Grow Great Fruit Program Options

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Finally, the fruit tree course you’ve been waiting for…

You’ve got fruit trees, but you’re sick of not getting fruit, right? Or growing fruit that’s spotty, or eaten by pests.

Are your trees sick, or don’t grow properly? Are you worried that you’re pruning wrong, or just sick of always feeling like you don’t know what to do, or where to get information you can trust?

We hear you!

We know what it’s like to try to grow fruit with no water, or to have trees die in a flood. We’ve tasted the bitter tears of disappointment at watching our beautiful fruit be ravaged by birds, kangaroos, or some jolly thing! We’ve puzzled over sick trees, diseased fruit and dodgy-looking leaves, wondering what on earth’s going on. We’ve looked on in horror as plagues of locusts have eaten every leaf, or swarms of insects have sucked our peaches dry.

We’re Hugh and Katie Finlay, and we’ve grown organic fruit for a living for 20 years.

Eventually, after years of learning, problem-solving and hard yakka, we got pretty good at it. You could even call us the organic fruit growing specialists.

So we put together the Grow Great Fruit system, to show you how to harvest fruit from your trees every single year, no matter what Mother Nature throws at you.



There’s a huge amount to know about growing fruit.

Designing your garden, planting trees in the best spot, choosing the right varieties, trying (and often failing) to prevent pest damage, protecting fruit from weather and disease, pruning, picking at the right time, preserving …

…the list is endless!

And then there’s the mystery disasters. Your fruit splits, or falls off. Trees don’t flower. Or they do flower, but don’t have fruit. Leaves get spots, bugs appear, fruit mysteriously disappears…

Trees die, for no apparent reason.

Hail storms, bird attacks, droughts, heatwaves, fires, floods …

We’ve been growing organic fruit on our farm in central Victoria (Australia) for over 20 years, so we’ve seen it all. If you’ve been through even a fraction of these problems, we feel your pain. Even for experienced gardeners it can be very frustrating, and sometimes it just all seems too hard.

But don’t give up!

As professional, certified organic fruit growers we’ve had to find solutions to all these problems (feeding the kids depended on it…) and over the years, we’ve learned how to prevent many of them happening in the first place.

We can show you how to get fruit trees productive as quickly as possible, and how to protect them against drought, flood, pests, diseases and weather—how to expect the unexpected, in other words.

We’ve developed a foolproof system for protecting your crop against the inevitable and predictable risks, and we’re here to help you get better at fruit growing.

Along the way you’ll also get better at garden design, soil health, making compost, preserving, loving your weeds, building biodiversity and probably even expanding your food-growing expertise to other crops!

Program features

Katie and Hugh have a wealth of knowledge between them that is invaluable. Following their advice and guidance has proved beneficial through every challenge. It was a direct result of their shared expertise that I became a commercial orchardist and took over managing their orchard!
Ant, Tellurian Fruit Gardens, Victoria

At each stage of our project (starting a home orchard from scratch) we have hit road blocks which have made us stop and think, what are our end goals, what are the immediate problems, what are our options for solving the problems and then what are we going to choose to implement in order to solve the problems.

We have been thankful for Hugh and Katie’s (Grow Great Fruit mentors) knowledge and support through the challenges, and being able to put the knowledge we have been gaining from our Grow Great Fruit Members course into action.

Nathan and Anna, Victoria

I signed up for the weekly tips and watched the webinar. I was bit skeptic to sign up to your program but decided to have a go. I WISH I DONE IT YEARS AGO I CAN’T THANK YOU ENOUGH FOR YOUR HELP!!!
Bozena, NSW

Introducing the Grow Great Fruit Home-Study Program

Want to know exactly what you get? Here’s the full curriculum (and it’s all backed up with support from us, no matter what level you choose).

