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Archive for February, 2012

The blackberry has to be the easiest plant in the world to propagate. Simply put soil on top of one of the blackberry canes. You can also neglect the plant and let the canes touch the ground as I did with the Marionberry. If you don’t trellis the canes each year, you may have a monster growing in your yard. The Marionberry pictured below, tip-rooted twice by mistake. I managed to pull this one up, the other is broken off in one of Shelley’s flower beds. I better get it out of there or I am going to be toast. 🙂 Growing blackberries requires due diligence in keeping them from spreading.

This Marionberry cane touched the ground and started new roots. Tip-rooting is one of the major ways that blackberry bushes can grow into monsters in just a few years. I plant to trellis all seven of my blackberry plants.

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Yesterday was a big day. I had some help in the yard and all the weeds on the entire property are all safely bagged and waiting for trash pickup on Tuesday. I will admit first that I did not touch a single weed. I managed to trim the bushes in my front yard and bag the clippings. I do plan to spray some preventative weed block in a week or so to slow the overall progress of the weeds roaring back to life.  The yard looks so much better now.

Before

Cutting back the jungle. It looks like I permanently removed the Lantana plants, but I simply cut them down to ground level. The frost killed back most of the growth and it needed to go. The good news is that these plants are almost indestructible and use very little water. They will be 6 fee across and 3 feet high by the end of the summer.

Before

I did not weed out this side yard. I had my hired help complete this task.

Before

Chopping the Lantana plants and Plumbago.

And now the after photos:

Here is the clean up photo. Everything looks so nice…but the process will be repeated again next year.

After

Same angle of previous photo, but I wanted to capture the view up the street to the horse ranch. By the way, any of you can become my neighbor. They have the house listed behind me.

After

Not happy with the gophers eating up my front lawn. They are all taking “permanent” naps now. I am just waiting for the lawn to repair itself.

After

This is what a call “home”. This pic is not to impress anyone; I just wanted to share what makes me happy. I could care less about the structure itself. This is where memories are being created with my family. It is one of the reason’s why I rush home from work each day. BTW, As much as I want to claim that trailer in my front driveway, it belongs to my in-laws visiting from Oregon.

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In an earlier post I mentioned that I am adding three more varieties of blackberries. I planted an Ollalie Blackberry and a Marionberry. The last blackberry to plant is a Boysenberry plant. It is of the thorny variety. The three plants that will live in this berry section are all thorny varieties. The blackberry plants on the other side of the fence in the background are of the thornless variety. Pleas see the photo below. After the Boysenberry is planted I will pound the 2 seven foot metal t-stakes that will act as a part of the blackberry trellis.

The side yard is still under construction. In the foreground, (left) is the Ollalieberry and Marionberry, (middle left). The Boysenberry will be planted next to the pot in the background. The thornless Triple Crown and Black Satin blackberries are on the other side of the fence. The apple tree is an Anna Apple. Yes, the tree is leaning. I need to figure out how to straighten the tree without damaging it.

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I worked a couple of hours today, adding another two blackberry plants that are in the ground, (not in pots). That makes 6 blackberries that have escaped death because I sometimes buy the plants with all of the intention of planting them until a heat wave comes along and kills them. I planted an Ollalie Blackberry that was purchased from Walter Anderson’s nursery in Poway and a Marionberry that was purchased last fall at Home Depot. I also have three Triple Crown Blackberries and 1 Black Satin Blackberry that were planted last summer.  I have 5 varieties of berries planted with one more hole to dig tomorrow for a Boysenberry plant. That will be 6 varities TOTAL!  If you want a sure fire blackberry for Southern California, it has to be a Boysenberry. It is what made Knott’s Berry Farm famous.

In order for me to plant the Ollalieberry, I had to move a stack of firewood against our outdoor dog enclosure. It wasn’t too long after digging that discovered three irrigation pipes and an a low voltage irrigation wire. I gently dug around them for a few minutes and planted the Ollalieberry in my desired location. The Marionberry was planted about 5 feet away. This time I hit a drainage pipe and a large chunk of concrete. Again, I managed to dig around the obstacles to plant the Marionberry. I have to dig the third hole for the Boysenberry and then pound two 7 foot steel T-stakes for the trellis support. I will be sore tomorrow.

I also decided to get rid of my junk that has piled up. One of my lawn mowers that has seen better days will be donated to a lawn mower repair company, a kiddy pool and a really old toddler swing will be thrown out too. We have 2 planted climbing roses that have seen better days. They old roses will be chopped up and the pots will be cleaned and replanted with something fresh and new.  Hopefully, I will remember to take pictures and have the energy to post them tomorrow. You can double click on the photos below to get more detail.

Moved some firewood to get the Ollalieberry location right. As the plant grows, the tarp will be trimmed to expose the chain link that will be used to tie the canes upright.
I had to move the rocks from our fake stream bed to dig the hole for this poor Marionberry who was kept in a pot for 6 months. A trellis will be installed tomorrow to hold the canes off the ground.

Some of the junk I spoke of hiding behind the Anna Apple. It will be gone tomorrow!

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We are having some weird weather and the plants are not sure what to do. I have an Anna Apple tree in full bloom. Some of my bare-root Baba Raspberries are sprouting new growth but my blackberries and other fruit trees are still dormant.  I rushed to take some photos before I left for a Superbowl party at my brother’s house, so they are not my best. Make sure you click twice on the photos. You won’t believe the detail in the close flower shots.

Second year Anna Apple in full bloom.

A close up of the Anna Apple blossom. There were a swarm of bees around this tree. I think that I should have a fair number of Apples this year.

Another view of my Anna Apple tree in full bloom. Notice the other pink flowers in the back ground?

I can't believe that my bare-root Baba Raspberries are sprouting already. I haven't put them into the ground yet!

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