Growing Fruit Organically

Pears, paw paws, elderberries and hardy kiwi are some of the edibles being grown in this home orchard where the gardener does not do the typical spraying to fight common diseases and pests that plague fruit trees.

Gardener Extras

  1. The key to successful cross pollination of pear trees is choosing varieties that bloom at the same time. Anjou, Kieffer and Bartlett are self-pollinating but they will produce more fruit if paired with another of the same kind.
  2. Fire blight, caused by the bacterium Erwinia amylovora, is a common and frequently destructive disease of some fruit trees and related plants. Pear and quince are extremely susceptible.
  3. Common scab is a plant disease of root and tuber crops caused by a small number of Streptomyces species.
  4. Spurs form on shoots that are two years of age or older and can be branched or unbranched. Both flowers and fruit can form on spurs. Spurs will die if they do not receive adequate sunlight and oxygen, so pruning to thin is necessary to prevent dense growth.
  5. One "Hardy male" kiwi is needed per 7 females.
  6. To lower the soil pH for optimum blueberry production, add granular sulfur to the soil at a rate of 1 pound per fifty feet. This will lower the pH by one point. Tilling into the soil 3 months before planting yields the best result.

Gardener Notes

Plants featured: Pyrus communis ‘Moonglow’; Asimina triloba ‘Overleese’; Actinidia argute (hardy kiwi); Sambucus canadensis (Johns Elderberry) ‘Johns’; Cydonia oblonga

Annette Shrader

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