Planning your home orchard and climate

Permaculture design principles


Site location

Fruit self-sufficiency

Selecting the right varieties



Chill factor

Pest and disease know-how

Organic principles

Identification and life-cycles of common pests and diseases

Prevention and treatment


Organic spray diary

Spray equipment





Pruning different fruit types



Water and irrigation

Setting up an irrigation system



Using grey water

Soil and nutrition

Soil health

Soil testing

Soil food web



Compost tea

Worm farms

Green manures

Understanding weeds

Feeding your trees

Diagnosing nutrition problems

Planting and looking after young trees

Site prep

Choosing the right trees

Planting techniques

Tree guards

Tree care

Orchard management


Orchard hygiene

Monitoring and feedback

Growing your own trees from scratch



Growing rootstocks from seed or cutting

Preserving the harvest

Picking at the right time

Correct storage

Preserving techniques


Avoiding waste


Weekly classes

Article index

Fruit tree database – searchable

Organic resource pack

Live Q&A webinars each month


Tech help desk

Masterclasses from guest experts


Lifetime access to course materials

Immediate access to all course content with annual memberships


Premium member resources

Workbook hard copy

Welcome questionnaire

Introductory consult

Priority help desk

Personal coaching calls with Hugh and Katie

Free access to short course library

Today I looked at Win in amazement – I had suddenly realised we have an orchard with NO (repeat, NO) leaf curl!  Can hardly believe it ‘cos we used to have every leaf of every tree curled into corkscrews – and then fall off. 

Thank you so much for your patience in getting us to this point. Our success is due to the two of you patiently reiterating  “There are no wrong pruning cuts, but there are consequences” and “You need to have a protective cover on your trees if any rain is forecast” over and over!  

I LOVE having an overall program of information and answers to questions and explanations, and all I have to do is work and learn! Thank you again for so generously sharing your knowledge.”

Clare and Win, Victoria

Joining the Grow Great Fruit Program has meant that I have had the advice I needed as an inexperienced grower to get our home orchard planted at last. Plus the phone consults are keeping me on track with the jobs I need to do to keep the trees healthy.

I would like to congratulate Hugh and Katie on the fantastic way they present so much information and inspiration!

Vanessa, Victoria

I enjoy reading these emails and adding to my knowledge each week.

One of the things you’ve taught me about thinning is that it helps to ensure you get fruit every year—we’ve got apricots, peaches, nectarines and almonds all fruiting.

It’s so exciting. My next job is to net them so we can enjoy the harvest rather than the birds. Thanks, Matt

Matt, Victoria

  Here’s a sneak peek at the e-textbooks you’ll receive when you join your course (Gold and Premium members)

What’s that Spot?

Identify and treat more than 25 common diseases and conditions of deciduous fruit trees, including strategies for avoiding all the common diseases.


      • how to identify diseases and understand life-cyles
      • learn strategies to prevent and avoid common diseases
      • how to avoid damage from sunburn, frost and nutritional problems
      • the keys to preventing fungal diseases
      • how to make your own organic sprays
      • recommended spray schedules for each type of fruit 
      • 69 pages, more than 100 high-definition colour photos

What’s Bugging My Fruit?

Features more than 15 common pests of deciduous fruit trees. Includes a description of each pest, the damage it does, its lifecycle and a range of strategies for prevention, control and treatment.


      • the 8 key steps to organic pest control
      • identifying predator insects
      • demystifying common “off-the-shelf” organic insecticides
      • how to make your own organic insecticides
      • more than 40 pages, over 60 high-definition colour photos

Pruning by Numbers

Includes apricots, cherries, peaches, nectarines, plums, apples and pears. It’s based on the idea that when it comes to pruning there’s no right or wrong, just pruning cuts and consequences. Like all our teaching resources, we think it’s more useful to teach basic principles so you can learn how to apply them in any situation.


      • parts of a fruit tree
      • basic aims of pruning
      • the 10 Key Pruning Principles
      • how to decide the right shape for your tree
      • step-by-step pruning instructions for different types of fruit trees
      • the difference between summer and winter pruning
      • pruning dwarf trees


Water for Fruit

We all know, fruit trees need water—simple. What seems to be less well known is how much water trees need, when they need it, and what’s the most efficient way to deliver it to them.
      • learn how to monitor your fruit tree’s water needs
      • creating a diversity of supply from multiple sources
      • storing water efficiently in your soil
      • how to create a more automatic your watering system
      • planning your irrigation system to have enough capacity
Grow Great Fruit Home Study Program FAQ


Q: How soon will I experience results?

