Rosey the Riveter

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Rhubarb and Grapes and Peaches, Oh My!

My box arrived yesterday from Stark Bros.  You know, because I have nothing else going on this week to prepare for Thanksgiving...

In it was a Dwarf Saturn Peach Tree (aka Donut Peach), four Starkrimson Rhubarb crowns, and a Reliance Seedless Grapevine.  (I am listing the varieties here to help my memory later on when I can't remember what they are.)  I chose this rhubarb after much research, because apparently it's really hard to grow here.  (As are lilacs, but I'm determined to grow that, too!)  The grapevine is more of a 'sacrificial' plant... Japanese Beetles really like them and I've heard they'll leave everything else alone if there's a grape they can eat.  However, if we happen to get some grapes to harvest, that will be awesome.  And I knew I wanted some sort of fruit tree... but most take up to 5 years before they start producing.  WE DON'T HAVE THAT KIND OF TIME!  So, I decided on the Saturn peach because I know they grow well here and because they start producing after only two years.

I have no pictures because it's pouring down rain.  I was soaked to the bones after digging and planting, but it's nice to look out the window and see my little tree!  I planted it in the middle of our Butterfly Garden, where a Bradford Pear used to stand.  Thankfully, it blew over in a storm a year or two ago and we didn't have to deal with it (these landscaping trees, which don't produce fruit, tend to rot after about 15-20 years).  Because the peach is a dwarf, it will only spread about 10 feet.

The grape I planted along the side of the garden fence, so it can trellis along that and not be in the way.

The rhubarb was a little trickier.  I know it likes full sun, but I also know that zone 8 afternoon is too much sun.  So I planted two crowns alongside the shed near the garden, and another two alongside the deck.  Both places allow for afternoon shade.  We won't be able to harvest in the spring, as it needs time to get settled... but hopefully after that I'll be able to make some strawberry rhubarb jam (we live right down the road from a Strawberry farm!) and other baked goodies, and may be even use some for barter, since it's not readily available here.  The Starkrimson is supposed to be good into zone 9, so I have high hopes (we are 7b/8a depending on which map you look at.)

Stay tuned.  I'll take some pics when the rain stops (and when the rhubarb actually breaks the surface!!!)

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