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!