Continuing and Distance Education 

PSS 095 Home Fruit Growing

Dr. Leonard P. Perry, Horticulture Professor Emeritus
Dept. Plant and Soil Science, 212 Jeffords, UVM, Burlington VT 05405
802-318-8453 (best, quickest response by email)

Two (2) credits

Due Dates: see course Blackboard site

Very Important:

meetings: none, completely online, at student's own pace and timing (office hours: none, by appointment as needed)

Required Text: The Fruit Gardener's Bible, Lewis Hill and Leonard Perry,  Storey Publishing, 320pp
Purchase from bookstores, online such as Amazon (also available in Kindle format) or Barnes and Noble (also available for Nook reader), or from the publisher (parent company

Website: to accompany the text, additional information is on my accompanying website (, which will sometimes be referenced in and required for quizzes.

1. learn the basics of getting started with home fruit growing, from choosing plants to site considerations
2. learn key specifics of home culture for the major temperate small and tree fruits, including harvest and use, and some main cultivars, 
3. learn the basics of fruit culture, including details of soils, planting, subsequent care including pruning, and dealing with pests and problems
4. get familiar with web resources for plants and further information, and basic math calculations used in growing fruits
Whether you are looking to become a professional grower, or just grow plants at home, this course should provide you with the basics, emphasizing sustainable and environmentally-friendly approaches.

How it works:
This completely online course is based on an affordable and paperback home gardening reference. This is my total revision of former Vermont author and nurseryman (now deceased) Lewis Hill's previous (1992) Fruits and Berries for the Home Garden. While some great photos and four-color throughout, and packed with lots of info not just for the Northeast but the whole country, much had to be left out... and some of this additional info can be found on my website listed above. Tests follow the subjects in the book, and are designed to test and reinforce familiarity with and ability to use the extensive content, and to reinforce key crops, their features, cultural details, and harvest/storage. Intensive familiarity and mastering of the topics are fostered through repeated reviewing and reading of the material, considering relationships, and problem solving. The exercises will extend knowledge of varieties, sources, and resources. After completing this course, students should easily be able to choose what fruits are appropriate to grow, key facts for growing and storing/using them successfully in whatever climate, and a good basic knowledge of problems as well as environmentally responsible control of these. 

Email contact between professor and students is used as needed and to share information. The syllabus on Blackboard, AND the Getting Started tips, will serve as your contract for the course and should be read thoroughly. Students are expected to follow the UVM Code of Academic Integrity (

Access: Blackboard (your UVM passwords) for syllabus, tests, exercises

Assignments: 1800 points total for course
(17 Quizzes 100 points each=1700 points, 2 exercises=100 points)

Grades determined on standard 10 point scale ie 90-100=A, 80-89=B, etc. with for example 80-82=B-, 83-86=B, 87-89=B+, etc.
There is no final test. All will be submitted through blackboard except the website exercise, as noted with its description. Quizzes/tests are mainly multiple choice, with some true/false and fill in the blank. There is no time limit on doing them, and they can be stopped and resumed at a later date. All are open book, questions designed to test and reinforce your familiarity with the material, ability to find answers to questions on important topics, and to come up with answers from finding several pieces of information. Tip: To hopefully make your life easier with quizzes and tests, read through all the questions prior to reading the text material covered for each, so that you can look for answers while reading the text.  All answers come from and are based on only the text and any supplemental provided materials in order to be fair and consistent among all.  Although you may be tempted to use the internet, you may come up with conflicting and perhaps even wrong information.  The course text and materials will provide the only acceptable answers for quizzes and tests.

Part One--Getting Started
Quiz 1 Chapters 1-3

Part Two--Small Fruits

Quiz 2 Chapter 4 (Strawberries)

Quiz 3 Chapter 5 (Raspberries/brambles)

Quiz 4 Chapter 6 (Blueberries)

Quiz 5 Chapter 7 (Other bush fruits)

Quiz 6 Chapter 8 (Grapes)

Part Three--Tree Fruits

Quiz 7 Chapter 9 (Apples)

Quiz 8 Chapter 10 (Pears)

Quiz 9 Chapter 11 (Peaches/related)

Quiz 10 Chapter 12 (Plums)

Quiz 11 Chapter 13 (Cherries)

Quiz 12 Chapter 14 (Nuts)

Part Four--Culture

Quiz 13 Chapter 15 (Soils)

Quiz 14 Chapter 16 (Planting/related)

Quiz 15 Chapter 17 (Pruning)

Quiz 16 Chapter 18 (Problems)

Quiz 17 Chapter 19 (Wildlife)


Exercises (2), 100 points (see blackboard link)

1. Website review (50)--see due date

2. Cultivar word jumble (50)--due by end of course


"It is not so very important for a person to learn facts. For that he does not really need a college. He can learn them from books. The value of an education ... is not learning of many facts but the training of the mind to think something that cannot be learned from textbooks."-- Albert Einstein

“Why do we need so many kinds of [fruits]? Because there are so many folks. A person has a right to gratify his legitimate tastes . . .  There is merit in variety itself.” --
Liberty Hyde Bailey, 1858-1954, generally considered the Father of Horticulture

links to Perry's Perennial Pages | UVM Plant and Soil Science Department