The thread for people who have Green Thumbs (Gardening)
Unfortunately, something's been eating my strawberries when they turn ripe. I did buy some netting yesterday and am going to try and protect them that way.
Edit: I just went to put on the netting and got some ripe ones before the bugs!
made by katherine
This year has been something else for the fruit in my yard. I can't even keep up with it! First we had gobs of strawberries and my youngest daughter and I made Strawberry Shortcakes. Then we had to forgo the rest of the strawberries because of all the other fruit coming on.
Primarily my Montmorency Cherry Tree has exploded. I've had cherries off of there in the past, but nothing even coming close to this year. (Maybe because we actually got it sprayed in the early spring at the appropriate time?) I think, as of this morning, I have at least 8 cups of cherries picked, 5 of those are already pitted and frozen and pitting the next round will be my chore later this morning. I'm just sooooo excited because homemade cherry pie with homegrown cherries is my absolute favorite thing in the world! If I ever live on a farm, I'm putting in a cherry orchard.
Now my next thing is going to be my raspberry bushes in the Fairy Garden. Last year it put on a lot of berries, but they were bitter and inedible. This year they're nice and sweet. So probably this evening I'll get out there with some gloves and get those picked.
We got two new blueberry bushes this year and those are also loaded, but they have a ways to go before they ripen. My neighbor's Mulberry tree is hanging over into our yard with fruit on it (too bad....) and we have a lot of grapes on our grape vines right now (though I'll need to look up how to save those because the Japanese Beetles always get those).
Anyways, best year for fruit I've ever had. Super duper excited!!!!
On a vegetable note, we've picked 90% of all of our broccoli and cooked most of it. That has been a successful venture as well. Normally beetles kill that off as well, so there are some benefits to having it in our greenhouse.
Potatoes look great, onions look great, my one tomato plant looks good, the kids corn and pumpkins look good but that's going to become a huge tangled mess soon The only thing that doesn't look very good are the beets. I don't care for beets so I'm not sad about that, but my husband loves them so we'll see if we can salvage them. If not, maybe we'll put more in in the Fall.
On a non-food note, our milkweed this year has attracted a number of monarchs, so we have three (so far) caterpillars hanging out in our kitchen
How are all your plants doing, @lu_valient, particularly the strawberries. Did the netting help? Sure hope so!
It's wonderful hearing about your fruit harvest, @fantasia! Reading every successful venture of yours ^ I was jumping for joy at my place. A cherry orchard, eh? My husband grew up in Niagara and their back yard was filled with cherry trees; pears and peaches too. We used to pick the cherries and couldn't get enough of them.
the kids corn and pumpkins look good but that's going to become a huge tangled mess soon
My pumpkins aren't quite at that stage, but they will be in time. They're growing well, albeit still young. Any idea what happened to the beets? We're beet fans here: ours have just sprouted in the past week.
Our peas and beans have all come up well; the pepper plant and cucs are all thriving. And in the lower garden, I think the last of the potato greens have sprouted ... they always look so cool. The tomatoes are looking very healthy. It was only last year that we had a poor crop (first time ever), so we added lots of egg shells this year (calcium!): hopefully that will make the difference. If there is anything that I would be disappointed to do without it's home-grown tomatoes.
The flower gardens are stunning, if I may say so. Although yesterday's thunderstorms made all our peony plants bow under the weight of the rain. The blooms are okay, but those poor plants. I know they will recover (they have before). Our side walk to the back is loaded with peonies, which scent the air all around. So pretty (pinks and whites).
I have discovered polychroma/cushion spurge ( https://www.gardenia.net/plant/euphorbia-polychroma-cushion-spurge ) this year, so we planted three. Their colouring is lovely in the summer, and then again as it changes to its Autumn colours in the fall. I have also found out about Ice Plants (Delosperma), which are adorable little ground cover plants with flowers that can look as if they're covered with frost or ice. I think I bought way too many of these.
We have cleaned up our cedar hedge—at least part of it—and put forsythia in, along with some shady ground cover plants (white flowers—I forget the name right now). I also threw in some poppy seeds and a wildflower mix packet, so we'll see what comes up.
Very please with all the gardens thus far. They take a good bit of work (I'd say a couple of hours each day, between watering and weeding), but are so worth the time and effort!
