Ok this may be one of those “skim on past” posts for some of you, but from what I’ve learned after a year of blogging, and several years of planting a garden, is that I need to write it ALL down. My mom brain is capable of remembering next to nothing these days. So I do this as a way to remember what worked and what didn’t for the next year, and if it helps someone else along the way, then bonus!
I was able to take a break from working on a very long and tedious project inside (which I’m working on sharing soon!) this week and tend to the garden a bit. Since we’re focusing on the interior of the house this year, I am trying not to over-do the garden this year (I only planted 7 tomato plants instead of 18!) and bought a bunch of starts. I was able to get everything in the ground a couple of weeks ago, and spent this week pruning and staking the tomatoes, covering the berries, and building a trellis for the raspberries.
I spotted a bunch of these beauties and was pleasantly surprised, which turned to panic as I lost nearly every berry last year to the birds. I had some netting leftover that I double layered and secured over top, and then turned to Pinterest to search every other method out there to save my precious berries! I ended up using a chip bag cut into strips and tied on bamboo skewers staked in the ground as a reflective deterrent. I found a few half eaten berries this morning, but was able to pick about half a basket, so I think it may be working!
I’ve got a couple of cutie baby jalepenos growing, and some flowers on the bell pepper plants also.
I’m also trying something different with my tomato plants this year, and instead of cages that always end up toppling over, I have one sturdy stake (some metal fencing, some scrap wood) next to each plant, that I will tie the plant to as it grows. Fingers crossed it works!
I needed to get a trellis up ASAP if I wanted to attempt to control these this year. Last year they dropped into the tomatoes and crept so far up to the fence you could barely walk around them. So I’m hoping this will keep them upright and easier to pick and keep in line.
I used a 4×4 I found in the shop which was about 5 1/2 ft tall, and picked up a second at Home Depot and cut it to the same size. I set these in cement and after they cured attached the cross bars. The cross bars are 2 ft at the bottom, and the top is 3 ft wide. I used 12 gauge galvanized wire and eye hooks (this is the part I need a little help with- I just don’t have the strength or know the tricks to tighten that wire!), but I’m really happy with how cute, and of course functional it will be.
The blueberries are on the other side of the yard, and are looking really hopeful as well. Since I just planted them in the spring of last year, I wasn’t sure if I should prune them much. I had quite a few berries but they were all very small and not really worth picking. So early this year, I heavily pruned them, and applied a generous amount of acidic fertilizer. And so far they’re already much bigger this year.
I didn’t have the heart to deal with gross amounts of squash bugs this year, so I did put a zucchini plant and a pumpkin plant in another part of the yard. I also pruned the nectarine and peach trees, and thinned them as well. Can’t wait to see what we get this year!