Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Fruit on the Homestead

For a biologist, I have always had a pretty brown thumb. I do have a houseplant that is 12 years old and finally looking like it's not going to die, but for the most part I am a plant killer. As I've grown more concerned with where my food comes from, I decided to try my hand at gardening. Last year I began my gardening venture with a container garden full of vegetables, herbs, and even fruits. I succeeded! My hubby does not share my desires for a farm, but he does allow for some fairly extravagant urban gardening.

Last year I started my fruit collection with 2 blueberry bushes and a strawberry plant. The glorious thing about most fruit plants is that they are perennial, meaning they return year after year. This year, I have tripled the fruit plants and we should be eating fine here in a few years (the downside being that it takes several years to produce fruit). 

Since we are currently renting, all of my gardening efforts are in containers. Our fruit from last year has returned already and is in full bloom!

 The 2 blueberry bushes are loving life in their 5-gallon pickle buckets. We didn't get any berries last year, and I honestly don't expect any until at least next year. We'll see!

The everbearing strawberry plant came back in full force so I repotted a few of the 'babies' into a new pot. Already seeing some tiny berries on there.

I bought a thornless blackberry bush locally and it's doing great. I would love to buy several more of these, but we only have so much room on our tiny deck and blackberries are not our favorite berry.

I placed an online order (first time ordering plants) and was surprised at what I received as a 'raspberry plant'. Clearly we will not have raspberries any time soon! I plan to buy a bushier, green one locally before too long.

I got really brave with my order and decided to get some fruit trees. These will live indoors in the winter and outdoors in the summer, if they live....

Dwarf Meyer Lemon is growing well

This Dwarf Banana Plant is awesome! About once a week it puts out another GIANT leaf. It's very drippy and the leaves are always full of water droplets. I have yet to research why, but it seems very happy in our upstairs window. Can't wait to see it in action outside.

Dwarf Everbearing Fig Tree. I don't expect to see figs for a decade, but at least I got it started!

Today I went to a local store to buy another raspberry bush and came home with 3 trees! We knew we would put fruit trees in our yard when we bought a house, but why wait? It takes so long to bear fruit, that I will let them go in containers until the time comes. 

Dwarf Yellow Delicious Apple

And since apple trees require a pollinator, a dwarf red delicious

And Scarlett's pick: A Dwarf Elberta Peach

The possibilities are endless, and so is my madness! Eventually, I'd love to add pear trees, cherry trees, grapevines, an arctic kiwi, and anything else I may find interesting. I also just started 4 different types of melon seeds today, so we'll see if that produces anything. I had no luck with the melons last year but it was good practice. Can you tell I love fruit?!

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