Garden Fruits





Intro Info
Tree Guilds
Desert Trees
Chill Hours
Planting Time Ref
Planting Fruit Trees

Pears, Asian






Intro Info

mySA: Fruit trees that survive Citrus make desirable lawn and container trees but have varying degrees of cold tolerance. The species in descending order of cold tolerance are:

Changsha tangerine
Satsuma mandarin
Navel orange
Meyer lemon
Mexican lime

Calamondin fruit is small and sour. Use the plant for an 8-foot-tall evergreen hedge and use the fruit as you would lemons in cooking. Satsuma mandarins are very productive large sweet fruit. They can tolerate temperatures to 28 degrees. Changsha are generally more cold tolerant than Satsuma, but they are very seedy, and the fruit is small. Navel orange and grapefruit will produce fruit if you protect them from extended temperatures below 30 degrees. Use Meyer lemons and Mexican limes in half whiskey barrels on the patio, where you can enjoy the foliage, blooms and fruit, and where they can be protected from temperatures below 30 degrees.

Peaches are among our favorite fruits. They can be grown here, but trees are generally short-lived (seven to 10 years) and require a disciplined spray program to fight off diseases and insects.

Apples are even more difficult to grow than peaches for many of the same reasons. It is best to have two varieties of apples that bloom at the same time to accomplish pollination. The combination that works best is Dorset Golden and Anna. Red Delicious apples will not produce in our area.

Fruit Trees in San Antonio Have you ever considered planting a fruit tree in your yard? Mid-winter is an excellent time to plant fruit trees in the Bexar County area. Planting at this time allows the tree to place its energy toward root development in preparation for spring growth. Most fruit trees require a growing space of 25 feet by 25 feet; but dwarf fruit trees need only about 12 feet by 12 feet. The site must have exposure to full sun for at least 7 to 8 hours per day. '’t plant too many fruit trees! A single peach tree can easily produce two bushels of fruit–about 100 pounds!

Prior to planting, the site should be prepared as follows: clear the site of perennial weeds and thoroughly till an area at least 4 feet by 4feet in size. Any hard pan layer beneath the soil should be broken up as well. Level the site, then till again. Organic matter may be added to the planting area, but it is not necessary. '’t add fertilizer. To allow for better drainage, the planting site may be built up so that the tree will be sitting on a small berm.

At planting time, plant the tree in the middle of the prepared area in a hole as big as the root system, usually about 12 inches square, and at least 18 inches deep. Plant the tree and refill the soil to the same depth that the tree grew in, at the nursery. Be careful that the tree does not settle too deep. If the trunk of the plant is submersed in soil at a higher level than it was originally grown, the tree will die. In April or may, as the grass greens up, spray a 3 or 4 foot circle around the base of the tree with a glyphosate herbicide. It is critical that this be 'e if the tree is to grow well. If you do little else, maintain this weed-free circle around the tree. The tree will do better than if nothing else is 'e.

Recommended fruit varieties for our area include:

Peaches: Springold, Bicentennial, Sentinel, Ranger, Harvester, Red Globe, Milam, Denman, Loring, Dixiland, Redskin, Jefferson, Surecrop, Belle of Georgia

Apricots: Bryan, Hungarian, Moorpark

Plums: Morris, Methley, Ozark, Premier, Bruce, Allred

Pears: Orient, Moonglow, Kieffer, LeConte, Ayers, Garber, Maxine

Apples: Jerseymac, Gala, Starkspur G. D., Starkrimson R. D., Mollie’s Delicious, Ozark Gold

When buying your new fruit tree, select a mid-size tree. They are usually cheaper and grow just as well, if not better, than the larger trees. It is also easier to cut a 3 to 4 foot tree back to 18-24 inches, than to prune a 5 to 6 foot tree to that small size. Such strong cutback is necessary not only to remove apical dominance, but to put the top in balance with a reduced root system, and force out strong vigorous shoots which are easier to train. When purchased, the trees should have healthy white roots with no brown streaks. Also reject any tree with borer presence or damage. With proper care, it is very possible for your fruit tree to fruit the second year after planting.

SAWS: No-Fail Fruit Trees for San Antonio Around February, area nurseries will begin receiving shipments of fruit trees for the year. Did you know there's a large assortment of fruit trees you can grow with much success in San Antonio? The key: choosing the right variety.

Some fruit trees such as pears, oriental persimmons, figs, and pomegranates are easy to grow since they do well in our native soils and ''t require extensive pesticide spraying to survive and produce a crop.

Apples, peaches and plums are another story. They do best in raised garden beds with drip irrigation and must be sprayed every week with an insecticide and fungicide to prosper.

It is best bet is to select fruit trees that are suited for our warm winters. Consider these:

For peaches, 'June Gold,' Tex Royal' and 'La Feliciana' do best; 'Elberta' will not survive here.

For apples, try 'Dorset Golden' and 'Anna;' forget about 'Red Delicious.'

The best pear varieties are 'Warren' and 'Kieffer;' 'Bartlett' pears are highly susceptible to fire blight.

The 'Methley' plum is the best choice for San Antonio.

Full sun and good drainage are musts for all fruit trees whether they're grown in native soil or raised beds.


Grow Organic: Warren Pear Tree, European Type (Semi-dwarf) 5* Excellent Disease Resistance and Cold Hardy $13.99

Warren Pear pyrus communus x Warren Pear was named after T O Warren from Hattiesburg, MS. Thought to be a seedling selection from the breeding work of USDA's fruit breeder Dr. Magness, Beltsville,MD. T O, a fruit explorer, found the tree at a pear test plot near his home and popularized the variety. Warren pear comes from the same seed stock as Magness Pear and is very similar in appearance and disease resistance.

Zone 5-8 semi dwarf tree space @ 10' circles.Estimated Chilling Requirement 600 hours below 45°F USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 5 - 9 Pollination Self-fruitful. Bloom Season within fruit type. midseason to late midseason.

Warren Pear Tree

Harvest Season within fruit type midseason. Harvest Dates August 7 to August 27. (approximate for Hickman, CA) 3 weeks later in Virginia.

Warren is an excellent quality dessert pear, tree is highly resistant to fire blight. Medium to large, long-necked fruit with pale green skin, sometimes blushed red. Smooth flesh (no grit cells) is juicy and buttery with superb flavor. Good keeper. Cold hardy to -20 deg F. From Mississippi.

Whether you're a beginner or an experienced gardener, planting and caring for a pear tree should be easy. If a spot is already considered for planting, good. The semi-dwarf need a 10 - 15' circle and dwarf's 8 - 10'. Standards are 15 - 20' circle. Full sun is best. Pears have an upright growth habit, they are usually taller than wider. Soil prep will go along way. If the area chosen has been cultivated for the last few years, good. If it's just lawn, there's some work. Pears exceed in a loose, moisture retentive soil with good drainage, adequate nutrition of organic matter with a Ph @ 6.2 or 'fairly sweet'. If the area is usually acidic then annual lime is a good course. The additions of this calcium works well with pears, especially if they have some susceptibility to fireblight. Compost will increase the organic matter and manure, if old, works, but not a lot. Once the plant is set in place a mulch of 1 to 2 year old bark works well to keep all things snug and weed free for the first growing season. Hopefully, your chosen spot is not frequented by deer, and is easily watered. Deer browsing on a young plant can set it back a lot. Sometimes never to recover. Bunnies like to nibble on the young bark near the ground of pears, as do voles. To prevent this, aluminum screen around the trunk and stapled together at the ends, will keep them off. The screen should go into the loose soil about 1" to protect below the soil surface too. Keep the diameter of the screen larger than the trunk diameter. Oh yes, and another aspect of your chosen site. Make it hard for squirrels to get to it. If a taller tree is near your pear they can easily jump from it to your fruit. Squirrels do not like being on the ground to long, especially if there are dogs around. So, keep this squirrel tip to add to others you may learn in the future years, because there will be more. Tip one - make squirrels run to your tree.

Warren Pear Tree

Crows will also peck the heck out of the fruit, usually to the point they drop before you think they're ripe. Choosing a site where human activity usually is, can keep the crows away. To get a better idea of your pears evolution, familiarize yourself with it's family heritage. Knowing about what part of the world it originated gives you a good idea of what attributes and limitations it evolved with. Now that you've made the pear feel like a honored guest with its own 'room' with a 'view'. It should have no trouble becoming a healthy member of the family. As the tree matures and begins to set fruit there will be questions that arise from your observations. Insect knowledge, pruning, harvesting, ripening and animal knowledge will mature in you as the tree grows. None of these areas of endeavor are 'rocket science' since pears are fairly easy to grow. Challenges for success ''t come all at once, but are seasonal. Plus the season from one year to the next will differ in the severity of the challenge. Aggie: Pears We always look forward to the end of August and September for the maturity of one of my favorite fruit, and really one of the easiest to grow sustainably, pears. Across Texas, and indeed all of the south, the variety of pears we can grow is limited by fire blight, a bacterial pathogen that will flat out kill susceptible varieties like ‘Bartlett’.

