So, I moved the newest apple tree up against the house so it will hopefully stop tipping over. The big tomato plant from Costco is now part of the fence barrier because the birds seemed to be leaving it alone. I still have a lot of plants to re-pot, and this is not going to be our permanent garden space, but for now it's a relief to have the plants in a safe space.
On a side note - does anyone know what kind of plant this is? It's growing beside the house, I assume an escaped planted variety. Spiky yellow flowers, leaves that almost look like a succulent, and low growing.
I put an entire bag of ProMix soil in the wheelbarrow and added water until it was a good consistency. I wheeled it over and shoveled it into the garden beds over the manure mix. Again, I'd love to have mixed it, but with no easy source of water, it's layered instead.
Then I gathered up the plants. Encore, Fall Gold (x3), Canby, Red Latham, and Ann raspberries, and Arapaho and White Snowbank (x2) blackberries. Yes, for those of you who're regular readers of my blog, you might remember I already planted the Anne raspberry once. It was in the side garden with the columbine and the bleeding hearts. The bleeding hearts died right away, the little flowers and the dusty miller I planted around the border were quickly eaten by birds, and the Anne raspberry never grew. The columbine is there, it looked like it was going to flower until we got a heavy rain, and now it's just greenery. But I digress...
The north bed has Encore at the east end, three Fall Gold in the middle, and a Canby on the west end. The three Fall Gold were purchased from Baker Creek and are live plants. We've had them on the window sill since they arrived in the mail. I'm hoping they do well transitioning from plastic cups to a raised bed. The Encore and Canby raspberry plants came from Gurney's. They were shipped with straw stuff around bare roots. and despite being kept moist and under a grow light, they have not grown yet. I'm hoping soil and full sun will intice them to grow.
The south bed has Red Latham raspberry to the east, then an Arapaho blackberry, two White Snowbank blackberries, and the Anne raspberry at the west end. The Red Latham and the Arapaho plants came from the feed store months ago. They've been sitting in the window sill enjoying some growth. I'm hoping the manure and full sun will help them grow more. The White Snowbank blackberries came from Baker Creek as baby plants and were with the Fall Gold raspberries in cups in the windowsill. The Anne raspberry didn't come from the company I thought it had, so I'm baffled where I ordered it from. It was planted in the one garden and never grew, so I'm trying it in the raised bed. I think it may be a dead plant, despite having water and sunlight it shows no signs of growth.
Once all the plants were in the soil, I covered the top with mulch to help retain moisture. I'd have left them like that but Big Red and Phil were circling me from the time I opened the first bag of mulch, and I knew they were eying my new plants. So #3 and I put a short chicken wire fence up. I's a short fence, I know the chickens could easily jump over it, but I'm hoping they practice the restraint they have with the newly fenced plants up by the house. Besides, at this point it would be easy to reach over and harvest berries, so maybe I won't even have to take it off for a year or two. We used up the last of one roll from the turtle cage stash, and the other roll was one we'd bought for a different project that we never got to. Either way, the raspberry and blackberry gardens are completed!
There are seven or eight ducklings now. Our first hen-hatched babies on the homestead. Josh the African gander has accepted them as part of his flock and guards them. I don't want to stress the new family out by getting too close, but I counted seven, possibly eight babies from afar. These are rouen cross babies, but some may be half Indian Runner (if Omelet is the father). I'm hoping they keep the babies safe and they grow up. I'm not separating them and they live with the barn cats. They may have their work cut out for them.