Fruit, Nut and Berry Growing Books

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General Books with Sections on Backyard Fruit Production

There are very few books that deal specifically with the challenges of the urban or suburban backyard grower as opposed to those with more extensive “backyards”, however there are a few books that cover food growing in the smaller backyard that also address fruit.

Backyard Self Sufficiency – Jackie French – Aird Books (AUS) 2009 ISBN 9780947214586 – This is THE book on living more sustainably in a small area. Jackie devotes 35 pages of this book to backyard fruit growing, covering the standard pome fruit, stone fruit and citrus but also some weirdo stuff you may never have thought of growing. This book is a must in your library for many, many reasons.

Fabulous Food From every Small Garden – Mary Horsfall – CSIRO Publishing (AUS) 2009 ISBN 978 0 643 09597 7 – A great book that really covers everything you need to know to get the best out of your urban/suburban space. She covers the basics well and has a specific area on fruits cover the standard and tropical fruits well. Mary is the co-editor of Grass Roots magazine, how can it get better than that?

Grow Your Own Fruit and Veg in Pots, Plots or Growbags – Steve Ott, Emma Rawlings & Roxanne Warwick – Foulsham Books (UK) 2008 ISBN 978 0 572 03494 8 – This is set out as an A to Z guide to growing vegetables, fruit and herbs with 1 or 2 pages per plant including varieties, growing tips and recipes. Good for what it is bearing in mind it is written for the UK experience.

Fruit Growing Books

Fruit for the Home and Garden – Leslie Johns and violet Stevenson – Angus & Robertson Publishers (AUS) 1985 ISBN 0 207 15068 0 – A comprehensive book giving a monograph covering the origin, the fruit itself, the plant, how it is cultivated and culinary uses for the fruit for almost 200 fruits. No recommendations for varieties.

Growing fruit in Australia – Paul Baxter – Thomas Nelson (AUS) 1981 ISBN 0 17 006317 8 – This book covers the planning and planting of an orchard, a year in the life of a fruit tree and information on more than 50 fruits, nuts and berries. While information on varieties and cultivars is provided this book is a little out of date and will not cover the most recent ones. A later edition was released in 1990 with Glenn Tankard by Macmillan and co with an ISBN 0 7329 0305 X.

Tropical Fruit – Glenn Tankard – Viking O’Neil (AUS) 1987 ISBN 0 670 90205 5 – this book covers what fruits to grow, selecting the best growing site in your garden and modifying the home garden microclimate followed by information on almost 50 tropical fruits. There is also a section on recipes.

The Australian Home Orchard – Colin Hutchinson – Simon & Schuster (AUS) 1993 ISBN 0 7318 0406 6 – This is a good beginners book covering climate and cultural needs, pests and diseases, cultivation and landscape uses.  This is followed by monographs on pip (pome) fruit, stone fruit, Nut fruit, Berry fruit, citrus and exotic, subtropical and tropical fruit covering almost 50 of the more common varieties. Various cultivars are discussed for each one.

Fruit for Australian Gardens – Paul Baxter – Sun Publishers (AUS) 1991 ISBN 0 7521 0634 4 – This book is a mine of information covering details on climate, soils, organic fruit, propagation, pests and diseases as well as monographs on 50 common fruits, nuts, vies and berries. This one is a gem!

Growing Citrus Trees – Geoff Godden – Lothian Publishing co (AUS) 1988 ISBN 0 85091 286 5 – This book gives details on the different citrus varieties, physiology of the tree, factors influencing success or failure, planting, soils and soil management, irrigation, nutrition, pruning and propagation. While not being strictly organic it is still a good book if citrus is your interest.

Citrus Growing in Australia – F.T.Bowman – Angus and Robertson Publishers (AUS) 1956 ISBN (couldn’t find one!) This is an old book and certainly not from the organic camp but it is the “bible” and most detailed book i have ever seen on growing citrus in Aus. It is worth the price if you can find it second hand.