In the highest rainfall, most hot and humid part of the state, standards like ‘Kieffer’ and ‘Orient’ are the most durable and long-lived choices, but in the Hill Country, drier parts of Central Texas and West Texas, we have many other varieties we can grow successfully. . At our sustainable fruit planting in Fredericksburg, we have 14 pear varieties planted, both Asian and European Hybrid types, and we like what we see.

The first is the old blight resistant standby ‘Orient’. Not a favorite fresh eating pear, its great for canning or cooking. Very blight resistant and productive, this pear is a good choice for growers in East Texas or the Gulf Coast.

The next and one of my favorites is ‘Ayres’, a 1954 release from the Tennessee Ag. Experiment Station that arose as the result of a cross between ‘Garber’ and ‘Anjou’. ‘Ayres’ can be a bit small, but its attractive blush, sweet, aromatic flavor and melting flesh make it one of the best pears we can grow. ‘Ayres’ is pollen sterile, so it must be planted with other varieties to set fruit. It has held up to fire blight pressure very well across the Hill Country.

This next pear came to us from my neighbor across the creek, Lewis Hussing. His pear tree is easily forty years old and when he gave me fruit a few years ago, I flipped. Easily the best pear I have ever had. Sending photos around, George Ray McEachern identified this pear variety as ‘LeConte’. That’s what we think it is, and fruit from our Fredericksburg orchard this past year did not disappoint us. Amazing that from the old heirloom varieties we already have that there are pears we can grow that are this good!

Kieffer Pear: An Unexpected Delight The Kieffer pear tree is said to be an accidental hybrid, a cross of the Sand Pear and Bartlett. It was first cultivated on the farm of Peter Kieffer in Philadelphia in the 1860s. So how did the Kieffer pear come to be? Peter Kieffer planted a seed from a Sand pear tree, and it was pollinated by a nearby Bartlett pear tree. The effortless product that came grew in popularity for its mixed characteristics, resembling that of a pear and an apple.

Kieffer pears are large and golden yellow with a coarse, white flesh (drier than Orient Pear) and musky aroma. They are very hardy, tolerating both drought and floods (hardiness zones 4-9). The tree blooms small, white flowers in the spring and has dark glossy leaves. Similar to other pear trees the Kieffer is self-fertile, but for optimal results planting a second pear tree is beneficial. It is fast growing, so it won’t be long before you can enjoy the fruit under the shade of its canopy. Kieffer pear trees reach up to 20 feet at maturity.

Keiffer Pear: an Unexpected Delight

The Kieffer Pear Tree In Old World folklore, planting a pear tree was a living good-luck charm. Our lovely little peach tree was planted eight years ago on the exact spot where my daughter and son in law stood to exchange their wedding vows. It's a Kieffer pear (originated near Philadelphia in 1863), the only pear tree in our orchard. Because it is special to us, we have enjoyed watching it's slow and steady growth with patience and anticipation. We were not disappointed. This year, for the first time, our pear tree was was loaded with fruit!

The Kieffer Pear is considered a self fertile, hearty, heirloom pear tree that seems to have lots of mixed reviews. After a little first hand experience, I can honesty tell you that I also was a little confused about how and when to harvest this little jewel of a tree!

As September rolled around, the little pears had turned into lovely big fat pears. Their color was a beautiful spotted golden-green. We watched and waited until the middle of October for the pears to turn yellow and soften into that delicate, buttery eating stage ... but they just never did!

Keiffer Pear: an Unexpected Delight. In the spring, the tree is covered with beautiful white blossoms!

After a little research, I think I totally understand this pear! First, I went back through my files and read the description for the tree, "large, yellow skinned fruit with dull red blush. Crisp, juicy white flesh with coarse texture. Great for canning and baking. Hardy, vigorous tree, tolerates hot climates and is a heavy producer". This tells me it's a CRISP pear and it's good for canning and baking. It says nothing about eating!

The kieffer Pear is considered an Oriental pear. Think... crunchy like an apple, only with a coarse texture. When picked green and refrigerated this pear will keep for weeks. When you're ready to use, ripen in a brown bag. Now that we know what to expect from our long awaited peaches, they are best pickled, baked, poached, thinly sliced for salads or with a little cheese, the Kieffer pears are worth the wait. They are loaded with a high potassium and fiber content, making it a very healthy fruit!

Keiffer Pear: an Unexpected Delight

KIEFFER PEAR TREE fast growing. The pear tree that grows anywhere in the US! Kieffer Pear Trees produce delicious pears for fresh snacking, baking and desserts. The Kieffer Pear tree is one of the latest ripening pears available,

Kieffer Pear trees are one of the later producing pears, ripening from October to November. The Kieffer Pear is fire blight resistant and requires roughtly 400 chill hours for fruit to produce (3 weeks of 45 degree temps. or below). The Kieffer Pear Tree is a large pear tree of the antique variety, that produces large, aromatic, golden-yellow fruit that also has a ruby red cheek.

Can Two Kieffer Pears Pollinate Each Other? Among the kinds of pear trees referred to as European, Kieffer pear trees (Pyrus communis x P. pyrifolia) produce ripe fruits as long as fruits are picked off the trees well before they become soft and ready to eat. Typically producing ripe fruits in winter, Kieffer is a hybrid pear tree variety. A Kieffer pear tree needs successful pollination from itself or another pear tree, which can be another Kieffer pear tree or a pear tree that is a different variety. Kieffer pear trees are hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 4 through 9.

LECONTE PEAR TREE Leconte Pear are an early season producer that requires low chill hours. Leconte Pear trees require pollination from another variety of Pear. The Leconte Pear Tree is an old North Carolina variety that produces bell-shaped fruit that is bright yellow, with a pink overlay. In the Fall, the yielding large crops of fruit ready to be eaten fresh.


mySA: Growing peaches on a backyard tree isn't as tough as it seems Too much trouble? Not necessarily, says Larry Stein, co-author of the new Texas Peach Handbook (Texas A&M University Press, $24.95). Many home gardeners see fruit trees as magnets for insect pests that require spraying.

"You can grow fairly good peaches without a whole lot of spraying," says Stein, who with co-author Jim Kamas

Stein and Kamas, both horticulturists with Texas AgriLife Extension Service, work with commercial peach growers, and their book is one that will work for growers with 100 trees or one tree. And one peach tree is all you need in your yard.

"''t plant 10 trees. Then you can't care for them," Stein says. "And if planted too close, they compete with each other." In a good year, a single tree should produce about 500 peaches. How much cobbler can you make?

Other tips for growing peaches:

Start with the right variety. Choose a bare-root specimen of 'La Feliciana,' 'TexPrince' or 'June Gold,' all varieties that bear fruit with about 500 chill hours, or time with temperatures below 45 degrees.

Plant in January or early February in a spot that will receive at least eight hours of sun a day. Grow in deep, well-draining soil - about 20 inches deep, even if that means building a raised bed. Give the tree room to spread to about 20 feet wide.

Keep the area from the trunk to the outer edge of the branches free of weeds and grass. Apply a layer of mulch 4 to 6 inches deep to that area.

Apply an inch of water a week at the drip line if there's no rain.

As buds start to swell in mid- to late January, spray with dormant oil to suffocate eggs and tiny insects. The key, Stein says, is to spray every surface thoroughly and to shake the oil-water mix as you spray so the oil stays in suspension.

Fertilize new trees in May with 1 cup of nitrogen fertilizer such as ammonium sulfate. Organic gardeners should adjust the amount to achieve the same rate of nitrogen.

Give mature trees, those about 5 years old, two doses of fertilizer a year, one when the buds break early in the year and another in May if they have peaches. Use a half-pound of nitrogen per inch of trunk diameter at each feeding.

Once the tree blooms, prune it. Yes, you are removing a lot of potential peaches, but that's good for the tree. "A mature peach tree will put on 5,000 flowers. You need 500 to make a good crop," Stein says. Leaving all 5,000 on the tree will stress the tree.

Stein and other horticulturists say to prune the tree so it has an open center and looks like a wine glass. But he advises homeowners not to get bogged down in technicalities. "Just take off 60 to 70 percent of the wood that grew the year before."

Follow those steps, Stein says, and "every once in a while you're going to have peaches regardless of whether you spray for insects."

June Gold Peach Estimated Chilling Requirement 600 hours below 45°F. USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 6 - 9. Pollination Self-fruitful. Bloom Season within fruit type(see note) midseason. Harvest Season within fruit type early midseason. Harvest Dates June 20 to July 4

Large, firm, yellow-fleshed fruit is red-skinned and freestone when fully ripe. Early midseason harvest, 7-10 days before Redhaven. Long time leading fresh market peach in Texas. Frost hardy, showy blossoms.

