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.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Garden Update May 1-10 and Stupidity Rears It's Ugly Head


Stupidity has reared it's ugly head in the fruit garden. My, how dumb I can be. I put raspberries in the fruit garden, arrogantly assuming that corraling them in boxes would stop them from doing what berries are supposed to do---TAKE OVER THE WORLD. I am completely overwhelmed and find myself ignoring this portion of the garden because I just don't know what to do. I can't "spray" them---I refuse to use chemical "goo". I can't dig them. Well, I could. But there are MILLIONS of them. Ignoring them really isn't an option either, as eventually they will swallow the whole garden up. It's times like this I wish I had a magic wand. Or maybe a stiff drink.


I've started "rocking" the pathways in the sidewalk/kitchen window beds. I made drainage "ditches" in the paths to funnel water away and hopefully this will solve my problems with wash out in rains. The rock was "re-purposed" from the old pond area.

We've removed the Octogon garden and the Arbor/garden area and I've made calls to various people to FINALLY get water lines run to the garden (yea-no more hauling water!!) and to the future mystery project area. We stored the rocks and timbers for future projects.




Now, into the vegetable garden. The garlic is doing great.



The salad beds are doing fine too. I had Don watch me eat some freshly plucked spinach, in case I went into convulsions from FINALLY having some vitamins! Boy, it's been a long winter!




We picked up our annual batch of trees for the yard at Dutchman's Tree Sale this past weekend.



Other "Doings" so far this month:

I've finished edging around the entire vegetable garden.

Sowed all the Heat Lovers (melons, squashes, etc) into peat pots for transplanting in June

Potatoes arrived from Vermont Bean --I have to get those in soon.

I actually mowed a couple spots in the yard (for the clippings--to use for mulch)

Cleaned up front borders --transplanted some perennial splits in

Moved some perennial splits into the new East Border. (and on that note---I do NOT LIKE "sheet-mulching". Despite a winter buried under 8 inches of Donkey Doo/leaves/grass clippings and a thick layer of cardboard-when I went to dig holes for the perennials-I had to "cut" through the old grass layer. I'm concerned it will still grow into the new plantings)


The Winter Sown perennials are popping up and doing quite well. I'll transplant them into "nursery beds" for one year till they reach a good size to transplant into that new East Border.


The seedlings I started are having some "issues" that are making me question why I even bother starting my own. I like starting peppers/tomatoes, etc....but flower seedlings are frustrating. Many are weak, spindly, and not doing as well as I had hoped. I looked up in my journal from last year and I had noted this last year and put a reminder NOT TO BOTHER with the annuals. But , do I listen? Nope. Well, it's been noted yet again. We'll see if NEXT YEAR is any different.


Temps are FINALLY normal-but there has only been one day of rain since April 28th....and it was a LOUSY 2/10ths of an inch on May 10. I really need those water lines. Now.

30 comments:

  1. I think you should have a stiff drink and then go dig them up!

    I know what you mean about growing annual flowers. It's just not worth the time and effort.

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  2. Robin-I so agree. I'm looking a whole flats of annuals for $9. C'mon-I can't grow them for that!
    I will always grow my own veggies (no chemical "goo", and those odd flowers you just can't find, and of course perennials, but no more alyssum, marigolds,etc.

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  3. Oh Sue, we all make garden blunders. I tell my kids "If we don't ever make mistakes, we never learn anything." Now on that note, I planted raspberries in the garden this year, knowing I will have to be diligent at digging up the unwanted runners each year. I have to do this with the blackberries too. Why just yesterday I found a blackberry new start while harvesting in the asparagus bed. A gardeners woe!

    Your gardens are coming along nicely. As always it is such a delight visiting your blog to see your lovely touch in your beds.
    Blessings, Lorie

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  4. I second what robin said, grab a cocktail and and hit the raspberry beds. Oh, and whistle while you work. ;)

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  5. Congrats on those salad greens! I couldn't help but laugh at the berries... I didn't put mine in raised beds, but rather as a border around the garden 8 ft from any raised beds and well, you know what happened.... LOL!

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  6. My goodness but your raspberries are robust! Mine aren't confined in raised beds but whenever I spot a shoot popping up outside of the row delineation, I just pull it up by hand. If you get them on the small side, they come right out. Or you could try pouring your strong alcoholic beverage on them. (Nah, you'd better just keep drinking that.)

    Flats of annuals for $9?? I'm putting a rack in the back of the Suburban and driving to your location to load up!! (Oh wait, I forgot about the ungodly price of GAS!)

    If I were to make the trip (haha), I'd be tempted to graze like a sheep on those salad greens you've got coming up. Store-bought (even fresh[?]) organically grown taste NOTHING like the stuff we can grow in our gardens, does it?

    You've been getting a lot of work done. Keep those pictures comin'.

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  7. When you get through digging out those raspberry suckers, will you come and do mine? Yes, I did the same stupid thing, raspberries in a box. Raspberries need to be planted out in the middle of the lawn, so you can mow around them. Same with lilacs. I spend more time removing all those suckers from my garden than I do gardening and harvesting :-(

    I did grow a bunch of annuals this year, and other than the lobelia, which was a pain, I think I'll be doing it again.

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  8. Hi Sue,
    Look at all those raspberry plants! Maybe you'll have a bumper crop of raspberries to share with the critters. Well, hopefully, they will share with you.

    Your place is looking great! I hope the grass breaks down for you.

    Everything I planted in those little expandable pots got stunted because they ran out of room, and I didn't get them put into anything larger. The stocks I planted have been quite spindly from the beginning. The 3 Mexican sunflowers that lived were not as spindly, but they are not doing well outside. I planted some seeds near them in case they don't make it.

