Thursday, March 14, 2013

Blueberry Plants are Here!

Of all the fruit I love to eat, blueberries are probably my very favorite.  I love them plain, on cereal, in muffins and pancakes, and as part of my favorite jam recipe.  So, now that I have my own gardening area for the first time, of course I had to add some blueberry bushes to the mix.

I chose Gurney's Ka-Bluey Blueberry plants.  From the description, and the fact that they bear a registered name symbol, I assume there has been some kind of genetic engineering to help make these plants strong and delicious.  I am fine with that.  I am not, nor will I ever be, one of those people who balks at purchasing fruit from plants that have been genetically altered.  If you're telling me that scientists have worked diligently to make it harder for me to kill this plant, I'm buying.

When the plants arrived, I could hardly wait to get them in the ground.  It is a little chilly today, but there is a ton of sun and spring is almost here, so I think they will do all right.  Plus, Gurney's only ships plants at certain times of year to certain geographical locations.  It's their way of idiot-proofing against their customers, especially people like me who would otherwise plant an orange tree in my yard in the middle of a Virginia winter.

Before I could plant, I had to prep the ground, which in my case, was no easy task.  When we moved in to the house we are currently renting, the yard had been largely let go.  I can tell someone did work with it at one point because there are blocked off areas for gardening, and there are flowers and mint planted.  But there are also weeds everywhere, and the mint is taking over a huge area.

Today, I spent about an hour hacking away at the mint and trying to clear an area.  When digging up mint, you have to be very careful, because the roots expand underground and push up new shoots.  If you don't really look for all of the roots, you may have some that just have not yet surfaced and are waiting for you to plant something else so they can spring up and choke it.

As hard as it was to clear the mint, it probably would have only taken about half the time if I wasn't being plagued by a little beagle who had no interest in soaking up the beautiful sun and instead wanted to go back inside and get back in her bed.  She kept coming by and jumping over the little fence into the garden and sitting down right where I was trying to work.

Stella the Beagle exploring the garden

When I cleared enough space and hauled all the uprooted mint, weeds, and grass over to the compost pile, it was finally time to get ready for planting the blueberry bushes.  I removed them from the package and placed them in water to allow the roots to get well-saturated.  After letting them soak for about 3 hours, I dug holes and put them in the ground.  I am so excited to have blueberry bushes in my yard at long last, even though I know I will have to wait until at least next summer to get any fruit from them.

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