A: Well, of course fruit growing is seasonal, and fruit trees only produce one crop a year. But your fruit trees need attention throughout the year, especially when we’re talking about building healthy soil, planting trees and that sort of thing.

So what we find is that people start getting more confidence immediately from the first week, because if you become a Gold or Premium member, the information you get straight away, and then every week after that, is the right information for that time of year. So you don’t have to wait a whole year to see if the system is going to work, the confidence starts building pretty quickly.

We’ve also had members go from bare paddock to trees that are ready to bear fruit in just one year, so while we don’t want to make it sound too easy, it’s certainly possible to get amazing results when you apply everything you learn in the program.

Q: Can I share the Grow Great Fruit Home-Study Program with my partner?

A: Of course you can share it with your family, it’s easier and more fun to put this into action if you’re working with someone else. However, we would ask that you don’t share the information outside your own family—we’d rather you recommend your friends join our community as well. Non-members also won’t be able to access the Members’ Home Page.

Q: What happens when I click on the “Select Plan” button?

HUGH TO WRITE: A: That will take you to Paypal, who we use as our payment gateway because they offer a really secure service, and it means your payment details are secure. Once you’ve made your initial payment, you’ll be transferred to Grow Great Fruit website to complete your registration to get access to the Members’ Home page. From there you can download the free gifts, get your first e-class, check out our online members’ resources, and make an appointment for your very first call with us if you’re ready.

Q: Will I get value if I only have a few trees?

A: Yes indeed! You’re one of the main people we had in mind when we wrote the program and in fact you can get the most value out of it, because the less trees you have, the more important it is that you get good results. If you have a lot of trees you can more easily carry mistakes and failures, because you’ll probably still get some fruit, but if you have less than 10 trees, say, it’s much more important to get those trees really productive and fruitful as fast as possible, so you’re getting a good return on the time you put into them.

Q: Does the program finish after one year?

A: Many of our members choose to stay beyond the first year because they find the weekly reminders about what jobs they should be doing really useful, and want continued access to us as they gain skills and confidence. It’s essentially a year-long program, but we have many members who have chosen to stay with us for more than two years, and even a few life members. There’s also a graduate program you can move to, which we make available after one year.

Q: Do you do site visits?

A: We’d love to, but with members all over the world, it’s not a service we can offer. However the one-on-one consultations for Premium members can work in the same way.  We can do the consultation on a video platform (like Skype), you can take us into your garden or orchard on your smart phone or other device (as long as your signal is good enough), so we can look at specific trees. We’ve given many ‘virtual’ pruning lessons that way!

In this course you’ll get the tools you need to help you achieve success. Here’s what’s in the Organic Resource Kit:

Fruit tree diary

Do you have trouble remembering from year to year what happened in your garden? One of the key strategies we teach is how to become a garden ‘detective’ – for example, if you can figure out whether your lack of crop was caused by frost or disease, you’re half way to finding the solution! This is the perfect tool to keep track of your fruit trees, year after year. This is the tool that professional growers use to improve their performance, adapted to help you achieve the same success. You’ll be guided how to monitor and record all the key dates and events in the life of your fruit tree.

Fruit tree garden planner

The Grow Great Fruit program is all about planning your garden so that it can provide you and your family with as much fruit as you want. This planner walks you through the process of planning your fruit tree garden to meet your needs, including:

  • deciding which types of fruit trees – and how many of each type – you need
  • choosing the right varieties for your garden, climate and purpose
  • designing your perfect fruit tree garden

Simple pruning guide

Are you struggling to make decisions about how to prune your fruit trees? Do the trees in your garden look different to the ones in the gardening books you read? This simple pruning guide is set up for you to print and laminate, or to load onto your smartphone for easy reference whenever you’re outside with secateurs in hand.

