It’s planning season. This year I’m planning on growing fruit. Or more fruit, I should say. It’s the time I plan the garden, how to expand the orchard, thinking more about growing fruit – what’s going to go where, and a lot of things I think I’m going to get done this year but won’t.
Remember the apple trees I planted last year? The tree we planted at the edge of a food plot at Peter’s camp had an unfortunate incident with a brush hog. I’ve ordered another and will tie a lot of bright pink flagging tape on it.
I tried blackberries two years ago but the canes died. I love blackberries and hope each year that the wild berries will be abundant. They usually aren’t so I’m trying again. I ordered Nelson, a midsummer variety hardy to zone 4, maybe 3. The USDA Hardiness Zone Map says we’re in 5 now I’m not so sure. I’m less concerned about when growing fruit like strawberries because I can cover the plants with a thick mulch of straw but the trees and canes do concern me.
Two hundred strawberry plants isn’t enough when the rhubarb is ready and the strawberries are still more than a month away. I like Sparkle but it’s not an early variety. I’ve ordered 50 Annapolis plants. Hardy to Zone 3 and they are supposed to produce even in cold years. I hope so. We could live on fresh strawberry rhubarb pie.
All but one of the rhubarb plants looked a little iffy at the end of the growing season last year so I’m adding a new plant. Glaskins Perpetual is low acid so it should taste good from the early Annapolis strawberries through Sparkle.
Purple Passion. I don’t know how I feel about that name but I’m adding this variety of asparagus anyway. Two years ago I read several articles about tossing asparagus into a ditch, covering it and forgetting it. The authors made good cases for this method. I read it on the internet so it had to have been true, right? It didn’t work well. About a third of the plants grew. We like asparagus a lot so I’ll plant it correctly this time.
I’m going to grow grapes. I ordered one Worden to have fresh grapes. It sounds promising. From the Fedco catalog: Heirloom variety. Large long broad tapering clusters of medium-sized round dark purplish blue-black berries with a heavy bloom, thin tender skin and greenish translucent flesh. Juicy sweet mildly foxy flavor with excellent fresh-eating quality.
Kristin and I are starting a wine project. We’re growing King of the North grapes. It’s supposed to be great for home wine makers and is catching on in popularity commercially. We’re going to grow them on the long high tunnel. We’ll take the poly off, run high tensile wire between the ribs, and turn it into an arbor. We’re starting small, only five vines, and we’ll add on from there. It’s going to take at least three years before we have fruit. Until then, we’ll make other wines.
I didn’t order peach trees to replace the two that died last winter. I want peaches. Maybe next year. Or maybe not.
What fruit are you growing?