With all the wonderful weather, I have been itching to get out in the garden and welcome spring. Luckily it was just the right time to start some early vegetable seeds and plant some new additions to the fruit family.
With the nice sunshine, good rain and cool night temperatures I wanted to get a headstart on my spring peas. There is still a risk for night frost, but I hope to get away with it. I also planted new seed tapes for carrots, turnips, lettuce, kale and beets. I have yet to grow a beet successfully, I admit.
January is also a good time to start a new batch of spinach. If you have a spot that receives plenty of sun in these early spring days but will be shaded once the trees leaf out, you may be able to harvest spinach all the way into May. Those leafy greens only need as little as 4 hours of sunlight a day and late bolting varieties help to prolong the season.
And then I received a box of future fruity goodness. This years addition to the fruit forest (in progress) are two apricot trees and several varieties of gooseberry, boysenberry, loganberry and currant. What possessed me to order a colossal chestnut tree I don’t clearly recall, but it too found a good home. The berry bushes are very young and require at least another 2-3 years to develop fruit, therefore it is always a good idea to plant those early in your garden plan. It’s at least a good excuse.
One of the many reasons I enjoy ordering my fruit trees from Ison’s Nursery is the possibility to select between young, almost mature or “instant orchard” trees. The larger the tree, the more care they will need in the first year, but it has the instant gratification effect to harvest some fruit the very year one planted it. The apricots have now joined a cherry and a plum tree along the sunny fence line. They are under-planted with young elderberry ( that will have to be trimmed), rosa rugosa and gooseberry. Some sand berry will be joining their ranks in March.
At large I prefer to purchase my fruit plants as bare root over container plants because the later often has twisted roots that will need to be trimmed and reshaped when planted. Ison’s Nursery is my go to address for fruit plants, especially because it means that the plants have been grown under similar climate conditions just an hour south of here. Additionally the close proximity means that the plants are usually only in transit overnight. And how good for the soul to shop at a small family business that will be available to answer any questions you have with a simple phone call.
Now all that is left to do is keep an eye on the watering for both the seed and the new plantings and hope for a fruitful future. There is nothing better to look forward to than the stained red fingers of my little guy picking fresh currant in the garden.