Upper South

April, 2006
Regional Report

Books

Growing Fruit
For a basic book on growing fruit, Lewis Hill's Fruits and Berries for the Home Garden (Storey Publishing, 1992; $18.95) is an excellent reference. When you're ready to go beyond the better-known fruits, look to Lee Reich's book, Uncommon Fruits for Every Garden (Timber Press, 2004; $24.95). Reich has chosen plants that are not only good to eat but also adaptable to less-than-ideal garden conditions -- cold hardy and pest- and disease-resistant. Among the included fruits are jujube, June berry, maypop, pawpaw, medlar, persimmons, currants, and gooseberries. The book includes abundant details on care, propagation, harvest, and storage, as well as lists of suggested cultivars.

Tool or Gardening Product

Red Plastic Mulch
Keeping up with weeding is one of the banes of growing strawberries. Plastic mulches help to lessen this chore, plus they help to maintain soil moisture and keep fruit cleaner. In recent years, red plastic has been shown to improve growth of certain plants, most notably tomatoes and strawberries, by reflecting higher amounts of certain growth-enhancing light waves. Studies have shown that berries are sweeter and larger.

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