Plant Information Online
Once only available by paid subscription, Plant Information Online is now completely free. Compiled and edited by the staff at the Andersen Horticultural Library and Magrath Library, University of Minnesota, the Web site lists almost a thousand retail and wholesale North American sources of seeds and plants for more than 100,000 cultivated plants, including contact details and links, if available. Plus, it has references to more than 350,000 images of approximately 136,000 wild and cultivated plants that have been published in books and journals worldwide since 1982. The site also has links to other Web sites containing information on gardening in particular areas of North America.
Sad to say, there is no one perfect book providing information on growing fruits, but there are a half dozen or so that, together, give a solid framework. If you can buy or find only one, it should be Gardening: The Complete Guide to Growing America's Favorite Fruits & Vegetables (Addison-Wesley, 1986), by the National Gardening Association. Although out of print, there are inexpensive copies available from online used-book sources. Even though it's 22 years old and there are newer plant varieties available, the growing information is still spot-on.
Among the dozens of fruit-growing books in my library, the ones that I find most helpful include:
1. Fruits and Berries for the Home Garden, by Lewis Hill (Storey Publishing, 1992; $18.95);
2. The Backyard Orchardist (Ottographics, 1995; $15.95), by Stella Otto;
3. The Backyard Berry Book (Ottographics, 1995; $16.95), by Stella Otto;
4. Berry Grower's Companion, by Barbara L. Bowling (Timber Press, 2005; $19.95);
5. The Apple Grower: Guide for the Organic Orchardist, by Michael Phillips (Chelsea Green, 2005; $40.00).
Two other books that I have not seen but that are on my list to buy are: The Home Orchard, by C. Ingels, P. Geisel, and M. Norton (University of California Agriculture & Natural Resources, 2007; $25.00); and Growing Fruit, by Harry Baker (Mitchell Beazley, 1999; $18.00).