Over the last couple years, I have purchased several red raspberry plants from Stark Bros, an outfit I have been happy with for many years. My continued complete lack of raspberries to pile in a bowl in the kitchen is not their fault. I got not one raspberry this year. Sure, I saw quite a few clusters ripening, I just didn’t get to them first.
I got a book that showed how to string the lines between posts for them to grow across. I read how to fertilize and spray them for insects. I perused sellers of bird netting. I know what I should have done. Naturally, I did little of it.
The raspberries mainly survived and are bushy with vines winding through the peach and apple trees. They had a spurt of tiny berries the birds found appetizing. If I can get my act together, in a few weeks I’ll review the pages on pruning and pick up my end of the bargain I made when I brought these hapless plants into my yard. Maybe, depending on the great mess of other stuff I gotta take care of. Looks like I bit off more than I could chew, but the lure of juicy raspberries to stain my teeth remains strong. I can almost taste them, a reminder of care not taken. A slurp of coffee will wash that sorry taste of neglect away so I can go grab a pair of gloves and at least get the major weeds outta there. I really will, in a minute…
I purchased a couple Heartnut trees from Stark Bros in April and planted them bare roots, right away. I used big fiber pots and made sure they got ample water and sun. I wrote back to the company several weeks ago and asked why they had not leafed out. All they did was sprout a sucker from the grafted base. No reply.
I wrote a complaint about the silence, saying I’d sent pictures and the receipt, what more would they want. The Customer Service lady wrote back in apology. She said the Stark server crashed and all the messages recently received were gone. I believe her. Better, she recommended I prune the top third of each tree off to wake the sleepy trees up. Clipper in hand, lop and lop.
Alas, here it is August with no improvement. The suckers from below the graft are alive, but not the grafted part I needed. So they are dead, but partly alive. Zombies! Don’t get too close! Time to complain again!
Oh, in the top picture it may appear the sticks have foliage. That’s raspberries ambling around them.
I have bought more blueberry plants than I care to admit. I got six low bush beauties for this zone from Stark Brothers a few years ago and put then in perfect pH, good soil. They lived one season, all dying before bearing the next year. As these were planted around a flowerbed, I shelled out for six more from Stark but put them in large containers. No good, death followed. I purchased several four-foot tall high bush plants from a Tennessee greenhouse outfit, thinking a bigger size would be heartier. I put them in a completely different place, in the prepared ground. They died before the first frost and did not come back out in the spring. I contacted the Kentucky Blueberry Growers Association this year and bought ten supposedly perfectly suited bushes. I put them in containers so I could acclimatize then better. In three weeks they were shriveled sticks although I followed conditioning instructions to the letter.
A sane person would give up on them. I hate giving up. This lay on my stubborn mind as I went out to pick strawberries last Sunday. Sure, the strawberries are taking over creation. Weeding around them, I was astounded to see two of the original Stark bushes in pots I had abandoned as doomed had ripe berries.
I had left those pots in the strawberry enclosure just in case, but held out no hope for them after so long. That area is a purgatory for failed roses, raspberries, grapes, a fig, altheas and blueberries, the last step before oblivion. There they are anyhow, spindly and sparse but alive. The fruit is not much larger than blue BBs. Gee whiz, I love the little guys, how could I not?