A new year, time for a fresh start. In uncertain times we could all benefit from getting back to basics. Reconnecting with the rhythms of nature through gardening can soothe our minds and stretch our bodies as well as providing a supply of tasty, nutritious, freshly harvested fruits and vegetables.
In the Willamette Valley, January and February are the months to plant bare root fruit trees and berries. Not only do you benefit from lower prices buying bare root, but the plants do best getting roots established by planting this early. If you have no place ready to plant them, you can pot them up now (or have us pot them for you) to plant out later when it’s dry enough to work your soil.
Traditional fruit trees that can be planted now include apples, cherries, peaches,
nectarines, pears, Asian pears, persimmons*, plums and prunes. If space is limited there are dwarfing rootstocks to keep trees smaller, espaliered trees, columnar apples and combination trees available to fit more fruits in small yards. Well trained fruit trees can make beautiful additions to your landscape.
Many berry plants take little space yet bear bountiful harvests of delectable fruits. Grapes, blackberries, hops and kiwi can be grown on fences, arbors or trellises. Blueberries, honeyberries, currants and gooseberries can be tucked into the ornamental landscape. Strawberries can be grown in pots, a bed of their own or as groundcover. Raised beds are easy to make and provide the perfect conditions for raspberries or asparagus to bear bountiful crops for years to come.
There is no doubt that a diet with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables is healthiest, providing fiber, essential nutrients and other factors like antioxidants that keep us healthy. What better way is there to show your children the delight of eating fresh fruits and vegetables than to involve them in the process of growing and harvesting your own.
*Persimmons are only available potted.