Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Bringing in the Harvest

Last year I planted some berries. I started a strawberry patch and cut off all blooms and runners. Someone told me if you did this the 1st year, you would have better yields in years to come. I got several raspberry starts from a friend (2 lived) and a blackberry start from a man in our ward. We also have 2 chokecherry trees out front.

The strawberries are everbearing and have done terrific. We keep picking and eating. They seem to be getting bigger and better as the summer goes on. I think the birds are getting a lot, but it is still leaving us enough that some go to waste before we pick them. Next summer I won't buy commercial strawberries as my kids kind of got their fill early in the summer before ours were ready.

I am posting our total raspberry yield this year. I let John eat our whole crop. Raspberries grow on 1 year old wood, so I am expecting more next year! I bought 2 more plants at Home Depot, but they are looking pretty rough and might not yield for another year.

Our blackberry is growing well, but like the raspberries, they need another year. I definately plan to propogate it at the end of summer. Apparently you just plant the ends of the canes and they re-root forming a new plant. Here is the plant among the weeds. It looks like we might get a few berries in the next few weeks.

Chokecherries grow in hanging clusters on these red trees (they are bushes if left untrained). They send up lots of runners which I don't like. Jackson has eaten many as evidenced by the little pits on the sidewalk. They are very bitter when they are green, but sweeten as they turn dark red. The birds have gotten most of these (we had a late freeze that killed about 1/2 of the blossoms) this year. My neighbor makes a delicious syrup by boiling the berries down. Maybe I'll ask her to teach me next year!

We have 5 apple trees in the back yard and because of that same late frost, we will get maybe 5 apples. We haven't gotten a crop off of the trees yet, we always have frost after they have blossomed. The trees are still small, so I guess there is hope.

This brings us to the vegetable garden. We built a SFG back in May. We planted the first of June, then we traveled all month and adjusted our lawn sprinklers to water it while we were gone. Bad plan. Here is a picture from mid- July. Some corn, 1 tomato, a green pepper, a pumpkin, 1 funky lettuce, and a cantelope start. Everything else withered and died while we were gone. We are still hopeful for some sort of harvest later in the summer!
Here is a picture today. The pumpkin and the cantelope have spread and put out blossoms. The corn is about 3-4 feet tall. The lettuce is cute and purple. The green pepper wants to produce, as does the Roma tomato, but just recently finished blossoming. I planted a green pepper in the front flower garden and it has a couple of peppers. Everthing else seems to be so late and so slow this year. Several other people have told me the same thing, although several other have said their stuff is right on track.

I am such a Wanna-Be when it comes to growing stuff! I guess it is good to keep trying. I really, really LOVE being out in the garden and the flowers. I don't even mind pulling weeds! I don't know I can say the same for the kids, although Gabe and Elise help pick out flowers and they all love the strawberries! I feel happy when I am gardening. I guess that's why it is such a popular pastime!

1 comment:

George and Eva Ross said...

Love that square thumbnail!
Wow, you tackled a lot. I enjoyed some of my most peaceful, reflective moments gardening. Your rewards or failures come quicker gardening than it does raising children, but the process is the same.
I hear you took a picture of my peonies. I would love to see it.