5/15/22 An update, and introducing The Fruit Project!

It’s been a busy time in the yarden! I’ll bring you up to speed on what’s been growing on, and then I’ll talk about my latest project.

I have the herb beds all fenced in now. It’s not the prettiest thing, and it doesn’t keep squirrels or rabbits out, per se, but it DOES keep the deer out, and that was the main goal. I’ve moved the fabric pots out of the front yard and into this fenced area, and I think that will make fighting the deer a lot easier.

In the back bed, you’ll see pots with cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, and potatoes. I chose Sun Gold and Sweet 100 cherry tomatoes, and after I made hanging baskets for the hooks by the house, I had three plants left over. These are wildly indeterminate, so I put them in a corner flanked on either side by a pot of cucumbers, as shown below. Both of these will go buck wild and go all over the place, so once they get rolling, I will have a ladder trelling in front of the three pots, and I also plan to string rope across that corner for additional support.

The smaller green pots are basil, and Thai basil.

I wasn’t going to do potatoes because they’re still relatively cheap at the store, for now, but they’re pretty and I enjoy the novelty of growing different kinds. It’s pretty easy, I talked about it in a prior post you can find here. This year I’m doing Kennebec Red, Yukon Gold, and Molly Mae, which is a solid purple variety. I’ve got three pots of each set up out there, and if the squirrels will leave them be, I’ll enjoy potatoes this fall.

Cutting up the Molly Mae sets into plantable chunks!

I now have two rainbarrels in the herb beds, which I hope will lessen dragging the hose out there. The newest one is a collapsible model that I was told held 25 gallons, so I bought two for a ridiculous deal from a jobber. Spoiler alert, they hold 100 gallons. I donated one to the Garden of Edison, which is a local community garden that I support, and with the help of good friends, we built a solid platform for the other one!

I filled it with the hose about a quarter full this morning so it doesn’t blow over in rainstorms.

In the main vegetable garden, the peas are up and climbing the fence, the broccoli is happy, the blueberries are leafing out, and even though we dug up all the asparaus last year, I have two spears of asparagus going nuts. I bought a flat of strawberries this year, and after I used some for a hanging basket for the kitchen door, I had an idea: what if I plant them in the back of the bed where it’s hard to reach for weeding? The idea is that they’ll choke out the weeds that are hard to reach. We’ll see how it works out.

Bacchus himself is guarding my strawberries! Thanks, Rob & Frances!

My seed trays weren’t doing much on the front steps, so I put them in my cold frame and they are going to town. I do love my homemade cold frame! Dad and I built it a few years back and I’ve really gotten some use out of it. Friends brought me a straw bale they wanted to get rid of, so I’ll be considering my options for straw bale gardening.

PrideCat is not impressed.

I work from home and I’ve been waiting on spring to come for a long time now. I upgraded my router, so I’ve got wifi in the backyard. This is my office.

Work from home bliss!

The lilacs in the background have exploded into bloom and I can smell them all through the house if my kitchen windows are open. They are glorious.

You can almost smell them, can’t you?

I’m creating a new project this year! The Fruit Project! Usually I have things in one area, and if something gets into them, well, that’s it. I’ve changed up my plan a bit. I have two kinds of strawberries in different raised beds, and a third kind in a patch I started last year under my living room window. I am also starting a small patch in the front yard as well, of a fourth kind.

I have three kinds of raspberries in three separate areas of the yarden: in the apple box planter out front, by the oak tree in a thicket, and against the garage wall. I cut down the jungle that was against the garage wall this morning and will set posts and wires to train them up so it’s not such a mess. I’m also planting two gooseberry bushes in that area, starts from her own plants that the BSE has lovingly tended for me till I had the space ready.

The two potted blueberries in the raised beds are happy and healthy grown in that manner, so I plan to get two more kinds to plant in big pots out in the herb beds. In this manner, I hope to have plenty of fresh berries throughout the summer and fall. You all know that you can’t buy decent berries at Meijer. Getting them at the farmer’s market is going to cost a bit, too, since they’re tough to transport. Fresh picked and transported immediately to the kitchen, or better yet, my mouth? Very little transportation damage there. 🙂

I’ll see how this idea goes over the course of the season. All of the fruits I have thus far are perennials, so once they’re established I can leave them be, which appeals to my inner lazy gardener. I don’t have the patience or the desire to babysit fruit trees, so there will be no tree fruits, but I will absolutely be growing watermelons in the raised beds this summer.

Till next time, happy spring and may you all bloom in great profusion!

Author: Amy Crabtree Campbell

figuring it out as I go, since 1967

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