June Gold Peach

June Gold Peach Produces yellow fruit with sweet, juicy yellow flesh. Freestone. Perfect for eating fresh or for baking.

Botanical Name Prunus persica ‘Junegold’. Exposure Full sun. Height-width 10-15' H x 10-15' W. Hardiness Hardy to -10°F. Water Keep moist until established. Needs average water during the growing season and more during times of drought.

Peach 'June Gold' Prunus persica June Gold normally grows to a max height of 17.88 feet (5.50 metres metric). June Gold Peach tends to need a moderate amount of maintenance, so ensuring that you are aware of the soil, sun, ph and water requirements for this plant is quite important to ensure you have a happy and healthy plant.

June Gold Peach

Try to plant in a location that enjoys full sun and remember to water moderately. June Gold is generally regarded as a hardy plant, so it can be safe to leave outdoors for the majority of winter (although if in doubt, using a row cover is often a good idea). The USDA Hardiness Zones typically associated with June Gold are Zone 5 and Zone 9. June Gold needs a loamy and sandy soil with a ph of 4.5 to 7.5 (moderately acidic soil to weakly alkaline soil).

Transplanting June Gold--June Gold is hardy, so ensure you wait until all danger of frost has passed in your area before considering planting outside.

La Feliciana Peach A later ripening variety that yields a large, sweet, freestone peach. Big producer and excellent flavor. Great for the home orchard. Self fertile.

Botanical Name Prunus persica ‘La Feliciana’. Exposure Full sun. Height-width 10-15' H x 10-15' W. Hardiness Hardy to -10°F. Water Keep moist until established. Needs average water during the growing season and more during times of drought.

La Feliciana Peach

Tex Royal Peach Yellow fleshed, red freestone fruit. Self fertile. 600 chill hours.

Botanical Name Prunus persica ‘TexRoyal’. Exposure Full sun. Height-width 12-18' H x 12-18' W. Hardiness Hardy to -10°F. Water Keep moist until established. Needs average water during the growing season and more during times of drought.

Tex Royal Peach


Anna Apple * Self Pollinating Semi-dwarf growing tree that produces large sized sweet fruit. Yellow-skinned fruit with a heavy red blush ripens in mid-summer. This is a popular low chill variety but requires a pollinator for best yields. 300 chill hours.

Botanical Name Malus domestica ‘Anna’. Exposure Full sun. Height-width 15-20' H x 15-20' W. Hardiness Hardy to -30°F. Water Keep moist until established. Needs average water during the growing season and more during times of drought.

Anna Apple

Dorsett Apple One of the best low chill apple varieties. Skin is golden with a hint of red blush. Very flavorful, similar in taste to ‘Golden Delicious’. Self fertile. 200 chill hours.

Botanical Name Malus domestica ‘Dorsett’. Exposure Full sun. Height-width 15-20' H x 15-20' W. Hardiness Hardy to -20°F. Water Keep moist until established. Needs average water during the growing season and more during times of drought.

Dorsett Apple

APPLE TREES - DORSETT GOLD Scientific Name: Malus domestica Best Planted In Zone: 6-9

5* The Dorsett Gold Apple tree produces a medium sized, firm, and sweet apple that is perfect for eating fresh off the tree. The apples, a soft yellow with a pink blush, ripen in late June, and after picked, they can be kept for two weeks if refrigerated. The Dorsett Gold is perfect for Gulf Coast planting. It requires 250 chill hours and needs a pollinator. The Dorsett Gold Apple trees prefer full sun and slightly acidic soil. At maturity, the Dorsett Gold apple can reach a height and width of 10-20 feet. The Dorsett Gold can be pollinated by the Anna or the Ein Shemer apple.

Dorsett Gold Apple


Methley Plum * Self Pollinating Medium to large reddish-purple fruit with red flesh. Excellent quality. Sweet mild flavor. Excellent for eating fresh or processing. Self pollinating. 250 chill hours.

Botanical Name Prunus salicina ‘Methley’. Exposure Full sun. Height-width 10-15' H x 10-15' W. Hardiness Hardy to -20°F. Water Keep moist until established. Needs average water during the growing season and more during times of drought.

Methley Plum


Wonderful Pomegranate Wonderful deciduous shrub or small tree with outstanding qualities. Showy orange-red flowers give way to delicious, reddish, vitamin rich fruit.

Botanical Name Punica granatum ‘Wonderful’. Exposure Full sun. Height-width 10' T x 10' W. Hardiness Hardy to 0°F. Water Keep moist until established. Needs average water during the growing season

Wonderful Pomegranate


Niagara Grape Strongly flavored white grape that is produced in large clusters. Used for eating fresh, juice and making wine. Vigorous vine.

Botanical Name Vitis labrusca ‘Niagara’. Exposure Full sun. Height-width As trained. Hardiness Hardy to -30°F. Water Keep moist until established. Needs average water during the growing season.

Niagara Grape


Texas Everbearing Fig Violet-brown skin and amber colored flesh. Bears well, having two crops of fruit a year.

Botanical Name Ficus carica ‘Texas Everbearing’. Exposure Full sun. Height-width 10-15' H x 10-15' W. Hardiness Hardy to 0°F. Water Keep moist until established. Needs average water during the growing season .

Texas Everbearing Fig


Texas Mission Almond One of the top almond producing trees. It is very ornamental with a showy white bloom in spring. Produces a sweet nut.

Botanical Name Prunus dulcis ‘Texas Mission’. Exposure Full sun. Height-width 10-15' H x 10-15' W. Hardiness Hardy to 0°F. Water Keep moist until established. Needs average water during the growing season .

Texas Mission Almond


Prairifire Crabapple Showy landscape tree with bright red flowers and red-purple fruit. New growth is reddish, maturing to dark green. Rounded canopy with age. Good disease resistance.

Botanical Name Malus ‘Prairifire’. Exposure Full sun. Height-width 15-20' H x 15-20' W. Hardiness Hardy to -30°F. Water Keep moist until established. Needs average water during the growing season .

Prairifire Crabapple

Hopa Crabapple Upright, spreading ornamental shade tree with masses of fragrant, pink blooms in early spring. Showy round fruits in late summer, persisting into winter.

Botanical Name Malus ‘Hopa’. Exposure Full sun. Height-width 20' H x 20' W. Hardiness Hardy to -30°F. Water Keep moist until established. Needs average water during the growing season .

Hopa Crabapple



Strawberry plants

Seven Tips for Growing Strawberries

1. Of the three main types of strawberries, the Old Farmer’s Almanac recommends the Junebearer type for home gardens, which bud in the fall and produce a bounteous crop in the spring.

2. Strawberries like full sun, so make sure you have a spot for them in your garden that soaks in as much daylight as possible.

3. The sooner you eat the strawberries after you pick them, the sweeter they’ll be. Their sugar starts to convert into starch as soon as they’re picked, so it’s best to eat them fresh off the vine!

4. To make sure the central plant is getting all the nutrients, pinch off “runners” (long stems that grow out from the central plant). Although this may seem counter-intuitive, it will promote a greater yield of strawberries!

5. If planting in a garden bed, choose a space that has not grown tomatoes, peppers, or eggplant within the last three years.

6. Use drip irrigation to keep the strawberries’ shallow roots wet while keeping the fruit itself dry, preventing rot.

7. Strawberries can be grown in a planter instead of a garden bed. Master Gardeners recommends planter dimensions of 6″ to 8″ deep by 5″ to 7″ wide by 18″ to 4′ long, with plants spaced 10″ to 14″ apart.

7 Tips for Growing Sweet Strawberries The best way to eat strawberries is when they are ripe and fresh from your own garden. You won’t get the same juicy flavor from store-bought berries.

1. Spring is the best time to plant strawberries. You want all the frosts out of the way, but you want to plant soon enough that they will be already growing by the warm summer weather. April is usually the best time to plant strawberries.

2. Choose the right planting location for you. With strawberries, you have quite a few options for where to plant. You can pot them, put them in the ground, or plant in raised beds. The last option will give your fruit a proper drainage system, though pots are great if you want to grow strawberries and '’t have a ton of space.

3. Look out for gray mold. It is not uncommon for a few strawberries to be affected by gray mold. Once it gets on the berries, it can cause rot and spread to other plants in the same area. Monitor your strawberry plants often and remove any mold as soon as you spot it.

4. Give your berries lots of sun. Strawberries crave direct sunlight in order to grow properly. Choose a location for your pots or beds where your berries can thrive. However, on the day of planting, the weather should be overcast. This prevents the plants from starting to wilt before you give them their first watering.

