Home fruit gardening offers many benefits--exercise, enjoyment, a supply of delicious fruits, enhancement of the home landscape, and a truly educational experience. There is, however, more to growing fruit than simply planting the crop and harvesting the fruit. Backyard growers and hobbyists must consider cultural requirements and solve pest problems throughout the year.
Throughout the guide, the symbol '+' will be used to indicate a method for reducing chemical inputs in fruit production. Some of these methods are as simple as choosing the right variety to plant, removing diseased fruit, or pruning the plants to allow better air circulation. To use such strategies, however, the grower must have a complete understanding of the fruit planting as an entire system. Information in this publication will help you prevent or minimize common cultural and pest problems and will enable you to harvest succulent, fresh fruit.