Sunday, April 14, 2013

April Garden Update


I find it very helpful to record what's going on in the garden. We are well into a beautiful spring, and things are really growing.  While most of our fruit trees have already flowered, the persimmon is just starting. It's easy to miss these unusual green blossoms.  It seems that we may have fewer flowers than in past years, but that might be my garden pessimism talking.

I was horribly pessimistic earlier this spring, with regards to our pluot and plum trees.  I was so sure that they were blooming too early, and that all the flowers would fall off before the fruits were pollinated.  Clearly, I was wrong. If even half of these already huge pluots ripen, we're going to have a wonderful harvest.

The plum crop looks wonderful, as well.  The grafts that I did on our "volunteer" tree over the past few years seem to be fruitful.  I'll keep an eye on the strain the developing plums are putting on the young branches, in case the weight is too much for the tree.

Jesús, the martyred fig tree that our neighbors gave us has a small crop of baby fruits.  I thought I had planted all my various fig trees last fall, but realized that one had escaped my notice.  The ones in the ground look so much healthier than the one that spent the winter in a pot. 

Today was my get-off-my-butt day for fruit tree planting.  I realized that if I didn't get things into the ground immediately, I'd miss my window of opportunity for the year.  I planted the final fig tree, Grosse Monstreuse, as well as a whole lot of other baby trees.

I finally planted the apple tree that my friend Gaby started from a seed, and gave to me when she moved to the East Coast. I'd grafted a scion of Wickson onto it last year, and it needed to go into the ground.  Wickson is an old apple, developed in Humboldt County California.  It's a tiny apple, obscure, and apparently very tasty.  To the right of this tree is a Wilder currant, which I bought from craigslist.  My hope is that the currant stays relatively low, and nestles around the apple tree.  I cram things pretty close together, in my tiny urban garden.  (I also protect my precious plants from the rapacious hens.  This isn't always pretty.)

Behind the apple and currant is a patch of flax.  I have this crazy idea that I'll be able to process the plant into linen fiber.  Considering that this is a multi-stepped procedure that requires all sorts of specialized gear, and that I'm such a chronic screw-up, we'll see how far this particular project goes.

In addition to planting the fig, the apple, and the currant, I also planted our Murcott mandarin, and a pineapple guava.  I still need to plant the lemon tree that my sister gave me when we bought the house.  I've been dithering forever about where to put it.  The current plan is to plant it, and a kumquat, in line with the World's Ugliest Fence.  We also want to build some trellises on the fence itself, and plant hardy kiwis.  I think the kiwis are a project for next year.  And then, there's the blackberries.   

Our soil is very fertile, but has the consistency of concrete.  Planting these tiny trees was back-breaking work.  I amended the soil with compost from our piles, and with dirt that I dug out of the chicken coop.  It's the strangest thing: I can add an infinite amount of compost to my soil, and it simply de-materializes. 

I just keep at it, a little at a time. Most days, I can work for hours, and there's no immediate payoff.  But today was really satisfying. 


Barb Yingst said...

Oh my, beautiful fruit trees you have. I am fairly jealous of those heavily loaded fruits!

Nadia W said...

Your garden sounds amazing! I wish I could plant fruit trees, where I live but our warm seasons are too short. Good luck, I hope you have bountiful yields!

Steve, Christa, Emily, Meghan, Charles & Elizabeth said...

You are the most amazing optimistic pessimist. Very rare.

Michelle said...

You have so many fruit trees, how wonderful! That's one thing that I have a hard time with. If you think your soil is bad, try the grit that poses as soil here, it won't hold water or nutrients and any compost that I put into it disappears in a flash. But hey, we have great farmer's markets where I can buy all the great fruit that I could possibly eat.

Mel said...

Wow, that looks great! Flax - you are brave! I remember working with flax in 4-H in school, and I was a pile of miserable. Processing it... something with a board with a bunch of nails sticking up through it? Eek. I would ruin my fingers, I am sure. You will conquer it, I have no doubt!


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