5. Cover the soil with black plastic. This helps to reduce the amount of weeds that grow around your strawberry plants. You should keep watch for weeds and remove them promptly. The plastic will also help cut down on the chances of fungus growing or spreading through your crops.

6. Give your strawberry plants lots of space. Since each plant will yield a lot of berries, you want to space them about 18 inches apart when you plant. Ensure the roots are thoroughly covered, but that the crown of the plant can get lots of light and air.

7. Pinching creates bigger strawberry yields in the future. Pinching the strawberry runners in the first year prevents any berries from forming, but the yield from your second and future seasons will likely be even more than you would have gotten in the first year. If you are yearning for some berries in your first season of planting, pinch half for the future while leaving the other half to produce berries.

Tips for Growing Strawberries Begin by choosing an area that gets 8 hours of sun per day. If planting from seed, you want to use soil that is rich and well drained. Make a hole about ¼ inch deep in the soil and drop a strawberry seed in. Strawberry seeds are tiny, so be sure to use tweezers or some type of pincher to make the job easier. Cover the seed with soil.

Place the seeds six inches apart when planting. If planting from seedlings, you will follow this same spacing guideline as well.

How to grow strawberries in containers:

If you '’t get a lot of sun in your yard, or you '’t have a lot of space, growing strawberries in containers is a great idea. This way, you can use up less space or move the container as the sun moves. Most lawn and garden shops carry strawberry specific planters, which are the deep pots with multiple openings for the berries.

If you wish, you can use a basic flower pot or hanging basket for your strawberries. You want to just be sure it is deep enough for the roots to stretch out and drains water well. Even when planting in containers, be sure to follow the spacing and planting depth guidelines mentioned above.

How to care for strawberries:

Once your strawberry seeds or seedlings are planted, you will want to take good care of them. You can begin by making sure the soil is always kept moist. Water every few days to ensure the plants are getting plenty to drink.

Enrich the soil by sprinkling coffee grounds around the base of the plant. Strawberry plants thrive off of nitrogen rich soil and the coffee can help achieve this. It will also act as a mulch and can help keep moisture in.

General tips for producing a good crop:

Keeping your strawberries well watered with plenty of sunlight is the key to a good crop. If it appears that pests are starting to enjoy you strawberry plants, you can place a light netting over them. This will help keep birds, rabbits, and other pests at bay.

If you do see any yellowing or rotting of the plants, remove the damaged area as soon as you can.

When and how to harvest strawberries:

Strawberries are typically ready about 30 days after you see the first bloom. Pick as soon as they are bright red, as leaving them on the stem too long can cause rot. When you pick them, pick the green cap of the strawberry with them. Immediately take the berries to a cool place.

How to divide strawberries:

Strawberry plants will come back year after year and produce berries for you. It is best to keep plants 4-6 inches apart to allow plenty of room to grow. If you notice any underperforming plants, simply remove them to make room for the hardier plants. You can also remove plants that are causing crowding and replant them elsewhere.

Planting Bare-Root Strawberries Each time we have planted a strawberry patch we have learned a little more about how and where to plant our strawberries. That first little patch of strawberries started out with only 6 plants that we bought at a local nursery. They were live plants and I think even back then that 6 pack of plants cost around $5.00. Establishing a large patch of strawberries using nursery grown seedlings could be a very expensive proposition. Our current patch started with over 100 plants. The most cost effective method for starting a large strawberry patch is to use bare root plants. Depending on how many you buy, I’ve seen plants costing as little as 30 cents per plant!

There are a few things you need to know about planting bare root strawberries:

1. Plan on starting early – bare root plants need be planted in late March or early April. The sooner the better.

2. Even if you plant early, plan on losing about 5 to 10% of your plants. So order a few extra.

3. If you are planting June bearing plants you will not get a crop the first year!

4. If you are planting ever bearing plants you will not get a spring crop but you will get a decent fall crop.

5. Planting at the right depth is super important (see more below).

6. You can get away with planting bare root plants in May, but you will not get a crop that year at all!

7. Once your order of plants arrives the clock is ticking to get them in the ground, the longer you let them sit un-planted the higher your loss rate will be.

Getting the right planting depth is super important. The crown of the plant needs to be set just at soil level, too deep will effect fruit and runner production. To high will effect the plants overall health. Just get those roots in the ground and be sure the plant is stable, but '’t bury that crown too deep!

Fourth, be sure to keep the plants wet and then be very patient. '’t give up on sick looking plants, it takes a bit for them to get established. You can see our new patch above about 3 weeks after planting. They still look pretty sickly, but '’t be fooled, the root system is just getting established, give them a little care and occasional watering of fish emulsion!

Fifth, remove all the blossoms. The plants need time to focus on growing, so you need to be patient and give the patch some time to get established. You accomplish this by removing all the blossoms on June bearing plants the first year. If it is really killing you it would be okay to let one blossom develop on each plant, but I would recommend removing them all the first year.

Ever bearing (or day neutral) berries are a little different. You want to remove all the spring blossoms, for us that means removing all the blossoms until about mid July (this is based on a zone 4 to 7 garden). After that you can let the blossoms that show up in late July and August develop into a nice fall crop. The first season your crop will be small, but just you wait until next spring!

You will be amazed at how many strawberries one patch can produce. Even a small patch of ever bearing plants can produce all the strawberries you want to eat fresh. A larger one like we grow usually about 50 or 60 square feet can produce upwards of 50 pounds a year!

How to Grow Strawberries in Rain Gutters

Asian Pears

Email to Grow Organic [(888) 784-1722 Ext. 321 Hours: Monday - Saturday, 8:30am - 5:00pm PST]

Received asian pear container late yesterday. Order no. 100317045. Opened today and found almost all the shavings meant to be in the plastic bag with the tree were instead loose in the box, dry as a bone. See attached photos.

I immediately pulled the tree out and placed in a bucket of pond water. See attached photos.

After soaking overnight, I will heel in to a large container with compost and vermiculite tomorrow morning. I will pamper it awhile, hoping it recovers.

In the meantime, I thought I better let you know the situation. The root bag was not compromised, so I have no idea how all the shaving got loose.

20th Century Asian Pear Tree (Semi-dwarf) ~ Rec'd 1/22/18

20th Century Asian Pear Tree (Semi-dwarf) ~ Rec'd 1/22/18

Meet the Asian Pears Perhaps it's no surprise that Asian pears suffer an identity crisis. Are they apples or pears? Like apples, they ripen on the tree and have a crisp, firm texture, but they have juicy, white flesh with the flavor and fragrance of pears. Since their introduction to this country more than a century ago, these fruits -- primarily descendants of two Asian pear species, Pyrus pyrifolia and Pyrus ussuriensis -- have been commonly known as apple pears. They have also been called sand pears, Oriental or Chinese pears, sha li (Chinese for sand pear), and nashi (Japanese for pear).

Asian pears are deliciously sweet and low in acidity, and each variety has a distinctive bouquet. In China, Japan, and Korea, thousands of different varieties are cultivated, and even in this country, a few dozen varieties are commercially available. Among these are a cornucopia of flavors; some, like 'Yoinashi', are as smooth as butterscotch, while others, such as 'Seuri', have the subtleness of apricot. A few are spicy, including 'Shin Li', which has a hint of cinnamon.

The fruits may be smooth and thin-skinned, in colors ranging from moonlight yellow, and yellow-green, to caramel, or they may be russeted shades of these.

Because of Asian pears' increasing popularity, more varieties than ever are available to home gardeners. And that's good news, because Asian pears sold commercially are often picked before they are ripe. Unlike European pears, Asian pears must be tree-ripened for peak flavor and sweetness. Once picked, the fruits will not ripen further. By growing your own, you can decide when the fruit has reached peak flavor.

Primary Considerations

Although fruit flavor is a major factor when selecting varieties, consider also disease resistance and hardiness, which are determined in large part by the rootstock. As a rule, Asian pears do well in the same places as European pears. They grow in USDA Hardiness Zones 5 through 9, though some varieties, such as 'Seuri' and 'Ya Li', are hardy to zone 4. Typical chill requirements range from 300 to 600 hours (for trees to fruit and grow properly, they require a minimum number of hours with temperatures that fall below 45 degrees F. but remain above freezing). 'Hosui', 'Shinseiki', and 'Twentieth Century' are least chill sensitive and are best suited to warmer regions such as zone 9.

While most Asian pears are partially self-fruitful, they'll produce more and larger fruits with cross pollination. Plant more than one variety, or if space is limited, choose a tree that includes several grafted varieties. Although it's a European pear, 'Bartlett' is a good pollinator. Check with the nursery to confirm that the bloom periods coincide and pollen is compatible for the varieties you select.

