Thursday, May 15, 2014

The Rock Wall Garden

My rock wall garden is a long thin garden. Just 2.5' wide and maybe 70' long. Mostly it contains espaliered trees along the fence with a row of strawberries in the front. Today I weeded it and then mulched it with salt marsh hay. I don't use mulch in my main vegetable garden as it attracts too many slugs and snails, but I neglect this part of the yard more, so it needs to be mulched to keep the weeds down and the moisture in. And I hope I don't lose too many strawberries to the slugs.

Three of the trees were put in last year. And the above apple tree didn't put out any branches that I could tie to the wire on the left side. So last winter I chopped the top off of the tree a few inches above where I needed the branch and prayed it would put out one in the right spot. It was annoying to have to cut off so much growth, including two nicely placed branches higher up, but I didn't want to be missing a branch in perpetuity. At least now the missing branch is growing if small. And I have two choices for the main stem to go up. I'll have to choose one soon.

The other two trees are growing well. They both have four branches. Maybe this year they will reach the top of the trellis. It would be nice to have the foliage to cover the fence. I keep thinking I should have made one wire even lower to the ground, but too late now.

It looks like at least one branch on my fig trees made it through winter. I haven't seen any growth on the other fig yet. I've got my fingers crossed for them. And the plum tree that has had so many troubles over the year is looking good this year. But then it usual does in the spring. I'll have to watch it before the aphids take over and keep spraying the fish emulsion and insecticidal soap. I just hate spraying, but the dang tree (a Green Gage Plum) attracts so many aphids. At some point I may just rip the plant out and plant something else that doesn't have the troubles it has.

The strawberries in front seem to be doing OK this year. Last year they barely lived through the summer Some disease got into the bed and spread. Right now I'm not seeing any signs of it though. It has been dry recently. Starting tomorrow though we are in for a week of rain and unsettled weather. Hopefully it won't hurt the strawberries.

I did a few more chores before coming in this morning. I weeded a bit around the yard. Raked up some pine needles to mulch two of the blueberries. And planted six creeping phlox where the now defunct cranberries used to be. It turns out that section of the yard is in the house's rain shadow. So they just weren't getting enough water. We decided to just put in some low growing easy to care for plants. We wanted something higher for the area, but the vent for the water heaters comes out here and we can't block the vent.

1 comment:

  1. Already my fruit trees are showing signs of pest damage. I just found out the cabbage white catepillars love munching on cherry leaves as well. So annoying! I hate to spray but in this case, it's a must. I'm actually looking forward to a week's worth of rain. My garden is bone dry at the moment and I think good dose of water will make everything explode into growth.