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College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences


Grow Fresh Fruit in Your Own Backyard: New Book Shows You How

February 20, 2009

COLUMBUS, Ohio — You can grow your own fruit in your own backyard. Grapes, apples, pears, peaches, raspberries, strawberries, even hardy kiwis. And a new book by Ohio State University Extension can help you do it.


Midwest Home Fruit Production Guide: Cultural Practices and Pest Management shows the kinds of fruit you can grow, how to get started and how to take care of them.

It details how to plant, prune, fertilize and water them. It shows ways to support or trellis them, how to mulch them, when to pick them, and ways to manage pests and diseases.

It’s tailored to growing conditions in the Midwest: Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota.

And it’s rooted deeply in science. The book’s seven authors work for OSU Extension and for Ohio State’s Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC).

“Growing fruit crops in the home garden can be a rewarding experience and a source of enjoyment for many years,” the authors write.

But they note, “There is much more to growing fruit than planting and harvesting the crop. Fruit plantings require a great deal of continuous care and attention.”

The book aims to show you how to give that care and attention.

It has clear, easy-to-use details on:

• Tree fruits: pears, plums, apples, cherries, peaches, apricots, nectarines

• Small fruits: grapes, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries

• Unusual fruits: quinces, pawpaws, medlars, currants, mulberries, Juneberries, gooseberries, persimmons, bush cherries, ground cherries, hardy kiwis, highbush cranberries, Cornelian cherries

It covers key topics for each kind of fruit, from choosing a planting site to preparing the soil to how to use your fruit after harvest.

It features 269 color photographs and black-and-white illustrations. They show fruit types, pruning shapes, planting layouts, pests and diseases to watch out for, and more.

Growing your own fruit, the authors note, offers many benefits.

• It’s fun, a good hobby and good exercise.

• It provides fresh fruit for your family.

• And it lets you grow favorite or hard-to-find varieties.

Buy Midwest Home Fruit Production Guide (148 pp., 8.5 by 11 in., coilbound) for $9.50 plus shipping and, if you live in Ohio, state sales tax at Quantities of 50 or more get a 10-percent discount.

Buying the book at a county office of OSU Extension gets you a discount, too, and saves you the shipping cost.

Find a complete list of OSU Extension county offices at

The authors are Gary Gao, OSU Extension, Delaware County, who also served as editor; Ron Becker, OSU Extension, Wayne County; Maurus Brown, OSU South Centers at Piketon, OARDC and OSU Extension; Mike Ellis, Plant Pathology, OARDC and OSU Extension; Steve Prochaska, OSU Extension, Crawford County; Celeste Welty, Entomology, OARDC and OSU Extension; and Roger N. Williams, Entomology, OARDC.

OARDC and OSU Extension are the research and outreach arms, respectively, of Ohio State’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.

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Note: If you're a member of the media — writer, reporter, blogger, garden-club newsletter editor, etc. — and would like to get a review copy, contact Kurt Knebusch, (330) 263-3776,

Kurt Knebusch
Mike Ellis