A Tasty Decision – Your Backyard Orchard
Songs and sonnets have long extolled fruits and their blossoms. Phrases, such as, "apple of my eye", "fruit of your labors", and "sour grapes", have peppered peoples conversations for years. And we all know how tempting an apple can be.
So, it should come as no surprise that being a backyard orchardist is becoming more popular. Pears, peaches, apricots, plums, and apples are fruits that can be grown in South Dakota.
Knowing how to choose the best varieties for our region, learning which of them are self-pollinating, and how to prune your trees will get you well on your way to being a backyard orchardist.
There are many websites that can help with the information that you'll need and want. Here is a good resource for pruning fruit trees from iGrow.org.
A better idea is to visit a local garden center. Laura, from Landscape Garden Centers, is standing next to a Fireside apple tree and holding a Contender peach tree. Both are in the Root Cellar and ready to be planted. Laura will be with us on How's It Growing this week, and she'll be sharing more information an planting fruit trees.
One of the most important things to remember when planting a fruit tree, is to not put the graft line below the soil. The type of fruit on the upper branches is not likely to be same as produced from the root stock, the trunk of the tree.
Most fruit trees are now semi-dwarf or dwarf in size. This allows for a smaller area needed for planting, and easier care and harvesting.
So, if you're looking for the "fruits of your labor" to be edible, try an orchard out your back door!