My Garden 2011: New additions, Two of the Dirty Dozen

After four months of debating, I finally took the plunge. I ordered two apples trees and two blueberry bushes from Jung Seeds. Now normally, neither of those items would be feasible in an urban garden such as mine, but fortunately there are now varieties of these wonderful plants that need less space than the more common varieties. I was looking for a way to tackle a few more of the Produce Dirty Dozen in my home garden. The 2011 Dirty Dozen include:

  1. Celery
  2. Peaches
  3. Strawberries
  4. Apples
  5. Blueberries
  6. Nectarines
  7. Bell peppers
  8. Spinach
  9. Cherries
  10. Kale/collard greens
  11. Potatoes
  12. Grapes (imported)
Scarlet Sentinel Columnar Apple Tree

Peaches, nectarines and cherries are pretty much out of the question, even if I bought dwarf varieties. Once they got tall enough they would block all of the sun from my yard. This year I’ve added bell peppers and strawberries to my garden. I had planned to grow potatoes, but my late start made that unlikely so I decided to defer until next year. I chose two different varieties of what are called Columnar Apple Trees; Scarlet Sentinel and Northpole. These are an amazing horticultural development. I only found out about them about six months ago when I was researching how to grow fruit in your backyard.

Northpole Columnar Apple Tree

Apparently these trees can even be grown in containers, though mine will be going in the ground. They only grow two to three feet wide and eight or twelve feet tall. While it will take a couple of years to produce a decent crop, I’m excited about being able to give my daughter organic apples right off the tree.

I chose Dwarf Northsky and Dwarf Northcountry blueberry bushes. I had originally planned to use these in a raised bed, but because they

Dwarf Northcountry Blueberry

need to be next to each other for proper cross pollination I decided to use them to fill in a bare spot in my regular garden. Typically I primarily use non-edible plants such as flowering bushes, perennials and bulbs to fill in the landscaped beds that flank either side of my backyard, but I’ve been reading recently about edible landscaping and decided that a couple of blueberry bushes would be just as attractive, more useful and in this case also less expensive than more flowers. The dwarf varieties are cold hardy for this region and won’t take up as much space as traditional blueberries. While I don’t typically eat a lot of blueberries myself, I’ve read that fresh blueberries are much sweeter than what we typically get in the grocery store. I also love to bake with them, but can rarely justify the cost.

Dwarf Northsky Blueberry

This will be my first year attempting to grow fruit (unless you count tomatoes) so it will definitely be a learning experience. But it’s exciting to see how much my garden has grow year after year.

Hopefully I will have pictures of my garden soon, once I get my new SD card reader up and running.

4 thoughts on “My Garden 2011: New additions, Two of the Dirty Dozen

  1. It’s really not too late for potatoes if you start them soon. Two years ago I started some in late May and still got a crop (although nearly in fall).

  2. I think you will enjoy your columnar apple trees. Planted the same varieties several years ago and had a nice crop this year. Be aware that they may need some trimming as time goes on as an occasional short branch may try to take hold-especially if deer nibble off the tops of the trees. Other than that we have enjoyed having these novel trees on our property.

    1. Sadly, I didn’t actually get to plant my trees. Jung Seed canceled my order because they ran low on stock. I’m still considering putting them in at some point, but I lost prime space when we decided to put up a swing set for our kids. Glad to see they’ve done well for you. I’ll reconsider again next season.

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