Fruit Growing in South Eastern Australia – The Caxton Press (AUS) 1983 ISBN 0 908563 09 4 – This is not a huge book but good sections on Soils, watering, propagating, pruning, weed, pest and disease control as well as monographs on almost 50 fruit trees and berries.

Grow Fruit – Alan Buckingham – Dorling Kindersley (UK) 2010 ISBN976 1 74033 763 2 – Chock full of colour photos this could be a coffee table book. It has a section on growing fruit in general then a series of monographs on deciduous tree fruits including nuts (13); berries (12); vine fruits (4) and evergreen tree fruits(31) which includes six native fruits. There is also a section called the fruit doctor covering soils, pests and diseases. A bit expensive but a good book!

Landscaping with Fruit – Lee Reich – Storey Publishing (US) 2009 ISBN 978 1 60342 091 4 – This book is a bit different in that it covers landscape design basics first before moving on to assessing climate, soil and yourself and general issues around growing fruit like plant selection, pollination, pests, pruning and soil care. The next section is also a departure from more traditional fruit growing books, it covers home landscaping plans including a patio fruitscape, a modular backyard and a children’s garden. There are also almost 50 monographs on common and uncommon fruits and berries including some I’ve never heard of so they may only be available in the US.

Tropical Tree Fruits for Australia –
Compiled by P.E. Page – Queensland Department of Primary Industries (AUS) 1983 IBSN 0 7242 2200 6 – This is more a book for the professional rather than the home grower but it does give quite a bit of technical information and covers some obscure fruit. The monographs are broken up into plant families and each monograph covers botany, climate and soil requirements, genetic diversity, cropping season, yield, market acceptability and export potential, how to grow the fruit, harvesting, storage and transport. This is one for those who are heavily into tropical fruit.

Success with Organic Fruit – Yvonne Cuthbertson – Guild of Master Craftsmen Publications (UK) 2006 ISBN 1 86108 483 8 – A lot of the fruit growing books, particularly the older ones, are anything but organic so it is good to have a book that covers things from an organic perpective. This book covers where and how to grow fruit outdoors, cultivating fruit under cover, buying fruit trees, bushes and canes and includes an A-Z directory of fruits, nuts and berries.

Nuts and Berries

Growing Nuts in Australia – Anthony Allen – Night Owl Publishers (think Grass Roots Magazine) (AUS) 1986 ISBN 0 947065 00 8 – I always thought the title of this book should be “GOING nuts in Australia” but then that is just me. This small book covers establishing a nut grove and propagating nut trees and then provides very detailed monographs on walnuts, hazelnuts, chestnuts, almonds, pistachios, pecans and macadamias.

Nuts for the Food Gardener – Louise Riotte – Garden Way Publishing (US) 1975 ISBN 0 88266 043 8 – This small book covers why nuts are important and budding and grafting then 9 monographs on different nuts including chinkapins and hickory nuts which I suspect may be thin on the ground here in Aus. There is also a section on protecting against predators but I don’t know how weel it translates into the Aus experience. Still an interesting book though.

The Australian Berry Book – Clive Stone – Pioneer Design Studios (AUS) 1992 ISBN 0 909674 18 3 – This book covers soils, fertilisers, manures and soil improvers from an organic and conventional viewpoint as well as irrigation and sprays. The book has monographs on 19 different types of berries.

Growing and Cooking Berries – Mary W. Cornog – Yankee Inc (US) 1980 ISBN 0911658 09 2 – This book has a small section on general directions for growing berry fruit then a series of monographs covering the blackberry family; blueberries; elderberries; raspberries and strawberries. The remaining 60 or so pages are Taken up by  various berry related recipes.

The Berry Growers Companion – Barbara L. Bowling – Timber Press (US) 2000 ISBN 0 88192 726 0 – This comprehensive book covers the general principles of berry growing and even has a section on landscaping with berries. The book then has very detailed monographs on strawberries, bramble berries, blueberries and grapes and then smaller monographs on minor crops like currants, gooseberries and elderberries.



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