Nutty For Fruits

I was away in South Carolina in mid-March for the beau's father's wedding. On the way, we stopped off in Virginia to celebrate my mother's 50th birthday by getting her tongue pierced (and my eyebrow re-pierced--I had taken out my two facial piercings when I moved to Saudi Arabia and hadn't gotten around to replacing them).

Along the way, I think I stopped at about every Wal-Mart, Home Depot, and locally owned garden center I could find. I was actually very surprised to see the quality of care that plants at Wal-Mart received--I'm torn between my general dislike for such big-box establishments and my admiration for their products and prices.

Where else could I have purchased a two-year Concord grape vine, a two-year Ebony King blackberry cane, a two-year Legacy blueberry bush (I added a bunch of peat to the potting soil I used to get a higher acidity level for the plant), a two-year Red Latham raspberry, Akita dahlia tubers, Quinault strawberry crowns, and an elephant ear (perhaps Colocasia) bulb for less than $30. I believe I paid about $12 for just the single two-year Flame seedless grape vine I planted at Mr. Yogato a couple years ago. Not that it hasn't paid for itself--but getting one at 1/3 of the cost is a bonus!

I also ended up picking up some horseradish tubers, asparagus crown, and a rhubarb crown at a garden center near my mother's house. They were insanely desiccated, so I'm uncertain whether they'll grow, but they worked out to be just a $3 experiment altogether, so I'm not worried if they do or not. The beau also picked up a Sempervivum pot, and I grabbed a large-leafed Kolanchoe with green squiggly variegation on a dark red backdrop.

So I potted them all up and have them safe in our gated basement apartment entryway until I can find some place for them where they'll get enough light to grow. (For reference--the larger pots are 12" containers.)

I didn't quite think about the light/space situation, at least not realistically. I was in gardener zombie mode. I actually just broke down and bought these plants so that the beau would stop sighing every time I pulled into a parking lot to "just check out the plants real quick, I swear" (see, it's really entirely his fault). To make him feel included in the whole gardening thing, I made him help choose which varieties we went home with (where there was a choice: just for the grapes and blueberries, the latter being his favourite fruit anyway).

Maybe in a year or so, when these are more well-established and actually thinking about producing fruit, we will be in a house with a south-facing back yard where I can plant them and grow for a decade or so. Wouldn't that be nice!

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3 Responses to Nutty For Fruits

  1. You might want to invest in a second blueberry plant of a different variety than the Legacy. Apparently most blueberries can only be pollinated by varieties other than their own.

  2. Pink Lady, I recall reading that a while ago, and thought about it while shopping--but I think explaining that to my already-exasperated beau would have been fruitless (see, get the pun?).

    I had three reasonings for buying only a single variety, however: the first that I mentioned (the boyfriend exasperation thing), the second involving thoughts of other blueberry bushes in nearby gardens (I'm assuming that there will be enough home gardeners trying to grow some sort of blueberry for my plant to get pollinated without having a second variety of my own--similar to apple/crab apple trees here in DC), and third that I wanted the bush to become established before I decide to eat its young--not having a second variety to encourage fertilization and fruit development will help me help it to become established. It's kind of like leaving your credit card at home to prevent yourself from impulse-buying a half-dozen fruit plants that require about 10 times as much space and light as you have available for them.

  3. And just to clarify--I should leave my credit card at home.

    But I don't.


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