  • The 10 basic pruning principles that apply to every fruit tree and make pruning easy
  • How to establish ‘vase’-shaped trees in your garden for ease of care and picking, and maximum productivity
  • How to prune young trees when you plant them to set your fruit trees up properly from the word go
  • Maintenance pruning – the 6 steps to keeping your established trees healthy and fruitful

Global climate zone maps

Deciduous fruit trees grow in the temperate zone of every continent in the world (except Antarctica) but some types of trees do better in some zones. No matter where you live in the world, this easy-to-use set of maps allows you to identify your growing zone and other factors that help to take the guesswork out of choosing the right fruit to grow in your area.

  • What climate conditions a fruit tree needs to thrive and produce fruit
  • Chill hours – what they are, and how they affect deciduous fruit trees
  • Climate zones, hardiness zones, and heat zones
  • Micro climates, how they affect fruit trees and how to create them to grow fruit trees outside their preferred zone

What’s so great about growing your own fruit?

      • it’s satisfying – having the skills to grow your own food brings a sense of security, and it feels very natural – this is what life’s supposed to feel like
      • saves money – you’ll soon know you how to provide most or all of your family’s annual fruit supply by growing and preserving
      • increases organic food in your diet – the price of organic food is a barrier preventing many people eating the organic diet they yearn for, growing your own changes that forever
      • good for physical and mental health – the science is in – being connected to nature and working outdoors boosts your immune system, lifts your spirits, and gives you the exercise you need
      • mitigates climate change – growing food in healthy soil, even on a small scale, is one of the most effective ways of getting carbon back in the soil where it belongs
      • reduces food miles – it’s not far from your garden to your kitchen
      • builds life-long skills – you only have to learn these skills once, then you can help pass them on to the next generation
      • fun – growing your own food is at the least a wonderful hobby, and for many, a lifetime passion

Introducing us

If you haven’t met us before, we’re a husband and wife farming team. We’ve being growing fruit on our organic family farm for almost 20 years. Prior to that Hugh worked as a travel writer for Lonely Planet, and Katie ran her own business in the city. Head over to the About Us page to find out more about our backstory.

Man I can’t tell you how stoked I am to have come across this course! I’ve been practicing permaculture farming in Middle Georgia for almost 6 years now and have implemented 100’s of fruit trees and shrubs into my system over the years. I’ve taken a permaculture certification course taught by my hero Jeff Lawton (man you Aussies are good!), but that course paints in broad strokes and lacks a specific in-depth teaching of fruit tree growing that I’m looking for. I think this course will make an excellent complement to that or any other permaculture course…especially for those of us who want to take our fruit tree game to the next level. Thank You guys from the bottom of my heart for providing such valuable information at such a reasonable cost!
— Edward, Georgia, USA

Just a little “thank you” for a year or so of instruction and helpful advice. Your mentoring has given me the confidence to proceed on my own!
— Lucia, NSW

We had little experience in growing fruit trees… bought a property with 100 + various fruit trees.   This was our 3rd year with no success until I learnt of your product.  Our property flooded during winter and the hot weather came a little later in the season.  Fruit fly and cockies stayed away so all these were a bonus but I followed all your valuable advice and our orchard absolutely flourished. Thank you for your great product.
— Sue, Victoria

Who is the course suitable for?

You’ll benefit from this program if you fit into any of these categories:

  • You want to establish a productive orchard as quickly as possible
  • You’re already growing, or wanting to grow, your own fruit at home
  • You’re a garden professional or horticulture/permaculture educator
  • You’re renting, but have a dream to buy your own house or land
  • You look after fruit trees in the community
  • You already grow, or are thinking of growing, fruit commercially

What’s different about this course?

  • The year-long program steps you through the workbook provided to create an annual plan for your fruit trees
  • We’re fruit-growing professionals, not gardeners or hobby farmers
  • We have a user-friendly index, so you can easily find answers when you need them
  • You become part of an inclusive and friendly community of like-minded fruit growers
  • You get access to us, in a variety of formats
  • The information is appropriate to the time you receive it
  • We tell you what you need to know, just before you need to know it
  • Our teaching is clear, logical, simple and principles-based.

“The best time to plant a fruit tree and learn how to grow fruit was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”

We look forward to you joining our guided, proven system that gently builds confidence, skills and understanding of your fruit trees and the environment, all within a supportive community.

Let’s get this party started…