Saturday, July 18, 2015

Berry Good Mail

Vaccinium blueberry
'pink lemonade' x 2 and
Vaccinium virgatum
blueberry 'misty' x 2

Berry Good Mail


Our blueberry plants arrived!  We ordered them from Wellspring Gardens. I have ordered from Wellspring before and can attest to their shipping practices (taped soil and sticks that prevent snapping stems). They must know how USPS is as the package was pretty well mangled, but the packaging amazingly kept the plants in great shape!

Anyway, the Sunshine Blue variety was out of stock, so I snapped up the Pink Lemonade and Misty in paired sets for a total of four edible landscaping plants that are expected to get quite large.

We set them up in little plastic containers with a bit of water to refresh them for a day or two.

Mr. Man thinks the back wall would be a decent place to put them, so they'll be adjusting to our climate until we seal up the block fence in preparation for the espalier retaining garden.

We've talked about interplanting the blueberries with some fruit trees. A soil PH around 5 would be decent for the fruit trees and blueberries.

After sealing the block wall, we need to prep the soil when we build up the espalier retainer garden. Good info found:
Blueberries demand a soil pH between 4.0 and 5.5. Correct the pH for blueberries with peat moss (mixed at least 50/50 with your native soil) and perhaps some soil sulfur. The bushes have extremely shallow root systems, so the heavy peat blend need not be deeper than 12 inches. Blueberries need a steady supply of moisture; the water-retentive peat will help with that as well.
One blueberry bush is all you need. In its fourth season it will produce a pint or so of fruit. At maturity, when it's 4 to 6 feet tall, the right variety can produce up to 20 pints over two to three weeks. However, if you've room for three or four varieties, you can stretch the harvest to 8 to 10 weeks, into the fall raspberry season. Although cross-pollination isn't essential, it will encourage larger fruit. ~ Gardening.org
Looks like we're set for blueberries.  Not sure if we will get the Sunshine blue when they're in stock. However, I am a sucker for the odd plants...

Cucumbershop.com owner with an Armenian Cucumber

Cucumber Shop


We had great luck with Armenian cucumbers when nothing else grew (our soil was too alkaline for anything else). Along with the Armenian cucumber, we somehow lucked into a dark green variety, and also tried out a 'real' cucumber, but of the lemon type.

We had a slew of them and made tons of cucumber stuff and our one day refrigerator pickles (warning, it is addictive).  We somehow lucked into a dark green version last year and it had a really good taste.  More like 'regular' cucumber than the melon kind.

Looking for a dark variety again, I found the cucumbershop.com site. We ordered three varieties; Medium-dark armenian; Painted serpent; and a rotund italian Massafra.  These seeds arrived in the mail this week and we're looking forward to another year of not shopping for cucumbers!