A Day in the Garden: Made to Order

If you like to garden, today was made to order. The temps climbed into the 70’s F (24C) with just the stirring of a breeze. Can you believe it? After a day in the garden, I have a sore back but a happy spirit. My perfect husband had plans for the afternoon, but still took time to dig a few holes before he left, voluntarily and with no complaining. Coincidentally, we met 19 years ago today.  I’m so glad I had the good sense to make sure he danced with me first that night.  🙂

Digging Holes

The Man of My Dreams

Where was I…

Oh yeah…digging holes. A few months back, I decided to thin the overgrown shrubs around the fruit cocktail tree, originally thinking I would re-plant with a few annuals.  Today we removed the last three overgrown shrubs, making enough room for the two new raspberries. There was also enough room to transplant the blueberry plant, which after three or four years is just limping along. Hopefully the blueberry likes its new home. I’ll be filling in with annuals if not.

Raspberry Cane

Raspberry Cane

Blueberry Shrub

Promising new growth on the blueberry shrub

I tamped the dirt into place and stepped back realizing we’d created a micro fruit orchard.  I’m using the word “orchard” liberally; with our tiny suburban lot, it all needed to fit into about 6 x 8 feet (1.8 x 2.4 meters) of space.  Our micro-orchard has blueberries, raspberries, plums, nectarines, peaches and apricots. When you garden in a tiny plot, every bit of dirt counts.

Since rain is forecast (oh how they tease) I figured I would make good use of the day.  I pulled out the last of the broccoli plants, now covered in green pests, before they could multiply further.  We dug out some old raspberry canes, and moved them away from the raised beds.  Moving them gives me more space to plant vegetables and herbs.

I finished the day raking, pulling out dead twigs, watering the pots (yes…the hose in early March…sigh) and sweeping the walkway.

“An addiction to gardening is not all bad when you consider all the other choices in life.”- Cora Lee Bell

Micro Orchard

Micro Orchard

The Long View

The Long View

Vegetable Box Quandry

My vegetable boxes resemble “before and after” pictures, but not on purpose.  Once the pumpkins were out, I cleaned the box to the right of the garden, and planted winter vegetables.  The box to the left, however, was chugging along with strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and a bird house gourd so I let it be.

Vegetable Box, Stage Right: Neat and tidy winter veg

Vegetable Box, Stage Left: chaotic jumble

The top-tier of the left box has eroded nearly a foot.  On the plus side, the erosion created a nice spot for one of the gourds to rest.  That said, I’m not sure how to save the existing plants while topping off the box with more soil.

Birdhouse Gourd

We live on a tiny lot, so sunny space is at a premium.  I try to maximize what I’ve got but was realizing today that I need to rethink the boxes.

This is year three for the “blueberries,” but they still aren’t producing.  The plant remains small, though healthy but at this rate I may as well call it a shrub.  We haven’t seen a single berry since we planted it.

Blueberry Shrub

Raspberry Vine

Raspberry Vine

The raspberries, on the other hand, took off this past summer and produced sweet and delicious berries for several weeks.  We enjoyed standing in the garden and eating them right off the vine. Is there anything sweeter than a sun-warmed berry?

I’ve considered transplanting the canes along the back fence, but I’m afraid I’ll set them back two years. It’s also a bit crowded there so they may not get adequate sun. I think the blueberry needs more room or more sun, maybe both.

My indecision (and the colder weather) leaves me in a quandary.  Should I leave well enough alone and wait till next spring to decide, or should I move the blueberry plant and raspberry canes now while they’re at rest?

Recommendations welcome.

 

Blueberries: The Third Year it Leaps!

It was heartening to read on one of my favorite blogs yesterday, that my blueberries may start producing this year. We didn’t have any production the first year, and only 4 berries (four!!!) last year.

Blueberry Bush

According to What’s Green with Betsy?!?:

“This will probably be the year it produces. According to my arborist husband, “the first year it sleeps, the second year it creeps, the third year it leaps”. Your plant has been working on root development for the first two years. There is a lot going on beneath the soil that we can’t see.”

I’ll keep you posted.

In the meantime, check out What’s Green with Betsy for some great, earth-friendly gardening tips.