Grow your own apples, figs, plums, cherries, pears, apricots, and peaches in even the smallest backyard Ann Ralph shows you how to cultivate small yet abundant fruit trees using a variety of specialized pruning techniques. With dozens of simple and effective strategies for keeping an ordinary fruit tree from growing too large, you'll keep your gardening duties manageable while at the same time reaping a bountiful harvest.Read more...
Grow your own apples, figs, plums, cherries, pears, apricots, and peaches in even the smallest backyard Ann Ralph shows you how to cultivate small yet abundant fruit trees using a variety of specialized pruning techniques. With dozens of simple and effective strategies for keeping an ordinary fruit tree from growing too large, you'll keep your gardening duties manageable while at the same time reaping a bountiful harvest. These little fruit trees are easy to maintain and make a lovely addition to any home landscape.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2014-12-01
- Reviewer: Staff
In his accessible style, Ralph propagates several new ideas about fruit trees to the backyard gardener. The first is that fruit trees should be small—certainly no taller than the gardener herself. This allows better access to the fruit, and makes managing crop size easier—just enough plums rather than so many that everyone in the household resents anything round and purple. The second is to prune in winter for shape and in summer for size. Winter pruning inspires growth, whereas summer pruning keeps the tree small. The third is to plant bare root trees and make a severe initial prune, the so-called head cut, at knee length. Ralph keeps the rest simple enough. Water infrequently but deeply, mind pests in a live-and-let-live relationship, and pick when ripe—or, in the case of pears, pre-ripe. And she swears by worm castings for a variety of fruit tree ailments. This will be a thrilling read for the backyard farmer wants fruit all year round from a small, sunny space. (Jan.)
Lifestyles: A fruitful effort
If you have any yard at all, you’ve encountered those unexpected moments of opportunity when a space clears and you can start planning for new growth. Maybe a tree had to be cut down. Or maybe you cleared out a swath of invasive privet. Whatever the reason, there it stands before you: a piece of earth crying out for something new to take root. Why not Grow a Little Fruit Tree? Ann Ralph lays out all the “Simple Pruning Techniques for Small-Space, Easy-Harvest Fruit Trees” for those with limited space and, perhaps more importantly, limited time. She draws on years of experience to present an encyclopedic array of options for maximizing your little area’s big potential. With techniques for pruning and optimizing growth, Ralph’s trees stay short enough to harvest without a ladder, require little maintenance yet yield exquisite fruit. Get ready to easily enjoy your own bounty of citrus, apples, peaches, pears, persimmons and more.
“Small” seems to be a good mantra for the cold, inward month of January. Artist Carol Marine wisely proposes that art can be made in tiny increments and become a daily practice, much akin to ritual or prayer. Her new guide, Daily Painting, will open up a plot of fertile ground in your artistic imagination. Marine begins with a sincere personal testimony on “How Daily Painting Changed My Life (and Can Change Yours Too!),” and encourages readers to put aside their fears and creative inhibition in order to establish a daily devotion to painting. The intensity of Marine’s self-expression is matched by the practicality of her instruction. Previous experience is unnecessary: Her book gives you all the tools you’ll need to become a daily painter, with well-organized and encouraging advice divided into chapters on: “Materials,” “Subject Matters,” “Color Mixing,” “Values,” “Drawing and Proportion,” “Composition” and more. Marine also offers suggestions on how to photograph and sell your work online. You might paint small, but you can still dream big.
TOP PICK IN LIFESTYLES
A guide to decorating your home using books as the centerpiece of your interior design—what else would this BookPage columnist choose as her Top Pick? In Novel Living, Lisa Occhipinti makes a moving case for embracing print books—now more than ever—as “a counterpoint to the swipe of a screen.” But Occhipinti incorporates the written word in surprising facets of her life, and she gives us a cartload of wisdom on using books for decor and crafting along with practical lessons on the art of book collecting. Occhipinti goes on to provide a gloriously old-school education in how to build a library in your home, with diverse storage strategies and tips on putting together your own card catalog. Her most fun, and slightly paradoxical, tips involve preserving your precious volumes and demolishing others to use in a host of lit-nerd crafting projects—including a ladder shelf, a lighted book box, a bed headboard constructed with tessellated book spines and linens printed with your favorite text passages.