I haven’t posted much at this blog over the last few months. It’s just we have been so busy at the nursery this year there hasn’t been the time. After work Monica and I head for the garden where we de-compress, which does not include blogging. With the rain today it has come to my attention that the garden is ready for it’s seasonal change. In addition I found a baby deer inside the gate, trying to get out. The first animal intrusion into the garden this year. It got our by ripping down the fence.
So it’s time to start pulling out some of our tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers to make way for fall vegetables like broccoli, and cauliflower. We have already planted the first broccoli and are getting the bed ready for lettuce and radishes. If we don’t plant now they will not be ready in time before the cold of winter settles in.
Don’t wait any longer to make the change. Like so many things in life, timing is important. In vegetable gardening it can be the difference between having vegetables to harvest in fall and winter, and having nothing to harvest. The fresh rain today, the first in many months, helps set the mood for the fall and winter garden. Change is in the air.
We will be having a fall and winter vegetable garden workshop at the nursery next Saturday the 14th, from 10 am to 11. It’s free, and will give you the information needed to have a bountiful garden this year and next.
I love the bare root season. All sorts of fun stuff to plant. Fruit trees are the first thing everyone thinks of when it comes to bare root. There are lot’s of other fruiting plants that can be planted bare root, yet are not trees. Blueberries are the most popular of the fruiting bushes these days. We sell blueberries in pots during spring, but you can get them bare root right now. They are smaller than the ones in pots, but they are also half the price. Be sure to plant two different types of blueberries for cross pollination.
Asparagus, strawberries, and rhubarb are also sold bare root. As a matter of fact asparagus can really only be planted during the bare root season. It’s not sold in pots later, like strawberries or rhubarb will be. There are also the berries like blackberries and raspberries that are sold bare root. Bare root season is full of possibilities.
In our face paced lives we have come to expect that the plants we want to grow will be available when we want them. Want to plant a fruit orchard in summer? Well then the garden center should have the fruit trees then, right? Want Rhubarb to plant in fall? Well the garden center will have them then, right?
Gardening is about the seasons. Different seasons are for different aspects of gardening. To expect the garden center to have a lot of fruit trees in summer is wrong. Most likely the fruit trees will be gone by summer and planting fruit trees during summer is not healthy for the trees. They like to be moved and planted while they are dormant, in winter. That’s just the way it is! Grandma and grandpa knew that winter was bare root season. After being off the farm for a couple of generations we have forgotten what to do during the different seasons.
It’s time to become attuned to the seasons again. If you want to grow fruit trees, and bushes you have to work with nature, not against her. It some times come down to deciding what it is that’s important in our lives. Do we want to spend our time running around trying to do a million things at once? Rather wouldn’t it be better to do fewer things, but do them better? When I think of all the well meaning people who plant fruit trees and don’t succeed it’s sad. So often the extra time necessary to care for the trees is not allocated and they suffer. Fruit tree gardening does not have to be hard, but it does require forethought and an awareness of what to do each season.
This is the season to plant fruit trees and bushes. Don’t wait until the end of February, it may be too late to find the varieties and quantities you want. With the increase in interest in fruit tree gardening, I think we will run out of the fruit trees earlier than in years past. Remember, the best time to have planted that tree was ten years ago. The second best time to plant is right now!
Over at This Garden is Illegal blog Hanna has started posting her 2008 tomato tasting report. Hanna has been doing this for awhile and hers is one of the best tomato tasting on the web. She lives in the suburbs of Cleveland, OH. In her blog she ” waxes on and off about her garden, the flowers, what she wants to do in her yard and how it all fits into her everyday life”, but it’s her tomato tasting report that you will want to check in on regularly. She reviews the really odd varieties that you just don’t hear much about.
She also asks “If you do your own tomato tasting (which I highly recommend), you can either link to it from the comments here or shoot me an email and I will link to it from within this post. The point of this is to create a real review of all the 100s of varieties of tomatoes available. Life is too short to have to rely on seed sellers descriptions (have you ever heard of a bad tomato from them). Share your tomato love with the world.”
It’s common this time of year to hear people lament that the squash plants they have planted are flowering but not fruiting. What’s happening is that squash plants have both female and male flowers. What this means is the plant must first produce flowers of both sexes so the bees can pollenize the flowers. Once that happens the fruit forms. When squash plants first start flowering they tend to produce flowers of only one sex. So no fertilization occurs, hence no fruit. Sometimes small fruit are set fall right off. This is for the same reason. Lack of pollination.
What’s the solution? Wait, the plant will soon produce flowers of both sex and fruit will be formed. This is one of those times when “patience’ is called for. Of course as we wait for our first vegetables of the season that quality is often abandoned.