Thursday, April 18, 2013

Serviceberry and The Rambunctious Raspberry

Our Serviceberry (Amelanchier arborea) is leafing out and will be flowering soon. The flowers will turn into blueberry like berries in the summer. This is a great shrub and will grow into a tree if given the right conditions. It has been known to reach over 60 ft in height. I plan on putting more Serviceberry in the front yard, which I am slowly turning into a food forest. 

I bought 6 flats of strawberries at the local box store on clearance last year. They are apparently very cold hardy because I did not mulch them at all. They came through the winter looking this good. 

Here are some bunching onions that had no problem overwintering in one of our raised beds. I got some egyptian walking onion seed this year and plan on letting it go in the yard. 

We love leeks. These two did just fine through the winter. A quick tip: when you go to harvest leeks, green onions or celery just cut the plant off at ground level, leaving the roots and the bottom of the plant in the ground. In the case of leeks, you will see the rings turn green and start to push up. This will eventually grow into another leek for you. You can do this many times. I am not sure how many, but I have not had one not grow back yet.

Thyme is a very hardy perennial. I am going to move it out of this raised bed and give it a permanent home nearby. We made the mistake of planting some perennials in our raised beds that would be better suited for annual food crops. 

This is horseradish. I ate some last year and it is very spicy. If you really want to process a lot of horseradish you should use a food processor to shred it and then change the blade out to puree the shredded root. Add salt and vinegar and you will have some wonderful horseradish. This can be stored in a sterile jar in the fridge for up to three months. 

We inherited a thornless red raspberry plant from our good friends Mike and Heather. This thing went crazy in their backyard and they were tired of cutting it back. They had a huge pile of canes they cut down in the corner of their yard. I have planted it in an area that I want it to go crazy. I can't wait to get some raspberries. This picture was taken four days after I planted it. I don't think they were exaggerating about its vigour. 


  1. Last week I pulled a bunch of brown, dead leaves out of the large pot near our driveway that held last year's strawberries. Somehow, there are a lot of green leaves going strong this spring, even after almost a year of neglect, never being watered after last Aug due to the stress of moving, then sitting out all winter under huge piles of snow I shoveled there off our deck.

    We never got any berries at the last house. I'm guessing it was lack of rabbit defense. Wonder if we'll have better luck here.

  2. Sounds like you have found a hardy strawberry for our area. You should propagate it for a couple generations and market it as "Mike's hardy 'try and kill me' strawberry". We had another patch that did not fare as well. I need to clean that patch up soon and see how much made it.