Monday, November 28, 2011

Planning Big for Next Year

And by big, I mean tall and wide. I want to increase the amount of perennial fruit that I have growing so that I can put up more preserves for the winter - and even have some to give away or sell.

I need a second pear to pollinate the Luscious that I have right now. Luscious is a very crisp, non-grainy, candy-sweet, pear with wonderful floral notes that is best eaten right off the tree. I need a good second pear. I like really sweet pears and would also like one that keeps fairly well. Any suggestions?

I also want to start growing my own apples. I love Honey Gold, Honey Crisp, Fuigi and Golden Delicious. I also had some Chestnut Crabs that were awesome. Sweet, crisp, juicy apples are my thing. I would also like my apples to be maggot resistant - but who doesn't.

My blackberries were not very good this year. Tart and not very blackberry. I'm hoping that they will be better next year as this was still only their second year. But if they don't drastically improve, I may be having a give-away on this blog!

I really couldn't ask more of my raspberries. I'm not a huge fan of raspberries, but I really like these. I had more than enough to make several pint jars of jam, as well as having plenty for fresh eating and giving away - and that is just from a 4x8 bed.

I want to build an arbor over my raspberry bed next year to help shade the area a little, and to grow kiwis! I ate some cold hardy kiwis recently and LOVE THEM! Hardy Anna and Ken's Red are supposed to be good. If any of you have experience with these plants please let me know. I have read that they can be stubborn to fruit and that under the right conditions, they can grow 25 feet a year. Not sure I know what I am getting into with that.

Of the two blueberry plants I got last year, one is still alive and doing well, and who knows, maybe I will have some berries next year. But I LOVE blueberries and a small handful off one bush will not suffice - so I need to get more bushes. I bought Friendship last time since it is a wild Wisconsin native. If they are like the wild blueberries I used to pick as a kid in the North Woods, I will be happy. They were small, but sweet, with amazing flavor! But, I'm thinking that I would like to get one or two other varieties. I like lots of flavor and sweet (sensing a pattern here?).

That's all I have planned so far. I already know where I will plant everything, which puts me way ahead of the game as I usually buy the plants and THEN try to figure out where to put them (which is why I only have one of the two Friendship blueberries that I originally purchased). If any of you have suggestions on which varieties to get, or even warnings against, let me know.