"United we bargain, divided we beg."

Monday, February 15, 2010

Garden Update, and Growing What You Love

Raspberries might be my favorite fruit. Certainly, they are my favorite fruit that grows around here. Pomegranates might edge out raspberries as my very favorite, but they don't bear within five hundred miles of here, so they don't count. Raspberries are my favorite fruit that I can grow on my own property.

Raspberries were, in fact, the very first fruit I planted when I moved in here. Unfortunately, I underestimated the amount of work necessary to maintain even a few canes, and they were quickly outperformed by the blackberries and the thistles. A few of those canes survive, but they have by no means turned into the thriving patch I envisioned, a patch that could keep my family in raspberry jam from September until February every year. Alas.

Luckily, an old friend of mine recently came up to visit, and she brought me a pot of raspberry canes. Today, I planted them in the raised bed on the north side of the house, a bed which used to house an enormous rosemary bush which was sadly killed by the record cold snap of 2008. I dug out the dead rosemary and replaced it with the raspberry canes. I hope they do well there - raspberries have a reputation as being fickle and sensitive. In my experience, that isn't true, and they grow like weeds wherever you plant them, but I admit my experience is very limited. The few canes I planted back in Ballard did just great and multiplied to the extent that my neighbors were annoyed by the canes growing up in their lawn every spring.

In any case, I have high hopes for my raspberries. I also planted one bathtub today. If you remember, I bought a couple of old clawfoot tubs off Craigslist last fall with the intention of using them as planters. One of them has had the drain welded shut (something I did not think to check) and so is only good for catching rainwater, unless my husband can somehow cut through the weld. But the other one is fine.

Yesterday I had Homero help me prop it up on a half-dozen bricks and then I filled the bottom layer with rocks (to provide drainage). Then I put in a four inch layer of compost and a four inch layer of topsoil. Then I planted two pounds of red potatoes, and in the top layer above the potatoes I planted spinach and radishes. I figure by the time the potato shoots are up and need to be layered, the spinach and radishes will be harvestable. Then I can cover the potatoes and plant a new crop of pole beans or summer squash on top.

This is all new and experimental. I am far from being the world's greatest gardener, so we'll just have to see how it turns out.


Olive said...

The picture of the raspberries looks good enough to eat.

subu.ps said...

Oh those raspberries are too good, Great that such plants grown in your garden. All the best on your gardening efforts. Your photos are too good too.

The 4 Bushel Farmgal said...

I do miss the raspberries that grew wild on our farmland, so I envy you getting those canes - lucky gal!

I love those tubs and can't wait to see how the potatoes progress.

Walter Jeffries said...

Old cast iron bathtubs are soooo useful on the farm. We pick them up where ever we can. We have some that look just like the one there.

Raspberries are our main wild gathered fruit. We have hundreds of acres. A gift from Mother Nature after that bad ice storm of 1998.

Dr24Hours said...

I would think that any hand held metal drill could solve the bathtub problem. Or even a railroad spike and a sledgehammer.

Jerry said...

Sounds like you're on the right path to being a much better gardener though!

Garden Lily said...

The great thing about gardening is that it is always experimental. Of course, you build up some experience and instincts on what will work and not work, but then the plants will decide for themselves. What a great photo of the raspberries. I have a wonderful patch which has gone wild, and I hope to re-organize it this year. Ha!