Before making a decision on a variety, consider its susceptibility to fire blight and bacterial canker, bacterial diseases influenced primarily by weather and prevalent in regions with rainy, humid springs and summers. Flavor varies depending on climate (summer warmth helps to sweeten flavor) and harvest time. Even water and soil conditions can affect flavor. Many growers agree that adding trace minerals, such as rock dust, to the soil results in better-tasting fruit.

Some varieties may also be better adapted than others to your growing area. In my zone 8 orchard with heavy clay soil, 'Hosui' has never fruited, while 'Shinko' and 'Shin Li' produce abundantly. Paring Down the Choices

To help get you started, here's a rundown of popular varieties; all, except 'Chojuro', are well suited to home gardens. All produce round fruit and are Japanese varieties unless otherwise noted. Ripening dates are given for zone 8 and will vary from two to four weeks earlier in zone 9, and one to three weeks later in zones 5 to 7.

The Right Rootstock

Rootstock plays a key role in a pear tree's productivity, longevity, and hardiness. Incompatibility of rootstock and variety can result in poor growth and declining crops. Pyrus betulifolia is most widely used because it is long-lived, versatile, vigorous, and it tends to produce abundant crops and large fruits and resists fire blight. However, it is less tolerant of alkaline soils and extreme cold.

In cold-winter regions, choose P. ussuriensis, which is less vigorous but hardy to -40 degrees F. In zone 9, the best choice is P. calleryana, which resists fire blight, oak root fungus, and crown rot, but it is subject to pear decline.

Planting and Care

Late winter or early spring is the best time to plant bare-root trees. Choose a site with full sun and well-drained soil, ideally with a pH of 6 to 6.5. When mature, a typical 12-foot tree will have a span of 12 to 15 feet, so space trees 12 to 15 feet apart, making sure that the graft union -- which looks like a scar or knob near the base of the trunk -- remains 2 to 4 inches above the soil.

Water requirements vary depending on soil conditions and climate, but in all cases, trees need adequate irrigation to produce good-sized fruits. In many areas, summer rainfall is sufficient for mature trees, but young trees will need deep watering once a week. Trees 5 years and older can get by with less frequent watering. In my dry summer region of the Pacific Northwest (zone 8), each tree receives about 100 gallons of water every 7 to 10 days. A thick layer of organic mulch around each tree helps to retain soil moisture.

In early spring, apply a mulch of compost, and every three to five years dress with rock dust (for trace minerals). Go easy on the nitrogen. A good guideline is the 2-foot rule: If your trees are growing more than 2 feet per year, they are receiving too much nitrogen. This can result in diminished fruit flavor, susceptibility to bacterial diseases on young trees, and winter damage from tender growth.

Thinning and Pruning

Trees usually produce fruit the second or third year after planting. Fruit is borne on spurs, 1- to 3-inch nubby twigs, on 2- to 6-year-old branches. Soon after pollination, trees will set many fruiting clusters, sometimes with five to eight fruits. Thinning is essential for larger, more flavorful fruits and to prevent bearing in alternate years, reduce insect damage (two fruits touching provide an excellent area for codling moths to lay their eggs), and keep branches from breaking. Thin when the fruits reach cherry size; in Oregon, that's sometime in June. Depending on the intensity of fruit set, leave one fruit per cluster or every 6 inches.

Asian pear trees can be pruned in any of three methods: open center (vase), modified central leader, or espalier trellis. Prune lightly the first couple of years, just enough to shape the tree. Do heaviest pruning when the trees are dormant but after the danger of a hard freeze has passed. Always remove any dead, broken, diseased, or crossed branches. Remove all rootstock suckers or low-growing branches, and pinch the main stems to keep the height manageable. Some growers head them at 8 feet; others, who aren't averse to using a ladder, limit them to 15 feet.

Diseases and Pests

Several bacterial diseases can affect Asian pear trees. The two most common are fire blight (Erwinia amylovora) and bacterial canker (Pseudomonas syringae). The diseases look similar and are easy to spot: the infected branch or twig will look singed with scorched leaves remaining attached. Wet weather promotes both diseases, with fire blight thriving in warm temperatures and bacterial canker in cool ones.

If you live in a disease-prone region, select resistant varieties. Note, however, that disease resistance varies by region, soil conditions, and climate. If your tree is affected, prune infected branches 12 to 15 inches below the infection, and sterilize tools with alcohol or bleach between each cut.

A dormant oil spray will destroy many overwintering insects and even some diseases, but codling moth (Carpocapsa pomonella) requires more control. Careful fruit thinning helps, but the easiest and most effective control I've found is an annual release of parasitic trichogramma wasps. I release them when I see the first moths fluttering in mid-April, and again two to four weeks later. Releasing 5,000 wasps each time is sufficient for two to three trees. Before our release program, up to 30 percent of the fruit suffered codling moth damage. Now less than 5 percent is affected.

Harvesting Fruits

Expect a healthy young tree to produce 5 to 15 pounds of fruit, a 5-year-old tree 30 to 50 pounds, and a mature tree, from 100 to 400 pounds. Wait to harvest fruit until its background color has changed but the fruit is still firm, then begin tasting it for peak flavor. If the fruit is picked too soon, the sugars won't develop fully. However, ''t wait until the fruit is soft, or it will be overripe and spongy. Never pull fruit off the tree; wait until it lifts off effortlessly. The tender skin also bruises easily, so handle fruit gently.

Asian pears keep up to two weeks at room temperature, and many varieties will retain their quality for up to five months in a cool, humid environment (about 34 degrees F.). The fruits also freeze and dry well. I prefer, however, to enjoy the crisp, juicy fruits in the cool of the morning -- right from the tree.


For peaches, 'June Gold,' Tex Royal' and 'La Feliciana' do best; 'Elberta' will not survive here.

For apples, try 'Dorset Golden' and 'Anna;' forget about 'Red Delicious.'

The best pear varieties are 'Warren' and 'Kieffer;' 'Bartlett' pears are highly susceptible to fire blight.

The 'Methley' plum is the best choice for San Antonio.

Edible Landscaping

Texas Fruit and Nut Blog

Texas Pecan Nursery Texas Pecan Nursery carries more than just the highest quality pecan trees. Browse our website and see all the varieties of nut, fruit and shade trees we have to offer.

David's Garden Seeds 7715 Tezel Drive San Antonio, TX 78250 (210)390-9873... Huebner to Bandera, go north. Left on Guilbeau. Left on Tezel. On right before Mainland St. Open weekdays 9-5.

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Planting Time References

White Flower Farm See plant descr. then click on Growing guide

West Coast Seeds see plant descr. then go to Growing Guides

Johnny's Select Seeds


Plant Hardiness:

By Zip 1st freeze 11/12... last freeze 3/20

USDA 8b 1st freeze 12/1... last freeze 3/1

Rainbow Gardening by the Month

Tree Guilds

How to Build a Fruit Tree Guild A guild is a grouping of plants that supports a central element—such as a fruit tree—for maximum harvest and use of space. Learn more about this permaculture technique for creating a low-maintenance system that also improves biodiversity.

Guilds are Interconnected Mini-Ecosystems

The use of guilds came about by observing how certain plants would naturally group themselves together in an unmanaged setting without human intervention, as if to demonstrate that their proximity to one another was mutually beneficial (like how birch trees and Douglas firs are interdependent). The concept of designing human-made guilds is relatively new, and many of the early experiments are still in progress.

Still, guilds provide a roadmap for developing interconnected ecosystems, which may reduce our workload and yield more harvests.

The goal of the guild is to underplant a central element, such as a fruit or nut tree, with plants that are highly useful and multifunctional.

For example, underplantings in a guild might include plants that fertilize, repel pests, attract beneficial insects, create mulch, and suppress grass.

The general idea is to take advantage of the benefits of plants to reduce cost, labor, and the need to import materials.

Now, to be certain, planting a tree guild will take more effort than simply planting the tree by itself, and it may also cost a bit more at the outset for the extra plants. However, in the long run, guilds will likely be more resilient and vigorous, even if solely from a biodiversity standpoint.

How you plant a guild will depend on your space, whether you have several acres or less than half an acre. On larger properties there may be space to build a large guild under an expansive, 70-foot tall nut tree, for example, while on smaller properties, the central element will likely be something smaller, such as a dwarf fruit tree or berry bush.

If you would like to build a guild, choose a central element that is appropriately sized for your property. Fruit and nut trees can be linked together in a grouping, underplanting them all with guilds. Toby Hemenway, author of Gaia’s Garden: A Guide to Home-Scale Permaculture, would call this a “superguild.” I like to call it an orchard on steroids! Check out the 2-hour film Amazon DVD $19.95: The Permaculture Orchard: Beyond Organic for more inspiration.

This “superguild” could be created in the shape of a long hedgerow, which I discuss in how to plant a hedgerow.