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My husband grew up in Niagara and their back yard was filled with cherry trees; pears and peaches too. We used to pick the cherries and couldn't get enough of them.
That would just be a dream for me. Kansas is not terribly friendly to fruit trees, though there are people around here that make it work. My cherry tree is a tart pie cherry tree and I don't know anyone around here who has a sweet cherry tree. My sister-in-law has tried numerous times with sweet cherries and hers continue to die.
As of last night I have five bags of 4c of pitted cherries, which is the equivalent to five pies. My cherries are winding down so I might get a full sixth bag, but that'll be it I think.
Yesterday I picked four cups of raspberries, so I have to decide if I want to just freeze them altogether for one pie, or divvy them up into four 1c bags for four individual servings of something. I'm leaning towards the latter because I'm not the biggest fan of raspberry seeds and I'm waaaay too lazy to strain them.
On a non-fruit note, our milkweed managed to attract gobs of monarch butterflies this year which is the first time this has happened. I have five caterpillars in my kitchen so far as they seem to disappear if I leave them outside. Save the monarchs!!
It has been WAY too hot here for the last couple of weeks! 90's F every day and some days 100. Not typical June weather. I had planned to add a flower border to the garden this year, but when it's in the 90's, I stay in the basement where it's cool. I have marigolds that I started from seed out on the deck destined for that border. I have to water them every day, some days twice a day since they are just in 3" pots.
On a positive note, yesterday I picked some alpine strawberries and enjoyed them right out in the garden. 🙂
We've been running the drip irrigation to the garden beds almost every day, so the plants are doing well. I still need to add second plantings of corn, beets, turnips and green onions and third plantings of lettuce and beans.
Praying for rain--the grass is getting very dry and crispy.
"I suppose the sewing machine's too heavy to bring?. . . I can't abide the thought of that Witch fiddling with it. . ."
So good and interesting to read your posts, @fantasia ; @grandmama. Fantasia, the Niagara region has pretty much perfect conditions for fruit trees, which is why it is known as such. But I'm glad at least that you have the sour cherries. The trees Dennis grew up with were both sour and sweet, but for eating plain, sweet are my favourite. And sour are great for pie and juice! Great about your raspberries. I want to make a raspberry pie for Father's Day (the rhubarb pie is already done), but will have to buy them from our local market. We have not (yet) planted raspberry bushes here; we had a row in Burlington, but most often the birds nabbed most of them before we did.
A funny story about Dennis' family's cherries: his mom made loads of pies every month. For some reason, she would actually pit the cherries (every single cherry!!!) before making the pie. Wow, that is dedication. I have to admit, I do not do that.
So cool about the milkweed and the caterpillars!
Grandmama, really sorry to hear about your excessive heat (especially in June, wow!). We have had a few days of this so far, but nothing long-lasting ... that will most likely come in July. Good to hear of your gardens. Any rain in sight yet?
Things are lush here, as we have had a balanced amount of sun and precipitation. Wishing that for you, too, in Minnesota! The perennials are growing beautifully ... well, most of them: there is one pretty Autumn-coloured daisy type plant that is not doing so well. Giving it TLC so hopefully it will come around. We moved some of our hostas to a more shady area near the road by a bit of a hedge—an area that has always been a bit neglected—and they're sprucing up that row really well. We have always planted a few Autumn chrysanthemums there that we over-wintered, so hoping this falltime they will bloom beautifully; now, they are nice and green, so that's a good sign.
Our veggie gardens are really doing well. I just planted another row of beets, as my lettuce row did not come up at all. There is a good reason for this: the seeds were a few years old, but I thought I'd try. My Morning Glory and Sweet Pea seeds have sprouted: I have been wanting to grow these for years, so, yay! I've planted them against our upper veggie garden fence, so that they can climb. The fence isn't really tall, though (chain-link), so my plan is that they will drape over the fence. Should be quite pretty.
My watermelon plants are the only veggies that seem to be having issues. They sprouted, but seemed to stay the same size for ages, until recently, when they're finally growing. We'll see how they fare. The pumpkins are doing great, as is the rhubarb. Potatoes greens are high enough that I mounded them last evening and the tomatoes are growing healthily too.
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