Second Season

Surprisingly, my blackberry and blueberry bushes from last year’s spring garden did not die.  I suspected the worst while I was cleaning out the raised beds the other day only to realize that most of the roots burrowed beneath the dirt were from those bushes.  They were my pride and joy last year, my hopeful fruit producers, but gave me nothing but trouble and a few thorny stabs in my fingertips to boot. Not a berry. Not a flower. Nothing.

Blackberry leaves, still showing signs of life. Oh, happy day!

Even so, I feel they deserve better. Both blueberries and blackberries alternate years of production so I decided to transplant them to another part of the yard where watering actually happens and where they will stand a fighting chance.  Both bushes have been moved to the side of the house, but to the side of the house that is visible to neighbors and, therefore, is required to look all nice and green. That side gets watered, even during a drought. Also, they have been placed at the bottom of a very slight incline.  I’m hoping this will help them drink up the moisture that will inevitably run down from the top, once the weather decides to unleash a torrent or trickle of rain upon us.  The pear tree, the Valencia tree, the palms, and the flowering bushes all seem to be thriving on that side of the yard.  Each fruit tree/bush/vine (the bush produces the vines) has sufficient room to spread its roots in the search for water and if anything dies back there, I’ll consider it a blessing that I didn’t have to choke anything with my bare hands as the plants’ roots will have already done it for me. Let’s hope peace prevails.

My blueberry bush. Nothing at all like the wild ones from my Upper Michigan childhood, but as close as I’ll ever get.

I’m learning that beginning Florida gardeners sometimes struggle with blackberry bushes.  Of course, some farmers have this plant’s successful growth down to a science but, to point out the obvious, I’m no farmer. The blueberry bush is quite common although I’ve never seen just one bush standing around, but usually see an entire 6×6 or larger plot devoted strictly to them. I’m totally small-scalin’ it here and I’ll consider myself successful if these plants don’t just decide to up and die.

Sometimes it’s the little things.


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