Planting Fruit Trees

5 Steps to Planting Fruit Trees As summer draws to a close and the cool weather drifts in, it’s easy to think that gardening season is over. However, did you know that fall is the best time to plant fruit trees? With a simple planting process, you can set your fruit trees up for success.

Growing apple or cherry trees, for example, can produce high yields with very little maintenance. Budget conscious? Fruit is a high value crop, and the taste of fresh-picked fruit can’t be denied.

You’ll be glad to know that fall is a better time to plant fruit trees in climates with hot summers and ground that doesn’t freeze until December or later.

Summer heat and dry weather can be taxing to a newly planted tree. In a hot climate, summer-planted trees need more water to get established, and rarely get enough to establish a strong root system.

On the other hand, a fall planting of fruit trees follows the natural growth cycle of the tree. During the fall and winter, a tree draws into a dormant stage, and it’s far better to transplant a tree during this stage.

I like to plant fruit trees using a permaculture technique called a guild. In permaculture, we pair plants together that work synergistically to benefit one another. The plants that I use to support fruit trees will have multiple functions.

For example, they might naturally fertilize the soil while also providing mulch. Or they might provide nectar for pollinators and attract beneficial insects. If the trees will be fairly neglected and won’t be planted with compost or supporting plants, I recommend adding fruit tree fertilizer at the time of planting.

Hint: Plant them anytime! Though fall plantings are the best, planting fruit trees in the warmer months is still okay. Plant them on a cloudy day and keep them well-watered during their first season.

PLANTING FRUIT TREES IN THE FALL Summer heat and dry weather can be taxing to a newly planted tree. In a hot climate, summer-planted trees need more water to get established, and rarely get enough to establish a strong root system.

On the other hand, a fall planting of fruit trees follows the natural growth cycle of the tree. During the fall and winter, a tree draws into a dormant stage, and it’s far better to transplant a tree during this stage.

The cooler fall weather offers a reprieve from high temperatures, requiring far less water, and allows just enough time for roots to get established before the colder days of winter set in.

Once you've chosen a variety of fruit tree that is appropriate for your USDA hardiness zone, and selected a planting site that is sufficient for the size of the mature tree, you’re ready to plant.

1. Dig a Hole and Add Compost:

Dig a hole twice as wide and deep as the roots of the tree. Mix the removed soil with an equal amount of compost soil, breaking up any clumps.

2. Place the Tree

For this step, it’s helpful to have two people. Hold the tree in place at soil level while fanning the roots out like an umbrella. Make sure the trunk of the tree is straight. Another person backfills the hole with soil, building a solid foundation underneath the crown. Cover all roots, and ensure the graft union is above soil level. Lightly tamp down the soil with your foot to remove any air pockets.

3. Prune and Water

Cut the tree back by one-third of its total growth. It might seem harsh, but this will actually encourage more prolific growth in the springtime. Also prune any dead branches and water the tree in well. When using your water spigot, a good rule is 8 minutes of soaking.

4. Mulch

Measure a circle around the tree, marking the expected mature width using sticks or flags. This perimeter is called the drip line. The roots of the tree will eventually extend to this point, and perhaps even farther. Because of this, you will increase success by improving the health of the soil inside this circle. For a weed blocker, spread cardboard under the tree, overlapping the ends so the ground is thoroughly covered.

Tree Guild

5. Support Plants

There are many plant species that can support the health of your fruit trees. Support species offer natural fertilizer, attract pollinators, deter pests, and/or attract beneficial insects. I like to choose plants that provide more than one benefit. Here are two of my favorites.

Dandelion is considered a weed by many. But did you know dandelions fertilize the ground with important nutrients as they grow and die back? The flowers attract pollinators, leading to better fruit set, while the foliage provides shelter for beneficial insects. And we can’t ignore dandelion’s benefits for humans.

German Chamomile is often recognized for its medicinal benefits to humans. But it can also fertilize the ground with important nutrients, and provide early season nectar for busy pollinators. Luckily, chamomile’s pretty flowers '’t suffer the same negative reputation as the dandelion.

Note: Plant dandelion and chamomile from seed in the spring, after danger of frost has passed.

How you plant these support plants will depend on whether you used wood chips or clover as the mulch.

If you mulched your trees with wood chips, make four holes in the wood chips about 18 inches in diameter, one on each side of the tree. Fill the holes with compost soil, and sprinkle both chamomile and dandelion seeds together. Water deeply.

If you mulched your trees with soil and clover, then lightly sprinkle dandelion and chamomile seeds throughout the same area.

A light layer of straw will protect the seeds until they germinate. Water deeply.

Adding mulch and support plants may seem like a lot of additional work, but the result will be a more vigorous and healthy fruit tree.

Blackberries et al.

*Video: Growing Raspberries & Blackberries

Blackberry vines prefer deep, well–drained, fertile soil and typically bear fruit on 2–year old wood with everbearers producing on first–year wood. Erect and semi-erect types of vines can be grown with only minimal support such as a post, trailing types need more support. Blackberries tend to spread by tip layering so unless you want more blackberry vines cut back long vines before the tips reach the ground and root. These brambles thrive in most soil types but they do not tolerate poor drainage. Blackberries are versatile and hardy in the coldest climates where other fruits fail. Plant late winter to early spring. Space 3’–4’ in a row with 6’–8’ between rows. Sold by the individual plant.

Tips on Growing and Pruning Raspberries & Blackberries see video

Planting & Growing Cane Berries Blackberries, Black Raspberries, Red Raspberries and Yellow Raspberries are very closely related. Botanists separate the Raspberries from Blackberries by determining if the core stays in the ripe fruit (Blackberries) or if the core is lost and resemble a thimble (Raspberries) during picking. A few berries are a cross between Blackberries and Raspberries, including Boysenberries and are called Trailing Blackberries. All bear fruit on two-year old wood, except Ever bearing Raspberries, which also fruit on first year growth. Ever bearing raspberries are not truly ever bearing; they bear a late summer or fall crop on the first year growth and a second crop the following spring on two year old wood.

Heeling In

When your nursery stock arrives, it is best to plant them right away. If you cannot plant immediately (within a week of delivery), remove plastic bags that cover and keep the roots moist during shipment, and store them in a cool moist place like a root cellar or basement, making sure the roots stay moist and do not freeze. Or, you can “heel in” the plants to protect them.

To heel in bare root plants outside, pick a location that is shielded from wind. Dig a trench with one side sloping and the other side vertically straight. Place the plants so that the roots are pointed toward the vertical side and the sloping side supports the trunks/stems. Cover the roots with soil and tamp it down to avoid air pockets. Heeling in should protect your plants until you are ready to plant. If you are unable to heel them in outside due to extremely cold temperatures, you can place the plants in a box with moist sawdust (do not, however, use cedar sawdust which is combustible) or dirt (by far the best and safest medium) covering the roots to hold them over. If using sawdust, be sure to carefully and regularly monitor the temperature to prevent “cooking” the roots if the sawdust starts to compost. The best preventative measure is to regularly water and aerate the pile without allowing the temperature to rise.

Cultural Requirements

Remember that after flowering and fruiting, any cane that bore fruit dies back to the crown. When establishing a new planting, it is very important to cut the top back on the bare-root transplants if this has not already been 'e at the nursery. All the new growth that will arise from the transplant will come from primary buds just below the soil surface. If you examine the crown of the plant, you will see 2–5 small buds or shoots just above the roots at the base of the crown.

All the top growth above the primary buds is the cane that grew in the nursery row the previous summer and is now two years old and programmed to flower and fruit. If you leave this 2-year-old top growth intact, it will start blooming and try to fruit at the expense of the new cane growth that you are trying to encourage from the primary buds. Without a properly established root system, the newly transplanted berry may dry out in an attempt to ripen fruit on the excess cane. By cutting the tops back, your transplants will have a much better survival rate and better growth will result. Any transplant will experience some stress. By cutting back your bare root canes, less stress will occur. It takes 4–6 weeks for new growth to show; leave 3–5 inches of the old top above the ground to “mark the plant” in the row.

Trailing Blackberries

Trailing Blackberries thrive in most soil types but good drainage is desirable. Soils that are naturally fertile, easily worked and retain moisture well, are the most suitable.


Blackberries prefer a loose textured, well-drained soil. Avoid sites with a high water table where water sits for long periods of time, especially during winter months. Blackberries will thrive in most soil types and are cold hardy in most areas of the United States.


Raspberries prefer a deep, well-drained, fertile soil. Raspberries are deep rooted and need good drainage. Raspberries are very versatile and hardy in the coldest climates where other cane fruits fail.

Fertility & Watering

Fertilizer and irrigation should be avoided until the primary buds force and new canes begin to grow.

