This year I’m trying to avoid overloading my raised beds. Mom was a big help on the plant placement of the plants that tend to spread out and those that grow up and out. I’m doing more winter squash rather than the patty pans to see how they grow and store this winter. Winter squash should store longer in my basement compared to the summer squash, though the summer squash did last until Jan.-Feb. after harvest which is pretty good in my book. I have a space in the big bed for the onion sets I got from my aunt and I think I may have space to grow a tomatillo plant. The raised beds are about as full as I want to try this year!
I have tomato cages and garden stakes set up to direct some of the plant growth. I’m usually behind the power curve on that aspect of gardening. The berry plants are in big 18 gallon “party buckets” and will be set among the front yard rose beds. While I don’t expect fruit this year, my hope is they will grow, unlike the berry starts I tried in past years. I can’t blame the plants as I was kind of dumb about growing black/raspberry plants via proper soil, placement and water drainage. I’m very excited to how the berry plants work out! Gardening takes practice and sometimes you can do everything correct according to theory and have a lousy harvest. Sometimes you can do many things wrong and have a good harvest. All a person can do is create the best environment for growing and after that it is up to “Mama Nature”.
I won’t be getting the kiwi vine/tree this year. While I like the idea, something like a cold hardy Meyer lemon or some of the cold hardy dwarf lime trees make more sense because of the vitamin C. Plus storing long term is much easier with many citrus type fruits. From salting, candied, dehydrating to using a lime or lemon daily is much easier that using a kiwi fruit. Don’t get me wrong, I think growing a Kiwi fruit tree up to Zone 4 is very cool. But is it the best use of my time, available land and physical energy? D & B farm store has Olive and Fig trees and while they sound interesting, both trees need several years of care before they produce fruit and olives tend to need a lot of processing before they are consumable by humans. Remember your physical energy will be almost as limited as your fuel supply.
Last but not least the little 20 inch tall fence and garden stakes are working out great protecting the raised beds from the chicken’s scratching when they free range. Overall, the fence is working much better than I anticipated when I first set it up.