Maine report – garden

The pear trees seem to be doing fine. At least, they’re still alive. If they don’t make it, it’s not the fault of the nursery nor UPS. Here they are with lots of new leaves (maybe hard to see against the backgrounds):

Not only did I not murder four pear trees, but I also didn’t kill two raspberry canes. It seemed a little silly, considering how many wild raspberries there are on the property, but I bought a package of two cultivated raspberry plants at Hannafords several weeks ago. I didn’t read the directions carefully and hadn’t soaked and spread out the roots before planting them. They looked completely dead the last two times we were there, but this weekend there was new growth from the bottom of the canes. So I can hope to have some cultivated raspberries next summer, and maybe I’ll put in more of them next spring and see if I can really grow some under control!

I spent a lot of time thinning apples on the trees. That’s a step I hadn’t realized I needed to do until I read the booklet that came as directions with the pear trees. I checked in the book The Apple Grower and it concurred that it’s important to thin fruit on trees, at least apples, to one fruit per cluster. Maybe not having done it last year is why the red delicious tree, which bore a huge number of small fruit last summer, has set almost no fruit this year. At any rate, getting fewer but bigger fruit sounds like a good idea. Here’s the basket of marble-sized apples I cut off the trees.

The raised bed vegetable garden was pretty dry. The radishes are much in evidence, but aren’t ready to pick yet. Basil seedlings are up, lettuce and beet seedlings can use thinning, and marigold, tomato, basil, and pepper plants are in. Pumpkin plants are growing in the corners, but I doubt that they will prosper in this little soil. I put string bean seeds in this weekend.

And finally, this wildflower is growing in the lawn. There are more of them in the logging road. I’m disappointed in the way it photographed; maybe the flash wiped out the color, which is a deep magenta.

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