Tuesday, April 30, 2013

My Future Berry Patch

Due to a fiasco with the city over water drainage, we haven't been able to plant our garden this year. It's really had me bummed out, but if we plow and plant, and then the city brings in heavy equipment to reshape the surface of our yard, the garden, which lies right inside the gate, would be ruined.

I have such fond memories of visiting my grandma's house in St. Louis and playing in the wide open back yard. It was terraced to level out the downward slope to the rear of the property, and a garden grew on the lowest part of the yard. I remember thinking how beautiful it looked. But the best part was the strawberry patch, alongside the back of the house, right outside the door. Grandma used to let us pick and eat as many ripe, sweet, red strawberries as we wanted. The berries growing along the house really stuck with me.

So, with our garden on hiatus and all this beautiful weather, I got a tree and some berry bushes. My husband helped me plant the tree, a Bradford Pear, in the front yard, and then I had to pick a place to put a berry patch. The obvious choice, to me, was a strip of unused ground along the back of the house. But the ground is all hard packed clay and rock, so I had to dig out all that stuff and replace it with rich, dark, fertilized soil from the garden.

Here's the patch of ground I picked (with the future bathroom vanity in the back). My girls were so sad to see the dandelions go!

First I cleared it off so I had and idea of where to dig.

It may look small, but this trench just about did me in! That really is some tough clay. Even though we had a good rain just two days ago, I had to dig down almost two feet before I started seeing water.

It's hard to tell how deep the hole is from a photo. It's about five feet long, two feet wide, and nearly two feet deep.

Then I hauled about four wheel barrel's full of garden soil over and filled it back up. Remember how the clay was so dry, with water far beneath the surface? When I started moving the garden soil, my first shovelful revealed water. It was heavy, but so much easier to dig than the clay!

They don't look like much now, but the guy on the left is a blueberry, and the two on the right are raspberries. Can you see the major difference between the soils? I hadn't even watered yet when I took this picture.

When I was all set to plant them, a friend of mine stopped by, read the container, and told me I need two blueberry plants to produce fruit. So stay tuned for an updated photo, including another blueberry plant of a different variety for pollination, blackberries, and strawberries. And maybe even some blue hydrangeas, too.

No comments:

Post a Comment