It is now the exciting time of year when the garden is starting to give up its first fruits. They are much anticipated, long awaited, and always appreciated here. We are only going to get a few cherries, but we are sure glad to see them. We planted four new cherry trees this year (two sour and two sweet) but it will be a few years before they bear any fruit. Until then we will enjoy what we get from our one pie cherry tree.
On the other hand, the blueberries are absolutely loaded. We worked hard last year to keep them irrigated through the hot and dry summer, and it looks like our work paid off. The first ones are just now starting to ripen. It looks like Chandler will give us the first taste this year. We have several other varieties planted, including Elizabeth, Patriot, Nelson, Elliot and Spartan. We have a mix of early, mid and late maturing varieties planted to give us a harvest that lasts about two months.
Also loaded are the Asian persimmon trees. I know some of them may drop off if the trees can’t support them all, but I counted at least 100 blooms on the two trees. These varieties are self-pollinating, so that adds up to potentially a lot of persimmons! The botanical name for persimmons is Diospyros, which translates as “food of the Gods.” I am certainly looking forward to eating these heavenly tasting fruits this fall.
More fruits that look promising are our two rugosa roses. Last year the marauding deer ate most of them just as they were ripening, so this year we will put netting over them to keep them safe. We are growing these two varieties (Jubilee and Purple Pavement) especially for their hips, though the flowers have been lovely to look at too. They will also be ripening in late fall.
Hopefully won’t have to wait until fall for the first tomato. At least I doubt that we will. The first tomato to bloom and show fruit this year is Sun Gold. It won the tomato races last year, and it is always a winner in my books.
While used more like a vegetable, the first fruits of the greenhouse cucumbers are starting to size up. I’ve got Manny and Tasty Jade growing in there – two dependable performers in the greenhouse in past years. That’s Manny in the below photo, a Beit Alpha type with medium sized, tender skinned fruits. Both are parthenocarpic types that don’t need pollination to set fruit.
I don’t believe the first zucchini to bloom will result in any fruits though. Spineless Beauty is a variety that does need to be pollinated, and the first bloom to open in our garden was a female. Ironically, yesterday we were working at the Impact Community Garden and saw our first zuke blossom there, a male. We should have gotten the two of them together for a date! Oh well, it won’t be long before the zucchinis are setting on. I guess there’s always a slim chance that this one got pollinated from somewhere else, but I’m not holding my breath.
And though usually used like a fruit, botanically speaking the rhubarb is all vegetable. This is our first year to harvest it, and the first cutting last month gave us enough for a rhubarb crisp. The ample rains have it regrowing nicely, so I see another cutting soon. The variety in the below photo is the green stemmed Victoria. These plants were planted 2 years ago, plus I planted some Crimson Red crowns this year. When they all start producing we should have lots of rhubarb to enjoy.
I hope you have enjoyed a look at our first 2013 fruits here at HA. And I hope all your efforts are fruitful too, whether in the garden or elsewhere!