Over the summer I placed an order with the Burgess nursery catalog. They send me printed catalogs about once a month, so when I thumbed through the July copy and saw a few things I could use, I placed an order right away – a new nectarine, Josta berry, gooseberry and garlic. I had hoped, like many other companies, that they would hold my order to ship when the planting time was right for my zone, but I was surprised to receive my bareroot plants shortly after I placed my order…. in mid July.
I soaked the bareroots in water for a few minutes before planting, was careful to avoid air pockets around the roots when I put them in the soil and made sure to water them well… none of the plants survived except for 2 small columbine roots. Even the seed garlic I assumed would be shipped in fall smelled AWFUL and turned out to be a mushy rotten mess. Live and learn. It’s my responsibility not to place my order during the height of summer and I should simply toss the catalogs that come at inappropriate planting times. What a waste.
The first week of September I planted a batch of ramps and the rest of the garlic that came from Burgess. Maybe a few of the cloves will survive. I harvested the first batch of elderberries from the larger of the two plants and made elderberry syrup on September 10th. I had harvested 4 cups of berries and I left 3 or 4 bunches on the bush for the birds and other critters. They get to spread those seeds around and naturalize elderberries in the neighborhood!
On 9/12 I moved the beach plum I got at least year’s festival to the front bed of the food forest in the front yard, next to bonfire peach. I replaced it with a new Red Haven peach that Mom got me from home depot for my birthday. Contacted Burgess about my replacement plants and they told me to mail them my original mailing label.
Planted the new royal medlar today. Removed the worst of the damaged brassica.
Divided and repotted root bound turmeric. Small plants in a pot, 2 large plants in greenhouse.
Visited Phyllis and planted her gift, a native bleeding heart.
Boy, have I been miserable at keeping records this year. It’s a shame too because so many changes have happened since I dug the rain garden in spring up to now, as I wrap the fig trees and set up a new bed next to the driveway for next years vining crops.
This year, the sweet potatoes and malabar spinach completely engulfed the brick annual veggie bed in the front yard next to the driveway. The vines were attractive, but made the rest of the bed inaccessible. Good thing I got to enjoy plenty of greens… both the malabar spinach and the sweet potato leaves, or else I would have been more dissappointed in the use of the space. Did you know that sweet potato leaves are edibe? Tasty too! I added them to a lot of stir fries this season.
Next year, they will be planted in a new, ground level bed nearby so that peppers and eggplants can reach the sun and fill the raised brick bed instead.
I’ve also bought 3 new fruit trees from Raintree Nursery that will delivered in Spring. 2 jujube, which are Chinese dates that have thorny branches and are very cold hardy. They need a pollinator, so I had to get 2, but they stay a managable size and can be eated fresh or dried. I also ordered a self fertile quince, which is supposed to have really beautiful flowers and taste kind of like pineapple.
A friend of mine found a native American persimmon tree while riding her bike through our town. She brought me some of the ripe fruit and I’m so thankful for this thoughtful gift! I saved the seeds and they are stratifying in the fridge right now. I’ll be planting them in February and setting them out in the greenhouse to get started. I have lots of seeds so I’m hoping to successfully start many native trees to share with local friends and gardeners!
I also bought seeds of blue sausage fruit, also called dead man’s fingers! The seeds look like watermelon seeds and the tree is supposed to be really ornamental. I’m not sure where I’ll be planting all of this new fruit, but I’ll need to just expand those front yard beds because I don’t want to load the backyard up with fruit trees. Our dog will get herself into loads of trouble if she has access to falling fruit – her eyes are bigger than her stomach!
I’ve disconnected and drained the rainbarrels and the hoses from the house. I learned my lesson whe I caused a leak in the spigot on the side of the house – so as soon as the weather cools down, the hoses come OFF!
Before it got too cold, I did plant a few bare root valarian and a new jostaberry that’s dormant and sleeping and should leaf out beautifully in the spring. Since I’ve been exploring the possibilities of working with native edibles, I decided to get some ground nuts and let them climb the fence. I’m looking forward to the flowers.
I also spread out the summer compost to make way in the compost system for the new fall leaves. From a management perspective, this is definitely the best time to spread the compost I’ve been turning over the summer… but I’m not sure if it’s ideal for the soil biology. Would it be better to make a space for that compost and just pile it next year and cover it with a tarp for the winter to spread around in the spring? Would that just be the perfect, snuggly home for rodents and critters trying to stay warm? Is the biology totally fine with being spred right before things start to freeze and will it become active again when the weather warms?
Here’s a recent garden tour from my youtube channel. I hope you’ll like the video and subscribe to the channel. I do add progress videos sometimes and it’s just another way to take a look at mynjgarden.com how things are growing here. Thanks so much!