Here is a vignette of a short tour of perennial fruit in my garden and what varieties work here for me in Santa Fe, NM. I forgot to show I also have a rhubarb variety called Victoria which does well here. I found it in a nursery here in Santa Fe.
More information on this vignette tour:
You’ll see I keep a 30% sunscreen on many of my plants in the video as I find some plants here in our high altitude like a little shade from our intense UV light here in Santa Fe. I’m hoping it will give the plants some hail protection as well from our summer monsoon storms. I got it at Johnnyseeds listed under shade cloth.
My raspberry variety is Polana. It is a fall bearing variety that I cut down to 3 inches high every March and it gets about 40 inches tall each year and doesn’t need trellising but does like a fence to grow next to. I got it 3 years ago from Nourse Nursery online. Another friend, Mike, turned me on to them. I’ve had some different varieties of raspberries but this one is the only one that kicks ass in fruit production here in my garden.
My blackberry is a thornless variety called Triple Crown. I got it from Newmans Nursery here in Santa Fe but discovered it in one of our Santa Fe Extension Master Gardener gardens. I love it doesn’t have any thorns and it is also 3 years old. This year is the first year that it is very productive. It is a semi-erect variety and does need a trellis to grow on to keep it from spreading too much with runners.
My strawberries are a June-bearing variety that I got some starts from a friend some years ago and I don’t know exactly which variety it is. I like the fact it bears all it’s fruit in June so I only have to keep birds away during the month of June vs everbearing varieties that bear smaller fruit all season. There are many different varieties of June-bearing strawberries to choose from online.
My grape vine variety is called Himrod. It is a green, seedless table grape for fresh eating not winemaking. It has incredible flavor that can’t be found in the grocery store. I have one plant that is about 40′ long along a fence and is very productive. I’ve also tried other varieties of grapes that didn’t do as well here in our climate but this one is a winner.
Here are some pics of my garden this year. Now that we are in September, I wanted to capture it in all it’s glory before it’s gone. I’ve worked hard tweaking out the infrastructure with new framed beds and weed barriers and wood chips in the paths this year. Having retired from the Santa Fe Farmers Market two seasons ago has allowed me to do more in the garden. I also added some perennial fruit like raspberries and blackberries since I don’t need space for 125 tomato plants anymore! By mid-October or sooner, it will be toast with the first frost so might as well enjoy it while I have it. I have an abundance of flowers this year that I grew for my edible flower class and besides being beautiful and edible, they attract many beneficial insects and pollinators. Hope you enjoy it as much as I do!
Rosso de Lucca dry beans
Entrance into the garden
Lemon Gem marigolds-edible!
Edible cosmos-sulphureus variety
More edible flowers
Kalibos cabbage-Eastern European heirloom
Rugosa Friulana summer squash from Italy
Borage flowers in strawberry patch
Flowers by entrance
me-The Tomato Lady with harvest
Large Barred Boar-seeds from Wild Boar Farms
Jimmy Nardello sweet pepper
June bearing strawberries
morning glories gone wild
beets-chiogga on left/Cylindra on right
Dutch shallots curing
Black cherry tomatoes and Santorini tomatoes
Mystery yellow tomato with Purple Cherokee tomatoes
It’s apricot season and I’ve been picking lots! It’s unusual to get apricots here in Santa Fe (about every 7 years for me) as usually a late freeze comes in spring and freezes all the blossoms, but not this year!
I have a wonderful apricot jam recipe that has St. Germain’s liquor in it. St Germain’s is a liquor made out of elderberries and is delicious by itself but when added to apricot jam while cooking, it gives a wonderful floral nuance to the jam that is delicious. So I am excited to make more this year as I’m down to my last jar of apricot jam. The recipe can be found here.
Wow, what a fruit season it’s been so far-first mega strawberries, then thousands of cherries, now apricots and my neighbor has salmonberries now and coming up right behind will be raspberries and blackberries in another month and then apples in the fall.
AND we haven’t even gotten to the veggies being produced right now but that’s for another post!
Strawberries grew unbelievably with the addition of Azomite last year
As far as perennial fruit goes, I already cut back the new raspberry plants a few days ago. They are a fall variety called Polana from Norse nursery online. They were fantastic last year with us harvesting lots of raspberries in their first year. So this is their first trimming. I trimmed them back within an inch or two of the ground and they are all still alive. I wasn’t sure as I forgot to water them last fall for a few months but with all the precipitation we got this winter, they are fine.
I also cut back the new blackberry plants called Triple Crown, and saw lots of new start-ups that rooted that I will move. Now I won’t have to buy some to finish up the blackberry row. Hopefully I will get blackberries in their second year.
Today I pulled away all the dead leaves around the rhubarb (Victoria) and they are starting to come up too. A very hardy perennial plant.
I checked the strawberries and pulled all the dead borage plants that grow up in the strawberry patch each year from dropped seeds. Borage is a good companion plant for strawberries and the bees love them. The strawberries need a haircut too-but not too short. The strawberries did fantastic last year.
The verdict is out on the artichoke. It came back last year in its second year but I don’t see any signs of life yet this year. They actually are not supposed to be grown here as a perennial because we are in a colder zone than they like, so we will see if it makes it or not.
Next up is to prune back the grapes and the apple trees and other fruit trees. I’m late on the apple trees but they need to be desperately thinned and pruned now before they come back to life. Last year I put Azomite, a mineral supplement, in my veggie garden which really helped the crops and I have some leftover which I will sprinkle around the fruit trees this year.
Still trying to finish up the veggie garden. I better hurry or the season will be over! Still need to transplant some cabbages and amaranth that Alessandra and Chris gave me and some chard. Going to Italy for 2 weeks when I should have been planting put me behind but it was worth it–L’Italia è così bella!
Today I planted 4 Blackberry plants on the garden fence nearest the greenhouse for those of you who know my garden. Triple Crown is the variety and I got them at Newman’s Nursery. Triple Crown is a thornless variety that I first saw in the Master Gardeners Herb Garden that does very well here in Santa Fe. The ones I bought were in 2 gallon containers and cost $15 each which is a bargain and they are in great shape.
Part of the main veggie garden is being devoted more and more to perennial fruit as I have the room. Years ago I planted Himrod grapes, Victoria rhubarb and June-bearing strawberries and added more strawberries this year. All are doing well. In addition, this spring I planted a 30 foot row of Polana raspberries and now these Triple Crown blackberries.
I planted the blackberries this morning before the heat hit. I added some soil amendments and polymer crystals to help keep the water in the the root zone, made a well, put in the drip system with extra emitters as they like water and gave them seaweed and Vitamin-B mix to help with transplant and heat stress. Then I put straw around them to help keep water from evaporating and row cover over them to cut back the sun and heat on the new plants. I’m super excited to be putting in so many berries and can’t wait till next year when I hope I get some to EAT!