I think I went overboard

jplaylandMay 8, 2012

I just bought a house a month ago. I had wanted to plant a number of fruits for some time, and a full acre of yard plus 2 acres of woods may have sent me into a buying/planting frenzy. Here is the list of what I have planted so far:













Grapes (Table)

Hardy Kiwi

Haskap (Honeyberry)










Saskatoon (Juneberry/Serviceberry)


Way too many of these have multiple variations planted as well.

Oh, did I mention this is my first house and first real gardening experience. I think I am nuts to do so much so fast, but couldn't resist.

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Good luck. Be very proud if you get 35% thriving and another 35% surviving. You would probably learn more and have better results if you took it a little slower and really watched new things closely for the first year. Another risk is you will tear up something good that is already there or plant something that already exists in abundance around you - you just won't find out until its in season.

My first summer owning a house I bought mulberry and persimmon trees right away. Later I learned there were dozens of mature mulberry and persimmon trees in the wooded public park directly behind my house. Best of all, I was and still am the only person that touches them. Eventually I took the persimmons and mulberries out and replaced with plums.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2012 at 11:28PM
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I'm curious....I'm considering planting 1/4th of that on a MUCH smaller plot of land. Is you have any rhyme or reason in your planting. Are there certain things you don't plant next to others?

    Bookmark   May 10, 2012 at 11:47AM
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Brad Edwards

Don't listen to barnheardt, you did good for you location getitng most of those trees in when you did. They will have a solid 8 months to set in before its time for winter in zone 4. Mulch around them heavily this fall, and be sure to fertilize them come next march-april dependent on weather "wait till after snows".

Did I mention make sure they are watered well this summer, especially if hot/drought. I like the way you think, hopefully you dug good holes, it helps to make a ring around the base of the trees, keep them well watered right now, at least once a week deep watering. A solid years work this first year will pay off for the next twenty-fifty!

    Bookmark   May 12, 2012 at 2:11PM
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Brad Edwards

You might also want to consider covering the small shrubs/bushes this first year with plastic sheeting from lowes, you could make some cheap cold frames if they are planted close together, just for the times where you have a heavy snow. To me in MN that would be the biggest killer, this upcoming winter, hopefully yall will have a mild one and things will flourish.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2012 at 2:14PM
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Your project sounds ambitious, but doable. If you water them when they are dry at least for the first year, a lot of your new plants should be just fine.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2012 at 9:34AM
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Brad Edwards

I think as long as you keep them watered and planted them right then there is no reason you shouldn't have an abundant source of food in 3-5 years. Everything you have listed is almost a replica list of what I want to plant when we build the fall after next. I plan on doing it all within about 2-3 months. If things don't look like they are getting enough water, you can always dig a small hole at the base, put some 2-3" pvc at a 45, and bury it. It will be a great way to add extra water the 1st year and add fertilizer next spring or in august/sept.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2012 at 6:03PM
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I keep adding things. A couple more fruit trees, viburnum cranberries, sugar maples, and more Saskatoons.

Watering hasn't been an issue yet. I am setup with five zones of plants. The trellis zone, the bed zone, the rhubarb/strawberry zone, the raspberry/blackberry zone, and the fruit tree zone. I have the hose setup to do 1-3 at a time, so, I can water everything quite well in one day.

I think the kiwi's may be in trouble due to too much water.

My biggest pain is the Sumac trying to sprout everywhere, along with the prolific buckthorn everywhere. I wish I didn't learn about sumac-ade in my identification research. Now I have to keep a couple alive long enough to try it. So, they are on death row and that sumac-ade better be damn good or no pardon will come.

Two of my three gooseberries didn't make it, but I did find wild gooseberries about 300 yards away in my north woods. Should I try to transplant one of the wild gooseberries now? I'm wondering if they would survive the transplant given the season and current fruit load.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2012 at 11:26AM
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Ah the memories your post brings of me 25 years ago, my first house and all the plans I had for my little 4 acres.

You may be a little ambitious, but then again, so was I. And isn't it great to have the space to be ambitious? So a little advice from someone who's been where you are now.

First, rejoice and be proud of the sucesses, because there will be some, learn from the failures, there will be some of those too.

Take what you have learned with you next year as you plan out your gardens and next year, remember what you have learned then and take it with you the year after when you plan your gardens, and so on and so on. IMHO, gardens are never done and that is the wonder of them.

I personally wouldn't move the gooseberries if they are producing well where they are and you are able to havest from them. That's the way I am with the wild raspberries, blackberries, elderberries, hickory nuts, black walnuts, sassafras, and strawberries. To me half the fun is getting out in the neighboring fields/woods and collecting the fruit. Plus another thing you will learn is that you don't want to take up space you can use for another plant with something that you have easy access to.

Congrats on the new home and the new gardens, and have fun in the coming years as your gardens and gardening passions develope.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2012 at 12:07PM
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I found a good deal more of the gooseberries in the woods, and a good deal more that I think are gooseberry plants, but have no berries. None have more than a few berries though. They aren't really thriving in the buckthorn jungle.

I'm going to pick two good specimens from the woods and see what happens.

The learning is the best part. I had my first limited success with cuttings along with mostly failure. I tried skipping scarification and stratification (0% success), I'm in the process of doing it correctly now. Three months is the fridge, really? I can't wait, and I get reminded every time I look in the fridge.

I'm a project addict though. When winter comes I know the spirulina tank will be the next project.

I don't have a clue what I'm going to do with my bazillion (ya, I know, not a word) blueberry plants (assuming the seeds sprout.)

I fear for the day I decide to take on the buckthorn though.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2012 at 4:43PM
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Brad Edwards

I am not a fan of Sumac at all for some of the reasons you mentioned. Have you though of pollinators for each of your areas? Personally, I think it helps to find out what pollinates each kind of thing, from blueberry, to cherry, to your strawberry and find a pollinator plant. I try and plant sunflowers near my okra and beans, etc. There is a ton of info on that, not to mention you get nice looking flowers to boot while supporting local bee and butterfly popultions :)

    Bookmark   June 18, 2012 at 8:15PM
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xiangirl zone 4/5 Nebraska(5)

You go, girl!
1. You'll have great stories to tell.
2. You anticipate and you thrive on it! Good for you.
3. We learn as we try, experiment and get our hands dirty.
4. We've all gone overboard...just ask around. Everyone has a story to share.
5. As you open yourself up--you'll get advice by the buckets. Pick and choose what advice you want to accept!

    Bookmark   June 20, 2012 at 11:18AM
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Not a girl, but thanks.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2012 at 11:57AM
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Brad Edwards

You to me seem like the perfect canidate for some heirloom seed :). I would look to see what grows well in your area with the cold, just assuming brocoli, cabbage, potatoes, carrots, and quick summer time producers, then you would have a great season of fruit and vegtables.

I would also mulch heavily around the bases, short stake or mark the area, and then being in MN very gently take it back off in the spring.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2012 at 1:43PM
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Suzi AKA DesertDance Zone 9b

Wow! Your list would be longer if you weren't limited by your climate. Most of us have climate envy, and I envy you because you can grow so many things that we never see here in Southern California. We can grow lemons, limes, oranges, tangerines, grapefruit, olives, artichokes, wine grapes, table grapes, avocados, blackberries, guava, prickly pear and figs. There are some cold hardy figs and wine grapes, and you could probably get some cuttings and try those!

My grandma from Kansas made gooseberry pies. She loved pie so much, she'd have it for breakfast!

Good luck with your first place, and be sure to post pictures one of these days!

    Bookmark   July 10, 2012 at 10:45AM
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