I thought I would dedicate this post to the plants and things that you can purchase now, plant and enjoy for years to come. Now since I've already discussed asparagus so far, I will avoid them for right now. Just note that asparagus also falls into the "easy garden" category.
|My neighbour's apple tree in full bloom!|
I have been reading Suzanna Moody's sister's book "The Canadian Settler's Guide" by Catherine Parr-Traill. There is a whole chapter on how the apple tree or orchard can add so much to the home. Back in the 1830's they dried their apples and rehydrated them for use all winter long...that was....as long as the mice didn't find them first. Poor Suzanna's neighbour dried out her apples but when she went to collect them the neighbour only gave her 3 bits of dried apple...saying the mice found them under their bed and ate a feast. (Under a bed??? Surely the rafters would have been a better place in those days!) Apples store well over the early months of the winter. They also freeze well for later use. I was so intrigued with the dehydrating idea, that we may be looking for a dehydrator come this fall.
There is a great debate over whether or not you must spray for bugs with apple trees. My mother in law swears by the stickey cup method to attract bugs away from the precious fruit. Plant an apple tree and let me know how that turns out. For now we are happy to pick our neighbour's tree (with her permission) and seek out the local U-pick farms. Its a GREAT family activity.
|10 plants turned into THIS...|
|Strawberries in bloom May 20-2011|
|Owen poses with the wild black raspberries we trained across our fence|
When we first moved into our home, we noticed a corner of the parking lot that had wild black raspberry canes peaking out from around the fence. We decided to let them flourish! By keeping other plants and vines at bay, the canes are able to take as much sun and rain as it likes. After the first year, the canes were starting to bow towards our cars! Thats when we started training them down our fence (using gloves of course....ouch!) Raspberry canes are quick thorny...so take care. Luckily you won't have to fuss with the canes much. They do their own things and by mid june we'll have scads of berries! We usually freeze some and pick and eat the rest fresh. They are certainly longer lasting than the strawberry counter-parts. We can pick raspberries for almost 2 months before the August heat does the poor guys in.
I absolutely adore it when we send out the boys with a basket each and they pick their own....still in pj's.
|Our disappointing blueberries|
We had another awkward area for planting. We had tried lettuce and herbs in the area previously...but the big manitoba maple blocks out a substantial amount of sun throughout the day. I grabbed about 6 blueberry shrubs and only 4 survived. The are still only twigs after 3 years. I feel like there is something we are missing when it comes to this patch as well as blueberries in general. We treated the soil with natural cedar chips as well. Blueberries love the acidic addition to the soil. So far they have only produced a few flowers each and the robins nab the berries before we've been able to taste a single one.
Our experience with blueberries has been disappointing at best, but my husband is still optimistic. Me? I'm getting tired of weeding the area without any return. (I'd love to dig them up and relocae them to someone else's property, personally!) Our sad experiences with blueberries makes me jealous of those who live in the hwy 7/Kaladar area...they seem to be sitting on a gold mine of blueberries!
|Rhubarb is getting bigger!|