|This Meyer lemon tree (shown in this 2013 pic as a newborn) had grown to the point where it was too large for this space, so this became one of my intended blackberry locations. |
See this post for further information on culvert gardening.
|I used two simple $20 redwood trellises - not very fancy but this is my first trellising effort and I wanted to start small. Annoyingly, I cannot find this exact model on the Home Depot website, but it's similar to this one (except the two I bought are wider). I fastened them to the fence using three-quarter-inch metal brackets of the type that are available in the plumbing department.|
|You can see from the photos above that the soil in this location is very light-colored, suggesting that it's not very high in organic matter (like most greater Houston soils, it's largely clay). For this reason, I did one of my periodic compost excavations in order to retrieve enough material to amend it. This pic shows the wheelbarrow loaded with newly-dug compost.|
|And this is what my Earth Machine looked like after I had removed the composted material from the bottom of it. THere is now room to make more as the cycle of decomposition and growth continues. You can read more about the Earth Machine in this recent post.|
|For a planting like this, the trick is to make the hole about 1.5 times wider and deeper than the plant that is going into the ground, and then blend the native soil and the amendments together to fill the extra space (as well as using my own compost, I also augmented with Microlife fertilizer). You want to go to this hole-widening trouble in order to give your new plant a leg-up, a head start on growing where you've placed it, but you don't want to go so far as to create special soil conditions for the plant that you can't possibly sustain over the long term. The initial boost helps the plant to get established in imperfect soils.|
|I chose to try Rosborough blackberries (that's a PDF link), which is a line developed by Texas A&M and released in 1977. I got the plants from Faith's Garden Shed Naturally which sells out of the Clear Lake Shores Farmers Market. |
BTW, mini-blind slats can be recycled to make really good plant markers. They take both marker and pencil very well.
|First blackberry coming out of its nursery container. Loosen up the roots of newly-purchased plants a bit before placing them in the ground, so that the new roots will not continue to grow in a bound-up state.|
|Whew - one down, one to go. I'll fix the landscape bed's rock edging in October maybe (did I mention that it's hot out right now?).|
The second blackberry was installed much as the first, and now we'll see what time and cooler temps will bring.