March 27, 2018

It is recommended to grow blueberries in an acidic soil and it can be easier to control the acidity by growing them in containers.

We grew blueberries in containers a few years back and they thrived (see the post here). They were super easy to grow and the girls loved them. However, so did the birds. These feathered pests would snatch them up BEFORE they even turned blue! With such a low production of blueberries, it was an unwinnable battle, as the birds wouldn’t leave us with much.

Then, we tried a variety of defenses. We tried bird netting (but the birds would somehow get in… but couldn’t get out (those were uncomfortable moments). Then we tried wrapping chicken wire but the wire ends are quite sharp and ornery (those too were uncomfortable moments). In the end, it required too much time and work, so we gave up on them.

Now that our edible gardening has ventured to the front yard, we’ve planted them in the ground along our front yard border. Our neighbor is notorious for overwatering his front lawn and prior to our front lawn redesign, his excessive watering lead to the killing of one tree we had and stunting the growth of another. As a result, we needed something that didn’t mind moisture. So, the blueberries seem to be like a good fit. Furthermore, we’re hoping that they’ll grow large enough so that our expectations for blueberries can co-exist with the birds’.

To get the acidity in the soil, after digging the hole, the girls and I used a 1:1 ratio of peat moss to native soil and backfilled. (I was able to get a large bale of peat moss at a local bulk soil company.) For the in-ground method, I was helped through some University of Maine videos online.

Gardening involves so much trial and error, so only time will tell how effective these strategies will work!


January 22, 2018

We have planted our first thing in our front yard garden and it is asparagus! Ben picked up a lot of asparagus plants last week and they look so much like something that would be growing in the “upside down” (don’t you agree, Stranger Things fans?!). The plant is so interesting and will shoot up the stalks, as well as grow fern-like plants. Not that we know from personal experience (yet!), but if you google asparagus plants, they look very billowy. Asparagus are perennials, and will last up to 15-20 years, at least according to what we’ve read. None of this is from experience, but we hope to gain it as we care for these plants. Another asparagus fact… we have to wait 3 years until we can eat it. The plants will sprout, but we won’t harvest it. Lord willing we get there and stay patient, True will be 15 when we can eat our asparagus!

To plant asparagus:
1. Till soil and mix in composted chicken manure. Dig a trench 8” deep.
2. Mix 15-20 pounds of fertilizer per 100 feet of 5-10-10 fertilizer AT THE BOTTOM of the trench or row. Then, cover the fertilizer with 1-2” of soil before placing the roots.
3. Take a crown, and with an equal amount of roots in each hand, place it “crown-side up” at the bottom of the trench. When placed, it will look like its doing the “splits.”
4. Continue placing crowns 18” apart in the trench
5. Cover with 2” of soil
6. As new shoots come up, continue covering them with a couple inches of soil until it reaches ground level.

The particular variety we planted is UC-157 that we purchased from a local nursery. For more in depth info on planting asparagus, we used this (thank you UC Davis) as a guide. If you’ve ever planted asparagus, do share any of your tips and tricks!

star fruit in our garden

November 6, 2017

This looks to be the first year that we will get to harvest our star fruit. The variety we have is called Super Sweet. Some baby star fruit fell off the tree, and the girls like to collect it and put it by my bed because I love the smell. It’s so fragrant! The smell is similar to Minute Maid fruit punch, which I haven’t had in years, but it used to be my source of water growing up. (I didn’t start drinking water until I started dating Ben.) If the star fruit tastes half as good as it smells, this might be a strong contender to be one of my favorite fruits.

Our garden is undergoing another transformation, so I was out and about checking things out today. I don’t go out and enjoy our garden as often as I should. The major change that is taking place is that our front yard is on its way to being a front yard, edible garden (and drought tolerant too!). We are raising up a large portion of the yard to give us two levels, and then we (okay, when I say we, I mean Ben) are going to put more fruit trees, herbs, and a vegetable bed. It’s been in the works for about a year now (when we removed all the grass), but now the second level is finally getting put in and we are so excited. It’s like Christmas, birthday, and Father’s Day for Ben over here.

our pumpkin update

August 9, 2017

We planted these pumpkins on July 4th and they are growing like gangbusters. This is our first time growing pumpkins (see our post here), so we are pretty excited about our mini pumpkin patch. There will definitely be no need to go pumpkin patching this fall.

planting pumpkins

July 18, 2017

Hi all! It’s Ben again, here to share about some gardening… I needed to start some seeds I’d received for a Mexican garcinia (Luc’s mangosteen) tree. Our seed starting tray has 72 slots and I only needed 10 of them for these seeds. So, I grabbed a stack of really old seed packs and decided to roll the dice.

A few years back, I’d ordered some gardening supplies from an online vendor and I received some free seeds as a promotion; one of them was for a “Big Max Pumpkin.” Tomato plants have always consumed any available summer real estate for gardening, so pumpkins (and any other summer vegetable for that matter) weren’t a priority and continued to age in the hot garage.

When I looked at the “plant by” date, it said in big bold letters, “2013.” Oh well, I needed to plant the Mexican garcinias anyways, so Soul, Glow and I used 6 of the slots to plant 12 seeds (we did 2 seeds per slot).

After about a week, 3 of the slots had germinated (in one of them, both seeds took)! So, 2 weeks later, Soul and Glow transplanted them into the ground and they’re loving the heat. I gave Soul and Glow full responsibility of these little plants and they’ve been watering them every other day and made some super cute signs for their “Pumpins!” Pumpins. Too cute!

our stone fruit harvest

June 20, 2017

This is the first year we’ve been able to harvest any stone fruits from our garden! Some were tastier and sweeter than others, but the ones that were “meh” will be chalked up to them being still so young. As the trees mature, the flavor should too.

Unfortunately, we weren’t the only ones that took notice to the new, brightly colored fruit… the birds did as well. It’s discouraging to put all that work in, only to have it sniped by freeloading birds. When we had blueberries, we tried using nets, but that was challenging. Despite our efforts, it wasn’t easy to access the fruit, and once, a birds got INSIDE the net!

One response to the thievery is to have the tree big enough so that there’s plenty of fruit to go around! But that defeats the purpose of having multiple trees in a small space.

This fight is not over!





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