, apples, pears, apricots, avocadoes, and grapes as well as ornamental and tropical plants. Honeydew excreted by mealybugs supports the growth of […] More

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  • How to Make Old-Fashioned Jams—Really Simple

    Jams and jellies1

    Strawberry jam, plum jam, peach jam, blueberry jam, grape jam—any fruit can be cooked with sugar to make jam. Late summer is home-made jam season—unless you grow apricots and then mid-summer is jam season. My Santa Rosa plum tree is a jam factory in September. Whatever fruit you grow or buy at the farm market […] More

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  • Mid-Summer Fruit Calendar and Maintenance

    summer apple harvest

    Fruits are ripening by mid-summer. Keep fruit trees and vines thoroughly watered; avoid letting plants dry out, especially newly planted fruits and fruits growing in containers. Scavenging birds and insects will be looking for an opening as fruits ripen. Use bird netting or reflective tape to scare birds away; spray away insects with a strong […] More

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