Tuesday, April 10, 2012

It's Not As Easy As It Looks

Yesterday we took the day off from working in the yard to go buy the blueberries. I was worried that they would be all sold out by the time I felt like planting them!

We ended up going to three places. We bought a few early ripening blueberries at Lowe's. It was the only place that carried them. Then we bought the rest of them at Southern States. We buy a lot of our horse supplies there and they have recently moved to a new facility and added a large nursery. Two huge bags of peat moss and some pine mulch and Azalea food should be all we need. The Azalea food is because it has a high nitrogen content and it is for acid loving plants, like blueberries.

I started right after breakfast . I paced off the area and figured out how much space I would need between each plant and how many I had to fit in the space! I bought ten plants. One more than I had planned on, so there was a bit of juggling to make them all fit in. The wind was blowing like crazy and you would have to brace yourself. Then it would stop and you would almost fall over.

I ended up using the pick-ax. The first 6 inches was easy to dig with a shovel, due to the earlier tractor work. After that it was all chopping with the pick-ax and cleaning out the hole with the shovel.

Lee had gone to the shop to build the frame for the brick area. By the time he finished and brought it to where I was working I had dug 5 of the holes. I knew they had to be at least twice as big as the root ball and I was trying very hard not to say, "Aw, good enough!" We unloaded the frame and went right back to digging.

It was a good thing Lee came to help because I was running out of steam. All the yard work after 3 years of working on the library has left me with very sore hands. I also forgot to wear my gloves so Lee brought them to me. After I got a blister, but before it popped!

I made a list of the berry varieties I put in which hole and I hope to keep track of which ones do well.

Then Lee brought up a scoop of compost. We put some at each hole and then put an equal amount of peat moss. We mixed this together with the soil from the hole and then started planting. We made the left over soil mixture into a little well to hold the water in and keep it from running off.

I mixed the Miracle Gro Azalea food with water in a bucket and we soaked each plant. The we went back and filled each well with water to make sure it went deep into the hole. You want to deep water plants to make sure the roots go deep and don't stay on the surface.

Last year I had delusions of planting a huge garden of blueberries. Maybe even enough for a commercial venture. After planting just 10 I have decided I am not cut out for being a farmer. Well, we DO grow grass hay, but we just step back and let God do most of the work. We spray for weeds, but that is so the pollen doesn't choke us, not so much for the grass! I guess my commercial venture will have to be limited to what I can make into jam or use for my future B&B guests. With any luck I will have enough to do both. But I will not go into berry farming in the near future!

We are almost done. I need to layer the pine mulch around each plant and then I will cover the whole area with old hay to keep the the weeds down and to hold as much moisture as possible when it gets hot this summer. Berries like a lot of water.

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