Agriculturist and passionate gardener, Jan Johnson, talks vegetable patches and sustainable growing
Patience in the garden â€“ it is absolutely necessary!
This spring I purchased and planted four blueberry bushes. There are three types of blueberry bushes: highbush, lowbush and rabbiteye. For my southern climate rabbiteye is the correct choice. Within the rabbiteye variety there are different choices: early, mid, or late season producers. Blueberries like an acidic soil, and it is wise to plant several types together to promote cross pollination. The blueberry plants I purchased were robust and full of blooms, blooms that would become berries in time. Here is where patience comes in â€“ I had to remove all the blooms once the bushes were planted knowing that meant no berries this year. I will remove the blooms next year as well. I will patiently wait for blueberries in three years because sacrificing the blooms these first two years will promote vigorous growth and root development, making for healthy blueberry bushes.
Beautiful blueberry blossoms being sacrificed!
I have been patient growing grapes. The first year I planted my grapevine it grew abundantly only to be pruned drastically during its first winter. Only the strongest stem was allowed to remain, this became the trunk of my plant. The second year I pruned again leaving two side shoots. The third winter I pruned again, I am in the fourth summer of my grapevine and I now have bunches of grapes ripening on the vine.
Finally the grapes are almost ready to eat!
Then there is asparagus which should not be harvested fully until its fourth year. Some asparagus spears can be picked the second and third years but allowing the spears to fern provides food for the plant, making them stronger and more prolific in years to come.
Asparagus spear about to fern out
There are so many examples â€“ waiting for seeds to sprout, saplings to become trees, flowers to blooms, veggies to growâ€¦ But if you love gardening, the rewards are wonderful and the feeling of accomplishment makes it all well worth the wait!
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