A personal record of what's going on in my Northern Michigan zone 4 gardens. I use raised beds and grow organically. Nothing fancy--just trying to garden with nature in mind.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Fruit Garden Plan for 2011


The plan for the fruit garden this year includes the planting of three additional 4x8 boxes of strawberries-Record, NorthEaster, and Cavendish. I already have a box of Northeaster in the vegetable garden--they are incredibly sweet and I want a LOT more. The Cabot were planted last year and will be allowed to fruit this year. The berries are GIGANTIC and firm. I also have a bed of those in the vegetable garden---none of them made it to the house.
:D



Nothing is changing as far as the blueberry patch. I will continue to plant alyssum at the base of the bushes-it looks so nice, keeps down weeds, brings in pollinators, and seems to keep the plants cool and moist. I am changing out the portulace at the end of the rows though---too much of a clash with the alyssum.




The Donkey "Doo" we got in October has been composting down all winter and will be applied to the south,west, and north borders here in the fruit garden. Lots of good stuff for the flowers I will plant once again around the whole garden.






The sunflowers that I had running the 30 foot length along the north border will be moved to the west border this year. I had grown several varieties mainly for seed for the birds. The mammoth ones did not have enough time to mature before frost, despite the hot weather we had last summer. I'm hoping to get suggestions for an early maturing sunflower that produces lots of seeds. Ideas????

This year along the north border will be used as a "nursery" for baby perennials I'm growing this year from seed.




This was the west border last year--44 feet worth of zinnias-spectacular in full bloom. They will be moved this year to the south border . Gotta keep stuff rotated!!





I grew 5 different kinds of them--my favorites were the cactus zinnias. Such odd color combos.





I did raise pumpkins at the corners ---but won't be doing that again this year--it ended up clogging up the aisles, making it difficult to walk through. I'm growing Small Sugar Pie again this year-they will be planted where the donkey doo composted all winter.
The Howden pumpkins are going to go in the compost area with a fence around it. I had no idea last year that deer would eat green pumpkins.



14 comments:

  1. ugh I just accidentally deleted my last comment! I LOVE looking at your garden and the pathways, so pretty! Alyssum always grows better up north, it gets scraggly and burnt here. I have that zinnia mix this year, thanks for the photo, It's always hard to envision the actual planting when just looking at the packet!

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  2. Just curious, with the new plantings of strawberries, how many plants will you have total?

    Love the idea of planting alyssum around the blueberry plants. Mine need some dressing up.

    If you find a sunflower that will give mature seeds in a short season, I'll buy a bunch of that seed and plant it!

    Zinnias! I LOVE zinnias. I think that was the very first garden flower I started from seed way back 104 years ago.

    Your Sugar Pie Pumpkins may grow HUGE planted where the donkey doo sat all winter. Watch out! ;o)

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  3. I always underestimate how much space my pumpkins will take up. They always look so tiny and innocent when you plant them!

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  4. Awesome layout!! When the strawberries are ripe I want to come help pick :) Love Michigan strawberries....

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  5. Erin-I guess I COULDN'T live where you do--a life with NO alyssum?????? Cripes-I NEED alyssum to round out just about everything!

    Mama Pea-104 years ago---woman, you just made me spit my coffee all over the computer screen. You are so funny!!!
    As for the pie pumpkins, I'm hoping it will be quantity--we use them to feed the wildlife (after I've used up what I need)--you should see the wild turkeys go crazy when Don brings out a cut open one!

    Green Zebra-so true. But I've learned "innocent looking" doesn't last long with them!
    :)

    Deb--I'm sweet as sugar about sharing everything in life but Ben and Jerry's New York Super Fudge Chunk ice cream and STRAWBERRIES. Things could get UGLY if you try to snitch one of my precious berries!
    :)

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  6. Mama Pea--forgot about the strawberries-I am adding 75 more plants this year. My Cabots didn't runner last year (why???????), and the other two are new varieties. Total plants I will have ----about 680000000000. (And no, that's not enough for me!)
    :D

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  7. Hi Sue,
    I just love your garden. It is wonderful!
    I can't wait to get my fingers back in the dirt here. It has been unusually cold down this way.But today and tomorrow will seem like a heat wave with highs in the mid and high 60's. Maybe I can get some outside stuff done.
    Good luck with all your plans.
    Have a great weekend.
    Pam

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  8. Pam-I am so jealous of your warmer temps right now--not in July, though! Thanks for stopping by, and I'm hoping Jack feels a little less jealous! Don't forget his extra mint!!
    :D

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  9. Your garden is so nice! I like how you are using stone as your borders. We do that for our flower garden, but never thought to use it in our edible garden. I'll have to try that.

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  10. Meems-Thanks-stones just keep popping up out of the ground around here-so we put them to use. Even the house is made of them!

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  11. Sue, I am working on my plans today and you have given me inspiration. I know I will be back several times to gaze at you beautiful beds and to get more inspiring ideas. You sure have a great green thumb and an even better eye!
    Have a great weekend.

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  12. Lorie-thanks so much. You're fortunate to be able to start in your garden much sooner than me--so it's ME that will be watching with anticipation for "doings" in your garden!
    Happy Planning!

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  13. Your garden really looked good in the growing season! I noticed a fence around it - does it keep the deer out? I've had many issues with deer and I'm planning a real fence this year. I have one that keeps the rabbits mostly at bay but the deer are another story!

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  14. Dave-The fence is 60" tall, which isn't NORMALLY enough, but I think that the raised beds being just within the boundaries keeps them from jumping in. I've had it up for 2 years now and it's worked so far (did I just jinx myself???)
    It also could be that I have so many flowers outside the fence that they aren't interested in jumping (?)...Is there such a thing as a lazy deer??
    :D

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