Do you have fruits in your garden? I’m not talking about tomatoes. It’s almost a requirement to grow those, especially here in New Jersey. Nothing is better than a home grown Jersey tomato.
The fruits in your garden which I’m talking about are tree fruits such as apples, pears, plums, and of course peaches. Yum, you say. All are easy enough to grow and will provide a little shade for your yard. There also are those luscious melons growing on vines and berries growing on bushes. I am ready for them.
Fruit trees past
My parents had a dwarf apple tree that ended up growing taller than was expected. They started a nice tradition by planting it when they first moved into the house which they had just built. It grew and eventually bore fruit. Just a note, most fruit trees will not bear fruit the first few years. They need time to mature before fruit will set. Also, some varieties need a second tree present for pollination.
My parents never sprayed the apple tree therefore as years passed the apples would become insect ridden. The apples were still delicious but one had to cut out the funny parts. This was time-consuming but still worth it. My mother would make wonderful applesauce and my father’s favorite apple pie.
My Aunt had a seckel pear tree in her backyard. I don’t know if it was ever sprayed but the pears always were in perfect condition. My cousins, their friends, and I would sit on the back porch eating the pears. No, we never washed them first. We just kissed them up to God. That seemed to take care of any possible germs whatever we might be eating.
My Mom’s Mother was a gardener. We lived upstairs from her until I was ten. She taught me to appreciate growing things. She had a huge flower garden.
One thing I remember most is the elderberry tree near the backyard fireplace. Each spring it would be topped with pretty little white flowers. Later in the season, it would set the tiny black elderberries up out of my reach.
Within my reach were the concord grape vines stretching across the back fence. My friend Kathy and I would help ourselves to those glorious blue purple globes. The skins seemed thick but broke easily in our mouths. There always seemed to be a contrast between the flavor of the skin and the moist inside. Of course, we swallowed the seeds.
In Kathy’s yard, up against the house grew a tall peach tree. Her grandfather had planted a peach pit years back and it was reaching the second-floor windows. It’s glossy green leaves looked great against the house. I never saw a peach on it but I believe this may have been a variety that needed a second tree for cross-pollination. Didn’t know about needing another pollinator tree back then.
It’s the berries
Do you love berries as much as I do? Who doesn’t love berries? I have a blueberry bush planted in my yard. The birds love them! I used to put netting over it to keep birds away but they would manage to get under the netting no matter what I tried. I gave up. The bush produces enough blueberries. I do not worry about sharing with birds anymore.
Have you ever had a black raspberry? What a taste treat! Red raspberries seem a bit tart sometimes to me. Black raspberries have a smooth sweet flavor. They are not as common in the market so if you ever run across them do yourself the favor of purchasing them.
Four black raspberry bushes were planted near the back fence. They grew wild and spread by underground runners. The canes would grow tall and eventually bend touching the ground. If left untrimmed and still touching the ground, the plant would then root at that spot. It became difficult to weed or pick the beautiful berries because the thicket was impregnable Finally had the landscaper cut the black raspberries down. Do not worry, they slowly began growing back in a more manageable manner. The berries do not grow on the canes the first year. They first blossom then set fruit on second-year growth.
My raspberry bushes also sent runners out under my back fence. Now my neighbor behind me had the wonderful opportunity to enjoy these little treasures for their family.
Planted currants at the same time the blueberry bush was planted. They were a little tart but tasty. I would add them to recipes such as muffins or pancakes. Unfortunately, the currants died off in a few years. This surprised me since my husband’s family had currant bushes growing along their fence for many many years. The currants were still growing strong without any extra attention when the house was finally sold.
Once sent 25 strawberry plants as a housewarming gift to a friend. I’m not sure how much her husband enjoyed planting an unplanned garden but I wasn’t worried. I knew how much they both loved strawberries. Eventually, they divorced and the house was sold but they had berries til the end.
Fruits in your garden? Have you planted watermelon, cantaloupe, or any other melon? I planted watermelon from seed but started too late. It just did not have enough time to fully develop. The one plant had myriad big yellow blossoms. If nothing else they were showy. The female blossoms did set fruit. One could see the small green globes forming, then slowly enlarging. Fall frost came too soon and withered the whole vine. I did cut the largest globe in half. It was pale, nowhere near ready for eating. What a disappointment.
Love fruit? Then it’s time to plant fruits in your garden. Dig a hole. Plant a tree, a bush, or some seeds. Your kids will enjoy watching the plants grow. You just have to keep answering the question “Is it ready yet?” Here’s to your family and some healthy eating.
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