Our 2021 garden: Checking the haskap and planning ahead

This morning, none of the kitties were cooperative about getting their pictures taken, so I had to settle for something that didn’t move.



While doing my rounds these days, I check all the areas we planted things in the fall. I found more garlic coming up under the mulch, but we’re still leaving them covered. Ideally, we’d have plastic row covers over them, but we don’t have any sort of hoops or frames to hold it up right now. They’ll be fine; a cover would just kick start them a bit more.

This morning, I decided to clean up the old flower stalks in the bed our two haskap bushes are in. Those flowers are among the things my mother insists we keep, but I wanted to open up the space around the bushes more, so if a few fresh roots came up with the flower stalks, I didn’t mind.

This meant I finally got the first good look at how the haskaps were doing.

I had to hold the branches to get a photo, because of the wind! 😀

This is the male plant, and it’s starting to leaf out quite nicely! It did well last year, too.

It’s the female plant that I am more concerned about.

Last year, I was sure it had died, but it did grow and even managed to produce a couple of berries. It’s still very weak and spindly, with branches so thin, the camera on my phone couldn’t focus on them! There’s the tiniest bit of green showing, though, so at least I can tell it’s still alive. We need to pick up a couple more of the female plants. I never saw any last year, so we will likely have to order them in.

I want to side dress the ones we have with our nice, new garden soil, but probably not today. It started to snow while I was out there. The snow has already stopped, but it’s going to stay chilly today. We’re supposed to warm up a lot over the next two days, then get snow again. During those two warm days, I’m hoping to start prepping the areas at the chain link fence, so we’ll be able to tend the nearby haskap at the same time.

We’ve been saving our cardboard for the past while, and will be laying that over the grass between this bed and the chain link fence, then adding a layer of old straw before topping with soil. This is where the tomatoes will be planted, with the fence to use as support. On the other side of the person gate, we’ll lay cardboard down as well, but that side is where we’re planning to put the remaining old chimney blocks to use as planters. This year, they will be used for the cucamelons but, in the future, they will be good for anything we need to keep contained. We still need to get those blocks out of the old basement. We ended up having to use them to barricade the screen “door” we made over the opening between the two basements. The cats were managing to push their way through, so we’ll have to find an alternate way of bracing the frame before we can remove the blocks. Unfortunately, the opening is basically just a hole that was cut into the wall around the time the new basement was built, so it’s oddly shaped, plus the floors are at slightly different levels. It makes creating a barrier the cats can’t push through much more challenging! Once we figure that out, we can haul the blocks out. I do want to keep one in the new basement, though. I found it was the perfect height to use as a hard surface to brace on while I was rough shaping wood to carve. The rest will be set up along the chain link fence. We want to transplant the grapes to the chain link fence, where they will get more sunlight, but not this year.

I keep forgetting that we also have some chain link fence on the other side of the vehicle gate. Just a short stretch to the garage. Part of it is shaded by the garage in the morning, but it does get full sun overall. It’s another area we can keep in mind for any future garden plots for things than need support. There’s a lot more of the chain link fencing towards the west, but that stretch doesn’t get much sunlight. Once we clean up the dead branches and trees on the outside of the fence, it’ll be better and we’ll have more options.

It feels great to finally be able to start these preparations now, even though we can’t plant anything for almost another month, at the earliest. Getting the soil delivered yesterday means we can work on different areas a little at a time, rather than rushing to get it all done at once, later.

Little by little, it’ll get done! 🙂

The Re-Farmer

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