Tag Archives: birds

Blackberry Ramblings

Aside from rhubarb, I have not been a successful fruit/berry gardener yet. To be fair, those plants have fallen to Donny most of the time. At one time or another we have tried strawberries, blueberries, a kiwi that was supposed to be perennial even in zone 6 and gooseberries. The last two were my additions. All failed for one reason or another.

Strawberries were something Donny had grown in his father’s garden growing up, so that was his first suggestion. They grew but I forget why he ripped them out; maybe they didn’t produce well or were too much work.

About the same time, and this was a while ago, he put in a couple of blueberry plants but the birds got them before we did and an occasional harsh winter took their toll. I also seem to remember that our soil conditions weren’t well suited but knowing how to grow them was not my job.

The kiwi turned out to not be so perennial and the gooseberries, coincidently planted in a be that we’d mistakenly first planted with gooseneck loosestrife*, had thorns and no one liked the taste.

So, it is a little unusual that I debated converting a big  (9′ x 10′) bed in the front of the garden to blackberries. But, I didn’t need it for rotation purposes since expanding the back of the garden to include 3 9′ x 10′ foe corn and vining plants like pumpkin and melons. I debated too long to order plants – see a returning theme here?

Today I picked up two plants from a local nursery who recommended that 2-3 plants were all I needed for the space. I decided to be conservative with the space with only two. Maybe I am learning from past errors?

I hope so because now I have to learn how to make these plants productive enough to justify their vast space.

I did do a little research and got tow varieties even though they are self-pollinating; one website I visited suggested this and the nursery agreed. I have a Triple Crown and a Chester, both in  2-gallon pots so not bare root. In fact, there already some berries on them. I will be looking for pie recipes next!

 

*If you are a new gardener and someone offers to give you plants because they have “plenty”, accept them graciously as you are being useful, but compost them – you can always claim to have forgotten to water them. Just DON’T put them in your garden or you too will soon be looking for another newbie to pawn them off on.

 

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Nov 3 – What’s Next

Well, as suspected, I have not been a good fall clean up gardener… I guess this is just not a realistic goal while I have two boys playing multiple sports – each weekend had the minimum of two soccer games and a football game, if not multiples of each for the both of them. There were several weekends with 5-6 games and on those occasions, the games were not local.
 
So, the cornstalks that did not grace the front door, are still in their square although not really standing. Tomato cages, bean teepees, watering vessels DO still need to be put away but the sunflower heads will remain – the birds can surely enjoy the seeds for some time to come.
 
And, guess what – I am not inspired to do any of these things although my husband has been very good at emptying the remaining pots and dumping pumpkins left behind from my Halloween display. He probably knows I am already into “holiday” mode – planning Thanksgiving and then hitting Christmas with full stride. He was pruing boxwood and the berries from our crepe myrtle boxwtoday and all I could focus on was how the box had been pruned too soon to keep for an advent wreath, but the berries would make a great addition. Since Big Garden is also a cutting garden, I do enjoy bringing in flowers and then learned to “branch out” to other areas of my yard for inspiration.
 
I will also be seeking inspiration for next spring – can’t wait for spring already!