Last year I was struck with either the greatest – or the stupidest – idea I’ve ever had. To grow some of our own food. Little did I know I gardening is not a hobby. It is an obsession.
It’s been one year since we first laid out our plan for our fruit garden (pictured above). While we laid out our plans with the very best of intentions, we only managed to plant last year the raspberries, the strawberries and the wild currants. Here’s what I learned:
- Strawberries – The first year we were supposed to pinch the blooms off to make a hardier plant. This meant each family member only got to eat one homegrown strawberry last year. All the other blooms were pinched.
- Raspberries – I was pretty sure none of our raspberry plants were going to make it. Again, we each got to eat one raspberry apiece – that was it. They were all red raspberries – none of the yellow produced.
- Rhubarb – I missed the window. I was supposed to plant the rhubarb in April and by the time the weather and my schedule permitted, it was too late in the season. So, I had to wait until this year.
- Currants – Despite finding these on Craig’s list, driving about 30 minutes away then digging them up to relocate to our backyard, they did ok. No fruit though.
- White Pumpkins – I did plant these last year, but I moved them to a different location.
So how is the fruit garden this year?
So far, the fruit garden is happy!
The strawberries have tons of blooms and the fruit is starting to set. If we can beat the birds and the racoons, we will actually get to enjoy our own homegrown strawberries this year.
The raspberries are back and are spreading. I think in the future I am going to need a plan on how to best train (or is that restrain?) them. However, this usually involves roping my husband into a home improvement project he has no desire to do. So, I’m letting them grow wild in the meantime.
Hard to see against the big green bush behind them, my currants have survived being transplanted and look like they are filling out. I really don’t hold out any hope that we will have currants this year. So, we’ll wait.
I planted rhubarb but it is totally ticked off. I don’t know if I missed a watering, if I neglected to add enough compost, or if the weather got too cold. Whatever. It is NOT happy. Here’s the deal with rhubarb – you shouldn’t harvest it until the third year. So if it doesn’t make it, it could be 2015 before I ever get to eat any homegrown rhubarb. Crazy isn’t it? So those of you with a patch that you inherited with the home you bought (wasn’t it a prerequisite in the 70’s to plant rhubarb?) treasure it!
Greatest lesson learned? If you want to eat homegrown fruit, you need patience in spades. (pun so totally intended) While I do expect to being eating raspberries and strawberries, gardening is a crap shoot. So the best advice I have? Don’t wait! If you have ever wanted your own little fruit patch, you need to act now.
Linked to Tuesday Garden Party
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