Trailing Blackberries respond extremely well to balanced organic fertilizers applied at blossom time. Good soil moisture should be maintained by irrigation for the first year after planting and fruit production will increase if irrigation is continued until the fall rains in following years.

Blackberries prefer a naturally fertile soil with high organic matter. Apply a well-balanced organic fertilizer in early spring. Plants should be watered moderately during the growing season. Raspberries benefit from high organic matter soils. Organic matter provides drainage in heavy soils and increases the moisture-holding capacity of sandy soils. Work compost into the soil prior to planting and supplement with a well-balanced organic fertilizer if necessary.

Planting Instructions

Soak the roots of the bare root canes in water for an hour or so prior to planting. Plant the root system intact if possible, but if the planting hole is smaller than the root system, prune the roots to fit rather than “wad” them in the planting hole. Avoid over watering while the plant is dormant; over-watering can lead to root rot. Berries will die in mud! Normally, spring soil moisture is adequate for growth if the root system was soaked prior to planting. Planting berries an inch deeper than they grew in the nursery row is misinformation; they should be planted at the same depth that they grew in the nursery row, covering any white sprouts arising from the crown.

Trailing Blackberries: Plant in late winter to early spring. Avoid pruning the roots of thorn less varieties as this may encourage thorny suckers. Plant 6–8 feet apart and train them on a trellis.

Blackberries: Plant in late winter to early spring. The older stems or tops of the transplants can be cut back several inches. Space 3–4 feet apart in the row and 6–8 feet between rows.

Raspberries: Plant in spring or late winter. Space 2–3 feet apart with 10 feet between the rows. Cut back a few inches, as most of the growth will arise from the roots or from the base of the planted cane.

Blackberry - Olallie Trailing: Produces Very Sweet Berries

Blackberry - Triple Crown (Thornless) semi-erect but benefit from trellising. Produces Large Firm Fruit

Your order #100314331 has been received. 12/6/17. Ships after Jan. 5

Asian Pears

20th Century Asian Pear Tree (Semi-dwarf) Best Flavor! 5s Item Number: FT160 $24.99

Semi-dwarf on OHxF333 rootstock.
Zones: 5-10

Chill hours: 300-400 Bloom Time: Early Mid-Season (Based on typical Central Valley California weather)
Harvest: August 5 - August 25
Looks: Apple-shaped, medium gold skin.
Personality: Juicy, sweet, mild-flavored, crisp like apple.

Facts of note: The best flavored, most popular Asian pear in Japan and California. Keeps well, up to six months. 20th Century is a small, easy to grow, heavy bearing tree. Originated in Japan in 1900, the cultivar is also called 'Nijisseki'. Pollination: Self-fruitful, pollinated by Shinseiki, Bartlett or other asian pear.

Cold hardy, drought resistant, heat tolerant. Susceptible to fire blight and codling moth. Fruit should be thinned to one per spur. Plant 2 varieties for best pollination. Harvest 2nd year. On OHxF333 semi-dwarf rootstock. Unpruned trees will reach 2/3 of standard (about 12-18'). By pruning, keep any tree to any size.

Suited to Warmer Climates

Ordered on 1/7/18

Chill Hours

Chill Hours They had low chill requirements—200-400 hours. Since we live in an area with relatively mild winters—at least as compared to more northern states—that seems like a good thing…right? Not necessarily! If you plant those trees, there’s a good chance you will never see those luscious fruits pictured on the plastic wrappers. Here’s why.

Fruit trees begin to bud in the fall but go into dormancy during the coldest portions of the winter to protect themselves and their buds from cold damage. They resume growing again when the weather warms up in the spring. Cooler temperatures and shorter days in the fall provide the signal it’s time to begin the winter nap, and an internal “alarm clock” tells them when it’s time to begin waking up. The tree’s internal alarm clock keeps track of the number of hours the tree is exposed to temperatures lying within a certain range. When the requisite number of hours have passed, the alarm “rings” and the tree knows it’s getting close to time to start growing again. When our alarms ring in the morning, many of us '’t immediately leap out of bed but prefer to doze a bit longer. We may finally be motivated to actually crawl out by the smell of brewing coffee, sunlight streaming through the bedroom window, or some other stimulus. Trees act the same way.

For a tree, the signal to stop dozing and actually start growing again comes from lengthening daylight hours, warmer temperatures, and perhaps other environmental stimuli. But suppose the tree gets the signal to wake up too early and there is a brief warm spell followed by a cold snap as frequently happens here. The tree will begin to bud out in response to the early warm temperatures, and the buds will die during the subsequent cold snap. The end result: no fruit that year. (This happens in Fredericksburg every once in a while.) The number of hours of chill that need to be accumulated before a tree will wake from dormancy depends on the climate that it’s adapted to. Trees that are adapted to colder climates will take a long winter’s nap and only wake up when all danger of late spring cold snaps have passed, that is, after accumulating lots of chill hours. Trees adapted to warmer climates can wake up and begin growing earlier after accumulating fewer chill hours.

Of course it’s still a game of chance. Trees '’t have the ability to forecast short winters or late spring cold snaps any better than we do, so they must operate on the principle that the past is key to the future. Over time their chill-hour requirements evolve to match the average conditions of their environments.

In order to improve your chances of getting good crops of fruit, you need to balance the number of chill hours required by your fruit trees with the number of chill hours you can expect to accrue in your area. You can find the required number of chill hours for a given type and variety of fruit tree in many places—on the package, from vendors online, or from reference books. A rule of thumb is that each hour below 45°F and above 32°F counts as one chill-hour. But each hour above 68°F subtracts a chill-hour from the above total. Since you will have almost 3000 temperature readings to work with, this represents a lot of calculating.

Depending upon exactly where you live, buying a tree with a chill-hour requirement of less than about 400-600 hours might not be such a good idea. If you are interested in learning more about chill requirements for fruit trees and how they are calculated, check out these websites: know-your-chill-hours/,, Until next time, happy surfing! Gary Gruenhagen, Master Gardener”

(Note: the chill hours for the San Antonio area are 400-600. If in doubt, call the Extension Office.)

chart showing chilling hours in texas for nectarin trees

Fruit Trees, Chill Hours, Self Fertile

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3 Years Later...EPIC MULBERRY FRUIT HARVEST from my BACKYARD GARDEN in ARIZONA! Also pineapple guava or phegilla. Pakistan mulberry gives huge fruit. Dwarf mulberry gives tasty fruit.

V How to Plant & Grow a Jabuticaba Tree (Brazilian Grape) phoenix. grapes are tasty. Planted against house to protect from winds and heat and cold. Morning sun, afternoon shade.

V Jaboticaba, Myrciaria cauliflora Berg 30' tall. Slow growing. Myrtle family. Fruits on branches. white flowers. Produces fruit several times of a year. Fruit look and taste like muscadine grapes. Skins not eaten.

V 5 fruit trees that will have you eating for the whole year! Tempe, AZ. Citrus stay ripe on tree for months. Date palms femailes prduce fruit. need one maile. Barbados cherry full sun ripens 7 mos through year. Fruiting mulberries--get white or purple tastes like blackberries with sugar. Don't put near houwe, invasive. Loquat better than apricot. Evergreen year round. Fruits early. Moringa trees have fruit all year. Drought tolerant after two years. Can eat leaves, the new kale.


V How to eat avocado seed

V How to Grow an Avocado Tree from seed

The EASIEST way to sprout avocado seeds - NO toothpicks or mason jars needed!

V AVOCADO SEED GROWING: Fastest Hack with Results | How to grow Avocado from Seed germination

V How to: Grow Avocado from Seed (A Complete Step by Step Guide)

Best Trees for Desert

V 5 BEST FRUIT TREES FOR DESERT BACKYARD GARDENS! Jake Mace, Vegan athlete in Arizona desert.

Palo Verde. Seeds are edible; Yellow flowers

Iron Tree. Purple flowers in spring. Flowers edible. Peas later are edible.

Saguaro fruits edible.

Jo Jo ba bushes. edibble

Chupa Rosa flowers edible. Taste like cucumbers.


Eat what is local to become immune to allergies.

How to Feed & Fertilize a Fruit Tree, part 1 Jake Mace, Vegan athlete in Arizona desert.

About 3 times a year to ensure that the fruit trees grow and fruit

Hit it with iron, liquid seaweed [sea kelp], and compost. Also rock dust and worm castings. Mix pond water, liquid iron and sea kelp. Each tree 2 5-gallon buckets, Southern AG chellated liquid iron from Amz about a cup in each bucket. Seaweed extract about a cup or 1 1/2. Like tar. Pours against the trunk.

Secret is also a lot of mulch, wood chips.

Go to Seed Bank to see what he is planting. Can get box of seeds mailed to you every month.