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  9. Lorie-thank you so much for your kind words. And this is LESSON LEARNED. I've already begun preparing a site for them------AFTER I harvest this summer (can't let berries go to waste!!)
    :D

    Kelly, I may grab the cocktail, but I won't be whistling. Muttering.....yes.

    Erin-thanks! You better get used to the thought of LATE SALADS if you're planning on heading north some day. Mine are considered EARLY here. Imagine---SEVEN months of NO SALAD. Ugh.

    Mama Pea-With gas prices hovering at these levels, those would be $$$ PRICEY (!!) flats--even in a Prius (and with one of those, could you even FIT ONE flat in???

    AG-Well, sounds like you're the one to hit up for annuals. I also got a great case of compost gnats going on now---I think I got a bad batch of potting soil. It's going to be interesting getting rid of them in the house!
    :)

    Sue-it's funny, isn't it how it seems the ones raised out in the garden end up far more robust than those we tend to with care.
    Thanks for stopping by. I know you've been so busy working on your front garden (which is REALLY looking super!)

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  10. This look GREAT! I know what you mean about the raspberry plants. I invited friends to come take them, neighbors and I even put a sign out front...and still I had to dig them up. I cant understand what they charge for raspberry. When they grow like weeds...very yummy weeds I might add. I think in my next home I will plant them in the back of the property. Or maybe the neighbors yard...I don't know how those got there...but I will help you pick...tee..hee.

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  11. Sue just found your blog. Your gardens are looking great. Blunders happen. What zone are you in?

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  12. Wow what a raspberry bonanza you have. Gardening is a continual experiment with no end.

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  13. Forest Dweller--naughty naughty!
    :D

    Wilderness-thank you! I'm in zone 4--I have about an 85 day growing season here. If I had just moved 3 miles west of here, I'd be zone 5. Rats!! Last frost date----USUALLY June 4. First Fall Frost--early September. It's short-and I RARELY get tomatoes, but LOVE the cool summers!

    Maybelline-I just wish I'd quit doing the WRONG experiments. Live and learn!
    :)

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  14. You might think about borrowing a goat (do you have one???) to tether in the berry patch. In the Flint Hills of Kansas, the wild blackberries constantly threaten to take over the grassland, so there are folks who rent out their goat herds. One season with them, and the pastures are bramble free and the grass grows back (prairie grasses are so deep-rooted that the goats can't pull them up). Goats like brambles (and poison ivy!), so depending on how desperate you are, drive a stake, get a stout chain and strong collar, and stake out a friend! And BONUS - goat poop! :-)
    Best wishes! Deb

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  15. Your raspberries look great. Really all of your garden looks awesome. I am jealous because we have had so much rain that it has been hard for us to get anything planted yet.Glad I found your blog!!

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  16. Hello All --Blogger seems to have deleted all the repliies I made!
    :(
    I appreciate all the ideas and suggestions. I am putting this down in the books as LESSON LEARNED!!
    I made a bit of progress yesterday on them--but have a LONG way to go!
    THank YOu ALL so much!
    :)

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  17. Water lines...water lines...may you get your water lines....how awesome would it be to not have to haul water anymore??

    I am excited to read your blog and will take all this knowledge with me when I move. The temps MIGHT finally be normal up here (MN) by then (June 1st) and we can actually put something in the ground...

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  18. Sue, I'm with Robin on both fronts. Dig em up, move em to way over there, and if we lived closer I'd bring over the drink while DH quickly ran some water lines for your vegetable beds. ;)
    Your garden looks great!

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  19. Mama Tea-I've been hauling water for three years. I've done my time. I think Hubby has finally heard enough whining from me.
    :)
    Whining good! (sometimes!)

    Diana-aren't you the best! I wish you DID live closer.

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  20. Oh wow, I'm jealous of your raspberries. I wish that mine would take off like yours did. Mine are struggling to grow...

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  21. Too bad we're not neighbors. I'd go over and did up those baby raspberries and plant them in our yard! :)

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  22. Meems-you'd better have a HUGE yard! Since I posted this pic a few days ago, they have multiplied even more. At this rate, Northern Michigan will soon be a large berry patch. The bears will like that!
    :D

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  23. You could always make a raspberry martini and just start digging. Two birds-one stone?

    Ugh, hauling water stinks. So I really hope that gets done for you. My hubs got us a tank and pump that I throw on the back of the golf cart, makes life so much easier when you can drive, point and shoot.

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  24. APG--Raspberry martini? I like you. Yes. Yes I do!!

    I did have a water barrel on the back of our mini truck, but no pump. That sounds cool. Much better than watering cans.

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  25. Your veggie beds look very nice.
    I haven't tried to grow or control berry bushes. I hope you find a good solution or compromise.
    Here's to sowing more seeds!

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  26. Gardener on Sherlock-thank you.
    I was going through some of your old posts and saw you planted Hyacinth Bean--have you grown them before? I'm trying them this year for the first time--any advice?

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  27. Hi! I've had great luck with the hyacinth bean vine. I save seeds from it each year to plant again. I find they sprout better if you soak the seeds overnight before planting. And, they seem to take a little longer than I think they should to sprout. Just about when I'm ready to give up on them, they show up. The flowers have a sweet smell. So, if you can plant them where you'll walk by them, you'll get that enjoyment too. I hope you have good luck with them. I'll be back to check out your garden again.

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  28. Gardener-THANK YOU!!!!!!
    I'm trying them because they look neat-I didn't realize they smelled good to boot! Wonderful!
    :)

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  29. Wow...you've been very busy. I really need to get Alan started on those raised garden beds.

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  30. Hi Deb! Just wait til' next month when stuff is REALLY going-one look and he'll be convinced.
    If not, we'll bury him in one!
    LOL!!!!

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