Mother Nature's best prescription for stress relief, gardening.

Welcome to the garden. We live in central New Jersey on the border of USDA Zone 6/7.
Mostly, we raise edibles, either fruit trees or vegetables, using organic gardening methods when possible. I like the idea that my kids can go "pick a fruit" and not worry about residual chemicals. As a residential gardener, I find myself without adequate space (and time ;) to grow all the varieties of stuff I would like.

Fruit Trees

Currently, I have over twenty different fruit trees scattered throughout the lawn (I do "bump" one while cutting, on occasion).
The breakdown of types is:
  • Apple
  • Pear
  • Peach
  • Cherry, Sweet
  • Cherry, Sour
  • Plum
  • Apricot
  • Most of these trees are not yet producing reliably, however, the pears have been excellent bearers! As an experiment to further the organic effort, during the '96 growing year, I skipped all spraying of the fruit trees. In previous years, the pears didn't appear to have any signs of disease or pests. During the early summer period, I noticed much of the new growth with distorted leaves. As the fruit developed, the shape of the fruit was irregular. By harvest time, there were entry marks (from insects?) on most fruit. OK, so now I know. At least some minimal spray during the early period will be performed next year.

    I'm a member of NAFEX, the North American Fruit Explorers, which has provided many good ideas and suggestions. A quarterly newsletter has lots of entertaining and informative articles.

    Vegetable Garden

    Primarily I'm using raised beds for the majority of my bed gardening efforts. The basic design is very simply to build. I use 2 x 8 CCA treated lumber (I know, leaching of chemicals may be a problem, all my future beds will use cedar or locust, if I can find them). Anyway, where it fits, I use full 16' boards for the sides and 4' boards at the ends. I leave about 2 1/2' for a walkway between rows, to fit a wheelbarrow, etc. I save a couple of 5' 2 x 8 boards to use across the width for kneeling and sitting on when working for extended periods.

    Most of the varieties that I raise are heirloom or uncommon types which I locate through seed exchange programs. I'm a life member of Seed Savers Exchange, which is invaluable in obtaining heirloom or just hard-to-find seed varieties. They are actively involved in world-wide collection and preservation efforts, please consider trying them out!

    What I should be working on now

  • Clean up the raised beds
  • Prune fruit trees
  • Prune raspberries
  • Get propigating stand ready
  • Inventory seed.
  • Garden Links

    Two Rainyside Gardeners

    Algy's Herb Page

    Mertus' Gardening List WWW

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