What can I say... I love growing things!
March 17, 2009 8:57 AM   Subscribe

Spring time gardening care filter. Need a little advice.

With warming weather coming I thought it would be a good idea to prepare everything now. I have a green thumb and I pretty much can grow anything so general maintenance is a snap. The only problem is I need some help with the more complicated stuff.
I have planted the following: a Victory Garden! (many years running), Raspberry bushes (1 year old), Blueberry bushes(1 year old), 2 peach trees (2 years old), a nectarine tree( 3 years old), 2 cherry trees(2 years old), a buckeye tree(1 year old), a dogwood tree(1 year old), and lastly a fig tree(1 year old).

For the bushes: I have read on several different sites plenty of different pruning methods (cut the cranes, don't cut the canes, let them grow out, give them something to grow on, etc.) Which ones work? Which ones don't?

For the peach/nectarine: I had peach scab on them bad last year. What can I spray them with to prevent that this year?

For the Cherries: Japanese beetles nearly killed one of them last year. Any hints on how to prevent that from happening again? I heard an herb "Rue" helps keep them away. Anyone ever hear of that?

For the victory garden: I have done this for a while and have the regular veggies down pat. Any unique ones anyone can think of? I got a small patch of about 10-15 feet square I can use.

AND lastly I order some hop rhizomes to plant along my fence. Anyone have any hints for those as well?

Sorry for the huge question but any suggestions are welcome.
posted by Mastercheddaar to Home & Garden (9 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
 
For the victory garden: I have done this for a while and have the regular veggies down pat. Any unique ones anyone can think of? I got a small patch of about 10-15 feet square I can use.

what's your zone?

tomatillos are easy to grow and are sweet & delicious - you could grow a ton in 10-15sqft, especially if you tie them up to a trellis or A-frame - they make great salsa
posted by jammy at 9:39 AM on March 17, 2009


For the victory garden:
- herbs? Interesting and beautiful varieties of basil (like African Blue Basil - a beautiful centerpiece to our herb garden last year), variegated sages, thymes, lavender, marjoram, etc etc...
- interesting potatoes like french or russian fingerlings, or blue potatoes?
- interesting carrots like purple, red, yellow, etc?
- interesting tomatoes like green striped, yellow, orange, etc etc?
- barley for making beer with your hops?
- play around with plants like coffee? black pepper vine? olives? sugar cane? banana?
- different hot peppers, like purple jalapeno or bolivian rainbow peppers?

I don't know what you have in your victory garden, but maybe you'll like some of those ideas.

As for the hops, the two I put in last year did very well and needed no assistance from me beyond a trellis for support.

Good luck! I wish I lived in a climate that could support a lot of the plants and trees you have!
posted by Jupiter Jones at 9:45 AM on March 17, 2009


If you enjoy asian food you could grown yard-long beans. They grow just like other pole beans. You could try some other asian plant varieties too like japanese eggplant or thai eggplant. or hey, chinese broccoli.
posted by cabingirl at 10:01 AM on March 17, 2009


Pruning raspberries and blackberries requires a little work, but it's not too bad. Here's a quick guide.
posted by electroboy at 10:49 AM on March 17, 2009


Japanese eggplant is great, and in my climate it's much less troublesome than the bigger varieties.

Lemon cucumbers are easier to grow in coolish climates than the more usual kinds, and are (to my palate) a little tastier, too.

The best odd-colored carrot I've grown is "Purple Haze". It's very slightly spicy and has an excellent texture. (The least successful was "Nutri-Red", which for me came up woody and generally unexciting.)

Have you considered kohlrabi? It's tasty, fits well in small spaces, and looks appealingly alien in the garden. I like the purple variety "Kolibri".

If you have space in full sun for some perennial vegetables, you might consider cardoons and artichokes. They're gorgeous, showy plants.

I haven't heard of rue as a companion planting for cherries, but I have heard of rue as an effective photosensitizer. If you plant it, try to keep it away from path edges and other places where you might brush up against it, and always wear gloves while handling it.
posted by sculpin at 11:25 AM on March 17, 2009


I only trim back the blackberry and raspberry canes when they get in the way. I wait until just before they break dormancy in the spring so you can really tell which ones are old and likely done. Don't trim back new ones, and don't cut back more than 1/3 of them.

Interesting veggies-- parsley for the roots. Lovage. Parsnips. Tobacco. Regular veggies, but heirloom varieties. Edible flowers. What about medicinals (borage, chamomile, calendula, rue, lavender, lupine).

Shameless plug: Please come join us on myfolia.com, where you will find answers to all your questions, and many friends.
posted by nax at 6:45 PM on March 17, 2009


And for a wealth of experience, you might try posting your questions on the GardenWeb Forums (on the appropriate forum for each question), I bet they would have some good suggestions and ideas.
posted by lemonade at 8:06 AM on March 18, 2009


Wow Thanks all of the info. I got quite the weekend ahead of me in prep work. Can't plant anything til last frost sometime in the beginning of May. I got a lot of research ahead of me...... :>)
posted by Mastercheddaar at 6:58 AM on March 19, 2009


Actually there's plenty of stuff you can plant before the last frost. Snap peas, broccoli, spinach are all good candidates.
posted by electroboy at 7:30 PM on March 19, 2009


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