We have been working on getting an area in the orchard ready for berries for some time as we have had the equipment and manpower available. Rick dug a deep, wide trench with John’s excavator when it was here while they were building our shed.
It sat for a while until some strong volunteers showed up to help.
This summer, Rick, Brandon (Megan’s boyfriend) and our friend Caleb put a water line in the bottom of the trench. As difficult as it is to dig around here with all the rocks you want to make good use of the holes you have.
After the water line was in, the guys took out the big rocks and backfilled the trench by hand which was a LOT of work.
After they took out all the big rocks there wasn’t enough dirt left to completely fill up the hole. We got loads of gravel to build our road a few weeks ago, and got a couple of loads of native topsoil as well. After we raked up the rest of the rocks – yes still more! – we were finally ready to fill the hole and plant the blueberries.
Once again it was really nice to have our favorite neighbor Roger’s tractor.
We have five different varieties of blueberries and one gooseberry. Never had a gooseberry, but they grow well here in our acidic soil and it sounded interesting so why not?
The blueberries are in and we have about 2/3 of our bed left to plant raspberries and some other type of berry. Maybe marionberries or loganberries – they grow well here too.
Lots of berries grow wild around here. I think these are blackberries, but to tell the truth I sometimes get all the different varieties confused. We have salmonberries, thimbleberries, huckleberries, and I’m sure some others as well.
A few days after we planted the blueberries we dug up some raspberries at our friend’s house and transplanted them.
I also planted strawberries in one of the perennial beds we built. We put down straw and chicken compost this fall so hopefully we will have a great crop of berries this summer.