16 Apr 2013 No Comments
We learn by doing. It’s an age-old saying for a reason. We read books, study the almanac, listen to the experts, but sometimes there’s no substitute for experience. The tried and true kind. Shall we say, true blue?
Blue, as in blueberry patch. My pride and joy, my dream come true… strolling amidst the morning chirps and peeps, plucking fresh blueberries for my yogurt and bran flakes. Well, you understand. This little patch of heaven has come to mean a lot to you. You work hard for these sweet, luscious, high in anti-oxidant fruits and you don’t want to lose them to the natural elements. Wind, pests, birds.
Blueberries are fairly easy to grow. Lots of sun, lots of water, a good acidic soil (think pine bark/needle mulch), a well-balanced organic fertilizer and you’ll have yourself a blueberry patch in no time. However, once you set out on this project, understand that birds are a definite problem when it comes to berries. Like you, they enjoy a plump serving of berries with their breakfast. But they’re hungry varmints and will eat you out of house and home—and garden, if you let them. But me, I count myself as smarter than the average bear (no pun intended to my friend and also fan of blueberries). I figure I can outwit these flying friends with a simple bird net. Says so right on the package: bird nest for fruit and shrubs.
Wonderful. Problem solved. All I have to do is cover my plants—all twelve of them—and I’m off and running in the blueberry race. It’s not pretty, but it is practical.
First recommendation: don’t choose a windy day to start your net project. Blueberry blossoms are extremely sensitive to the slightest tactile cling and snare easily. Translated: touch them and they pop off the vine. Bad. Very bad. No blossoms means no berries.
With a little practice, though, I became quite good at throwing and securing my net without touching my delicate blueberry blossoms and only lost a few to the endeavor. Can you really miss what you never had to start? If you’ve noticed, philosophy seems to be on overdrive in my garden.
But abstract distractions aside, I finished my task an hour later, rising with a nice deep yoga stretch for my back before I secured my last stake in the ground.
Second recommendation: don’t attempt this after several hours of weeding and tilling in the garden. Me? I’m more doer than planner. “Oh look, I still have two hours before I need to pick up the kids! What else can I slip in before my time runs out?”
That’s when I heard it. More