Seed Bank Box all organic, non-GMO, heirloom. Free shipping over $50

All of our seeds are for edible gardens. Expect 8 to 10 varieties of seeds every month.

Egyptian Spinach Seeds 500ct Price $5.50. Heat loving green. Eat in salads, cook, or use dried leaves as thickening agent. Grows up to 9 feet. Plant 1/4 in. deep in full sun. Germinates in 3 days. Thin to 10 inches apart. Pinch top buds to encourage branching.

Moringa Seeds 25ct Price $6.50.

Moringa oleifera, also known as the drumstick tree, miracle tree, horseradish tree. Grows really fast in warm garden, up to 16 feet each year. Needs water only in first year. Very drought tolerant. From India, long bean-pod fruits are loved there. Plant seeds in Spring. Love heat. Seeds germinate in about a week, shooting to 16 feet first year. Water deeply about once a week, first year to become established. Out of stock.

Hibiscus Roselle Organic Seeds 25ct Price$5.00


Barbados cherry tree, fruits about 8 mos. out of year. Neem tree.

Natives are best, like mesquite, ironwood, palo verde, desert willow.


Growing Citrus Most people don't realize just how large the citrus family is. What you see in the supermarket is only a small portion of what can be grown. Pummelos, blood oranges, limequats, and myriad mandarin varieties offer exciting new taste experiences and landscape possibilities.

The commercial citrus belt extends roughly from California through Arizona, Texas, along the Gulf Coast, and into Florida; but home growers are not necessarily limited to this area.

Small changes in elevation and distance from the coast can make a significant difference in minimum temperatures at a given location. Warm spots around buildings and on hillsides can provide safe growing areas in sections that would not appear suitable from a climate map.

The important thing to know is a variety's tolerance to cold, especially the minimum temperature it can tolerate. There are many hardy varieties that can be grown much farther north or inland. If your citrus trees are planted in containers and moved to protected locations during cold weather, you can even grow them in Minnesota or Maine.

Where Citrus Grows

The traditional citrus climate extends from northern California down through southern California and into the low Arizona desert. There is a break in New Mexico, a state that has mostly high elevation with cold winters. Then the citrus belt picks up again in southern Texas and extends along the Gulf Coast and into Florida. Not all types of citrus can be grown in all parts of the citrus belt. Climatic differences within the region markedly affect fruit characteristics and quality. What can be grown in Florida cannot always be grown in California and vice versa. The warm, dry days and cool nights of California develop brightly colored fruit with balanced sugar and acid and thick rinds. The warm, humid days of Florida and the Gulf Coast are usually accompanied by equally warm nights; such even temperatures promote lighter colored fruit without pronounced acidity.

Humidity and Temperature

Humidity and day-to-night temperature fluctuations also influence which varieties are best adapted to an area. Almost all lemons in the supermarket come from western states because in Florida lemons do not develop enough acidity. On the other hand, some types of citrus naturally high in acids, such as many tangelos, are too tart when grown in California. They reach peak quality and sweetness only in Florida or along the Gulf Coast. Citrus types have varying degrees of hardiness, so tolerance to low winter temperatures is often the most important factor in determining which varieties you can grow. The foliage of limes is usually damaged if temperatures fall below 32° F; oranges are damaged at about 26° F to 28° F.

Kumquats and kumquat hybrids can withstand temperatures as low as 18° F, but the ripe fruit is usually less hardy than the foliage. The duration of the cold and the position of the tree in your garden also influence how badly trees are damaged. Each citrus type has a heat requirement that must be met before the fruit will become sweet. Grapefruits need the most heat and only reach peak quality in the California and Arizona deserts, southern Texas, and Florida. Lemons can be grown in cooler climates because they don't need to sweeten.

Citrus Flowering Habits

Citrus trees are evergreen and can have both flowers and fruit at the same time, so they are treated a bit differently than other fruit trees. They store food reserves in their leaves and must therefore be protected from stresses that will cause leaf drop. Although the cycles are not as obvious as the cycles in temperate fruit trees, citrus trees go through different stages throughout the year. When temperatures drop below 56° F, the trees stop growing and go into a semi-dormant state. After a period of such cool weather, they can withstand brief cold snaps much more easily than when they are actively growing. It only takes a few days of warmer temperatures to make them more vulnerable, though. In the spring they have a flush of growth and their major bloom period. Some varieties tend to bloom lightly throughout the year; water shortages or other stresses can trigger a second bloom.

Planting Citrus Citrus can be planted any time of year. Spring is the best time to set out container grown trees from a nursery. Select strong and healthy trees for planting.

Citrus trees will grow in most soils except salty ones. Add organic matter to very heavy or sandy soils to improve their structure.

Water stress is the single most important source of problems, so the goal is to have moist, but well-drained soil. Choose a site in an area protected from wind and with maximum heat and sun, unless you live in desert regions where a little midday shade might be appreciated.

If you live in a cooler area, try to provide extra protection for your trees. Put them against a light-colored, south-facing wall that reflects heat. Planting on a slope where air drains away can often prevent frost damage.

How to Plant Citrus

Place the tree in its planting hole no deeper than it was in the nursery container. If the trunk is in constant contact with damp soil, it is more susceptible to the fungus disease gummosis. Planting distances will depend on type and variety. For example, standard orange trees should be 20 feet apart and standard sized grapefruit 25 feet apart, while standard limes and lemons require less space and can be set 12 to 15 feet apart. Set dwarf trees 6 to 10 feet apart.

Care & Harvesting Citrus Keep a good layer of mulch around the trees, but spread it several inches away from the trunk. The roots are fairly shallow and extend well beyond the dripline, so water the entire root area. The trees should receive a deep soaking about once a week; the soil should dry a bit before the next watering.

When trees are young, they occasionally produce some over vigorous branches. Prune these back so the tree remains well balanced. Limit later pruning to removing dead, broken, and diseased branches; it can be done any time of the year. The nutrient most needed by the trees is nitrogen; mature trees need 1 to 1 1/2 pounds per year. Apply it in four portions throughout the year, or apply the entire amount 6 to 8 weeks before a bloom.

Preventing Sunburn

Lower branches of the tree help protect the trunk from sunburn; citrus bark is very thin and can be easily damaged by too much sun. It helps to paint the lower trunk and other exposed portions with diluted white interior latex paint or to wrap the trunks of young trees with tree wrap tape. If a tree suffers frost damage, wait until new growth starts to see just how much has been hurt, then cut out the damaged parts. Cutting too early could lead to more damage. You may have to wait 6 months to see the new growth.

Citrus Pests

Most of the major citrus pests and diseases affect commercial plantings, not home garden trees, so you do not need a preventive spray program as you do with some of the-other fruits. You do need to deal with some pests, though. Gophers can destroy a tree quickly and must be kept out. Check the leaves frequently for aphids, mealy bugs, and red spider mites. If they're present, spray the leaves frequently with a forceful stream of water or use an insecticidal soap spray. Scale can be controlled with a horticultural oil spray applied in the fall, when temperatures are moderate and trees have been well watered.


You usually can't tell if citrus is ripe by looking at it. When some of the fruit reach full size, taste them to see if they're ripe. Unlike most temperate fruits, many citrus varieties ripen over a period of many months and keep well on the tree even when ripe, so you're not faced with an enormous harvest all at once. Some will ripen a late summer crop from the spring bloom, others will take up to a year or more to mature, and some continue to bloom and fruit year-round. Clip ripe fruit off with pruning shears instead of pulling it to avoid damage to twigs.

Goji Berries

List of Types of Berries from A to Z Juicy, sweet berries are highly perishable and are often a luxury item at the grocery store. Grow berries in your home garden instead, for a delicious summer treat that’s packed with vitamins, fiber and cancer-fighting antioxidants. Do your research before eating any berry you are not familiar with, as some are toxic (shown underlined below).

Goji berry: Bright red goji berries have been heralded as a super food, high in antioxidants. The shrubs are native to the mountainous regions of China and the Himalayas, but researchers in Utah are experimenting with them. They tolerate drought, extreme heat and cold, and poor soils. Learn more.

List of Adaptogens, and What These Adaptogenic Herbs Can Do For You Adaptogen is a name for herbal remedies that have been used for hundreds and sometimes thousands of years. The term adaptogen was originally coined by Russian scientist Dr. Nikolai Lazarev in 1947, during the Soviet search for natural and safe remedies to increase the resistance to biological stress.


Lycium contains antioxidant and anti-inflammatory carotenoids, flavonoids. It supports healthy vision and healthy bowel flora. It is also said to support the liver, kidney and can strengthen weak muscles and ligaments. Lycium polysaccharides support the immune system and have been shown to enhance the effects of chemotherapy and radiation.



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Professor Colby Glass, MAc, MLIS, PhDc, Prof. Emeritus