Fruit and Nut Trees
Hello, I own a landscape company and have a client on the Eastern shore who plants tons of fruit and nut trees on his own but without much success. He has also made an effort at establishing a vineyard (not for wine, just b/c he likes to plants stuff and wants to harvest grapes). Any suggestions for resources on how to grow orchards and vineyards so that I might connected him with other "hobby" growers and/or help him actually realize a peach or cherry harvest in the next couple of years? Thanks for any suggestions.
Anne Arundel County Maryland
As far as connecting with others, they may be interested in attending the Small Farm Conference at UMES this Friday and Saturday. There is a session on establishing an orchard.
I recommend that home gardeners start off with small fruit, especially strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and then expand to tree fruit. For those who want to put in the time to growing tree fruit, I suggest they try Asian pears since they require less maintenance and can produce fruit after just a few years. Other fruits with fewer disease and insect issues are Asian persimmon (especially non-astringent varieties) and figs.
Many homeowners are not comfortable applying pesticides (lack of experience/knowledge; a desire to grow without “chemicals”) to control disease or insects, so it is important to select the most disease resistant varieties when possible (see links for recommended varieties). For stone fruit like cherry and peach, it is not worth their time to grow them if they do not stay on a regular spray schedule since fungal diseases (especially brown rot of peach) and insect pests often take the entire harvest.
Feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org 301-934-5404 if you have further questions or want more specific information.
Small Fruit in the Home Garden
Tree Fruit in the Home Garden Tree Fruit Guide
Home Fruit Diseases & Insects
Home Fruit Spray Guide
Disease Susceptibility of Apple Cultivars