Articles in Category: Edible

Prunus dulcis

on Tuesday, 07 March 2017. Posted in Attracts Pollinators, Edible, Trees, Flowering Plants

Almond Trees

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There are many varieties of late blooming almonds if you were thinking our springs are too cold to grow these wonderful nuts.  Nuts are a beneficial addition to the home orchard because they have so many uses- in baking, butters, and roasting, and are easy to store.  Besides the crunchy and nutritious nuts, Almonds have beautiful and fragrant white to light pink flowers, usually coinciding with the ornamental plum and cherry blooms of early spring.  Like peaches, they will perform best in a protected spot; ideally away from cold winds or cold air sinks.  Hope for a fairly frost free spring for best flower and nut production!  However, almonds perform wonderfully in our summer heat.  Once established they require moderate water, a deep soak every couple of weeks is best; as all fruit trees like good drainage and no standing water.  The late blooming Almonds are cold hardy to negative 20 degrees once established, with 'All in One' being a little less cold hardy-  Zone 8 is best.  They will produce nuts typically 2-3 years after planting and are naturally semi-dwarf (typically 15-20' in height but can be pruned smaller), perfect for smaller yards.  Come early for the best selection!

The varieties we like are:

Blackberry 'Triple Crown'

on Saturday, 11 February 2017. Posted in Berries Attract Wildlife, Attracts Pollinators, Edible, Perennial

'Triple Crown' Blackberry

Blackberries2'Triple Crown' Blackberry will surprise you with its vigor, the size of its berries, and how long you harvest. Blackberries may be one of the easier berrries to grow if you are just starting out in the edible world, they aren't as picky about soil type as blueberries and raspberries, and don't need refreshed as often as strawberries.  They thrive in the heat and can tolerate clay soils better than other edibles.  The main thing they require is a sturdy trellis or structure to be trained against.  Most blackberries will spread to at least 5-6' wide and 4-6' tall depending on how you train them.   A well draining soil is best and we mulch well with straw to keep moisture in.  Make mounds or grow them on a berm if your drainage is not ideal.  'Triple Crown' is a thornless variety so it is easier to train and harvest. The berries are at least thumb sized and ripen over at least 6 weeks in mid to late summer.  Be sure to attract pollinators to your garden with other blooming perennials and shrubs so that the bees will find your blackberry flowers.  Bareroot plants are typically available in Feb-March and that is the best time to get them in the ground and established before summer heat.  A weekly deep soak is usually enough to keep these berries happy. Here is a post on how to prune them in the late winter.

See our Fruiting Plant list for other varieties we carry.

Viburnum trilobum and V. plicatum var. tomentosum

on Tuesday, 19 April 2016. Posted in Berries Attract Wildlife, Attracts Pollinators, Fall Color, Edible, Shrubs, Flowering Plants

Cranberry and Doublefile Viburnum

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There are a lot of Viburnum species out there and these are two of our favorites.  Simply elegant and easy, the Cranberry Viburnum (trilobum, photo at bottom) and Doublefile Viburnum (plicatum tomentosum, photo at top) sport a flower more similar to a lacecap hydrangea than the more common snowball Viburnum.  They are much easier and less fussy than the moisture-loving Hydrangeas.  The flower clusters are interesting to watch unfold over the late spring weeks adding a long term interest for a flowering shrub.  The flowers of both varieties turn to red fruit but the Cranberry Viburnum's fruit is technically edible and more profuse.  These deciduous Viburnums also get nice fall color, a wine red.  The Cranberry bush Viburnum has a lovely tiered, layered habit that fits nicely in a woodland or more naturalistic garden.  The horizontal branching of the Doublefile Viburnum gives it a nice form even through the bare days of winter.   We have a Cranberry Viburnum on the NW corner of our house and seems to take the afternoon heat and part shade in stride.  Their preference is probably not the hottest location you have but dappled light, part shade, or protection from all day sun, although once acclimated seem to tolerate it. 

Pyrus pyrifolia

on Saturday, 01 March 2014. Posted in Fall Color, Edible, Trees, Flowering Plants

Asian Pear

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asian-pear--closeup We're on a fruit tree kick, so here's another good choice for the Rogue Valley climate- Asian Pears!  Pears in general do well in the valley, as history has shown, and asian pears are an especially delicious way to add more variety to your fruit choices.  They are a great selection for the home orchard because they are easy to grow and tend to be expensive at the grocery store since they don't always travel well.  An Asian Pear fresh off the tree is a true treat.  They seem like a cross between an apple and pear; being round and crisp like an apple, with a slight flavor of pear but more complex and sweet.  They are great fresh or sliced into salads and can be cooked.  They also store for at least a month in the refrigerator.  They need another Asian Pear or a European Pear like 'Bartlett' for pollination.  Being in pear country, we've had good pollination on our one asian pear just from neighboring pears. Asian Pears also produce fruit when young so you don't have to wait years before you can enjoy the crisp fruit.   Besides the fruit, they also have ornamental value with large, white flowers in the spring and orange/red foliage in the fall.  If you don't have lots of space for a fruit tree, they espalier against a fence or trellis really well.  In the photo we have one trained against copper tubing- every year it just gets pruned back to spurs and growing it flat makes it very easy to pick the fruit.  Full sun to at least half a day of sun is prefered and like all fruit trees, good drainage is best to keep diseases at bay.  An occasional deep soak is the best way to water, allowing the roots to grow deep and letting it dry out between waterings. 

The varieties we like are:

Creeping Thymes

on Tuesday, 14 June 2011. Posted in Attracts Pollinators, Evergreen, Edible, Perennial, Ground Cover, Deer Resistant, Drought Tolerant, Flowering Plants

Creeping Thyme

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Creeping Thyme may seem too simple or common of a plant to feature but it is so useful and tough that we find ourselves using it all the time!   What other plant has evergreen leaves, spreads rapidly but not aggressively, has lovely bee-attracting flowers, and suppresses weeds without needing much water or care?  The creeping Thymes are not used for edible purposes but they still have a strong smell so the deer will leave them alone.  They will tolerate part shade but prefer full sun and a deep soak only when the soil is dry.  We use them to drape over a wall, or pot; as groundcover between pavers or at the edge of paths, anywhere you need a soft edge.  They are also great as filler- keeping weeds out while other shrubs are growing in and then they can either be lifted and divided or just let them remain under the existing shrubs.  The thyme pictured is Thymus pseudolanuginosus or Wooly Thyme- it is a bit slower to get established but that could be good in certain areas.  Thymus serphyllum 'Coccineus' or Red Creeping Thyme, and Thymus ser. 'Minus' or 'Elfin' grow more quickly and make great mass groundcovers that spread about 18".  Thymus 'Lemon Frost' is  a very handsome white flowering variety with lemon scented leaves that is well behaved, not spreading as fast to 12" or so.