As I type it’s snowing outside, which may be the reason I’m thinking about gardening! We are in planting zone 6a in our little mountain town, so where some people are starting to put plants in the ground, we are still looking at sprouts – our last expected freeze is June 14!
Last year was the first year that we seriously attempted the garden and we counted on the bunny berries to make it happen! In previous years we have done planter gardening, or had success with small pieces of the puzzle, but last year we had actual raised beds and straw bales and all sorts of goodies. We are fortunate to have family members who are excellent gardeners, and their encouragement inspired us to boldness to try our own!
The natural soil in our area has a lot of cinder dust. We created our beds, filled them with rabbit manure, and topped it off with pine chips we had from a tree being taken down a few years ago. We used a drip line to run through the beds. We planted several varieties of tomatoes, peppers, watermelons, lemon balm, peppermint, salad greens, basil, strawberries, cucumbers, rosemary, asparagus, and bunching onions. We also planted marigolds, day lilies, and zinnia for splashes of color and the bug deterring properties!
In our back yard we planted five honeysuckle, two blueberries, and three raspberries. And then we got a monster of a puppy who ate every single one of the bushes as well as our entire drip system, wallowing in the damp beds with evident satisfaction. Our plan this year is to control the beast. But for last year the garden was a complete wash.
According to our gardening folks who know, our first year garden was a smashing success! Much, much of this can be attributed to the rabbit manure, and very little can be credited to the growers. However, our tomatoes were happy, happy, happy, they grew tall and produced fruit for weeks! We had salad all the way into February, although our cucumbers, peppers, and strawberries were not happy and didn’t produce anything. We will move them next year and try again.
We still don’t understand the science behind all of it, but we can affirmatively state that the bunny berries are the way to go for success. Apparently our soil is extremely happy, smells right, and is dying for the opportunity to produce more soon! We got the book, Crockett’s Victory Garden as a Christmas present and are devouring it to learn how to have even more success this summer.
This year we’re going to try again, and maybe even add another bed or two since we have the space. We’ve been emptying our rabbit droppings straight into the garden beds in preparation and I’m plotting to add bee-friendly varieties of plants.
How have your gardens been doing with the addition of bunny berries?