Hi, I'm new here!

Hello fruit grower friends!

My family moved into a new home in central Massachusetts (Zone 5B/6A) last year, with Big Plans to grow stuff. Now, it’s spring and I’m very excited - but as a complete novice, I’m a little overwhelmed! I’ve done lots of reading and research, but nothing beats experience. Very grateful for all the wisdom and inspiration I’ve found reading through threads here!

Here’s what I’m planting:

1000 sq feet of vegetable gardens, plus:

Strawberries (Earliglow)
Raspberries (Prelude, Polana, Caroline, and Double Gold)
Blackberries (Triple Crown, Natchez, and Prime Ark Freedom - I have concerns about cold-hardiness with the blackberries, but thought I’d give them a shot)

Apple (Roxbury Russet on M111, Baldwin on M7, Gold Rush on M7. There is also a young Macoun on M7 and two other unidentified young apple trees already planted)
Pear (Harrow Sweet and Moonglow)

Container fruit:
Figs (currently rooting VdB, RdB, LdA, Negronne, Vista, Texas Everbearing, MBVS, Yellow Long Neck and LSU Purple)
Key Lime (a 7 or 8 year old tree that FINALLY fruited for the first time last year)
Tango Mandarin (brand new)

The house came with highbush blueberries and two unidentified peach trees.

Eventually, I hope to add more apples, pears and stone fruit, as well as elderberries, grapes, lingonberries and cranberries, but I can only do so much in the first year!

I’d love to hear your comments, tips, thoughts or experiences with my selections above. Thanks to all for an informative community!


Welcome! You’ve joined a great bunch.


Welcome to the addiction… Hi, I’m Bob and I’m addicted!


Welcome AnnaBee…Enjoy…

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Welcome, Anna!

Since you asked for comments …

Don’t be afraid to go a little slow. I’ve found that my springtime enthusiasm overruns my summertime maintenance energy and that by harvest time I’m getting buried. I find the problem with lots of fruit is that it gives you nothing to do for long stretches and then needs everything done at once. If you find yourself composting good product because you’ve run out of friends to give it to, you may need to cut back a bit!

And one other thing: definitely learn to graft. That way you can have lots of varieties of apple, pear, and so on without having so many trees to maintain. Plus, it makes you feel really clever and that’s fun.





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Thanks for the advice! I suspect that my problem will likely be too many pests, rather than too much yield - I’m trying to avoid spraying for bugs, and we have plenty of birds and squirrels around to “help” us eat our fruit. But I definitely take your point about ambition getting out of hand!

I’m very eager to learn grafting - eventually. Once I prove I can keep fruit trees alive… :slight_smile:

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At any rate, it’s a good journey to go on. Good luck to you.

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Hello AB, and welcome. You have a lot of what I have (apples and pears), or will be adding this year (black and raspberries). I started my fruit obsession a couple years ago, and may have got a little carried away. I’ve tried to tone it down a bit this year, just 3 trees and some brambles (14 plants ?!?), which will actually be here tomorrow.

You find lots of info from folks on here, they are very generous and knowledgeable.

Central Ma?.. Springfield area?

Check out Logees (northern Conn)

Welcome and feel free to speak up here. We’re all learning and teaching each other and love the fellowship.


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Welcome, neighbor! I am in central MA as well (Worcester), though I only can wish I have a big land to grow staff, but I am not. For novice gardener you have huge plans! I have little experience with fruit, but may be useful regarding vegetable garden in our area, let me know if you want/need any help.


welcome! if you want some elderberry cuttings to try, i can send you some cuttings next month. they’re wicked easy to root. i have wylewood and bob gordon american elders and black lace and black beauty euro. elders. the later has beautiful purple foliage with pink blossoms as well as good fruit producers. elderberry is very easy to grow. good luck with your plants. like others said plant 3 /4 varieties a season or everything will mature at the same time over whelming you. :wink:

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Agreed Moose. I have a dozen Elderberry plants. I want to say half John’s and half Adams? Easy to grow and pretty when the flowers come out. Pretty easy to harvest the berries too. I just cut them off and use a broad tooth comb! Done!


Good info, thanks. It’s helpful to know these elders do well for you, even in your cold zone. I wasn’t familiar with Wyldewood and Bob Gordon - had to read up on them… I may take you up on those cuttings, though I’m trying not to add too many more things at this point.

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Hi Anna,
Welcome. I am also in Central MA.

On your pear list, I would say, Moonglow has mixed reviews. If I were you, I would grow Harvest Queen instead. I have a Harrow Sweet tree and love it.

For apples, too many good choices and the taste is quite subjective. I try to grow something I can’t find at Pick Your Own orchards around us. That’s why I don’t grow Macoun or Baldwin.

I don’t have brambles and am going to cut my strawberry bed in half this year. If you don’t live to far, you are welcome to take them. I have Jewel.

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Welcome, they are a good bunch here. I’m fairly new too, and I still remember the welcome:slight_smile:
I’m north of you, in the Gulf of St Lawrence, but also in zone 5b/6a boundry.
One thing, grin, nurseries list a tree as this tall by that wide, but after a reasonable length of time, not maturity.
Ask around how big they might get in YOUR area. I don’t know how much land you have, but I wish I had planted some of ours further apart.
The recommended spacing for the size controlling rootstocks is not quite enough.

Then, it grows on you, LOL, and you keep planting…who wants a lawn anyway ROFLOL


Welcome! There are a bunch of nice and generous members on here. I’m from MA, towards the South Shore area. It is hard to think Spring when the forecast has snow in it for tomorrow and the winds! Again, welcome!


Welcome AnnaBee. Lots of great people and great advice here to read about and share your experiences as well.

A suggestion I learned by accident. Read up a lot on the varieties you are thinking about getting. Try not to do too much massive planting in one year. What I read about for a few years and wanted to plant all in one year was delayed. Some of the items I wanted to grow were either not available that one year at all or were not on the rootstock I thought I wanted. Over the next two years my tree and plant needs changed. I wanted different varieties and a couple of rootstock choices I planted had issues not found in the info I had originally read. So in a nutshell it was a good thing I was delayed and had to plant over a course of years. It would have been a waste of time and money to take some out and redo so much of what I had originally planned out.


I second the suggestion to try your hand at grafting. I started about ten years ago, buying whips that seemed to have promise. (My zone is similar, but Spokane, WA conditions are radically different from your own.) After several mis-fires, I tried grafting. Never looked back. Yeah, one of the trees here that succeeds had to be be bought as a whip; there was no other option at the time. And several others came as bench grafts - cheaper to start, while requiring additional care in the first years. The rest have been grafted or even re-grafted since then. The scion wood available exceeds the varieties typically made for home growers, and you can tailor scion to root stock when you know what your needs are. Take your time. Consider what is working and what you’d prefer and do a bit of study.

Also, feel free to ask a question and begin a thread on this forum. Plenty of folks here have good advice based upon knowledge and experience.
I did, and now have GoldRush grafted last season, due entirely to the encouragement of the fine people populating this forum. I had not thought GoldRush worth attempting, but several weighed in on the amount of heat units my region enjoys (endures?)
So, welcome! Have fun.


Thanks for the welcome! I definitely want to learn more about grafting and try my hand at it later on, but I’ve already bitten off more than I can chew for this year! :slight_smile:

I just planted a GoldRush. I think it will ripen fruit here, at the very end of the season… Congrats on your home-grafted one. Hope it does great for you!