|Bag of Fertilizer and a WHOLE LOT MORE!|
We've all been there before, right? Men are even better at this than women when it comes to shopping. It's called "straight line focus." When we need to buy something -- no matter what it is -- us dudes get in, get out and get on with it!
Well, some of us dudes do...
The mission on the weekend before last? Get thee a bag of fruit tree fertilizer! Rain was scheduled to move in later that week. There's no better way to fertilize a fruit tree than to spread out a handful around the tree before a gully washer. You can't get better a more equal shot of fertilizing a fruit tree than what Mother Nature provides with a good soaking. The timing was right.
|Green Acres is the Place to be!|
As luck would have it, the lovely wife that is Venus and I were in Roseville on this particular day, just a block or two away from Green Acres Nursery. A nursery is the best place to acquire the type of fertilizer I was looking for (I cried when Capital Nursery closed, taking my favorite blend with it). The goal on that Sunday afternoon? Get in -- get that fertilizer -- get out and get home.
Not so fast, pahdner...
The first thing that struck Venus and I as we pulled into the parking lot were the numbers of people who were flowing in and out of the store on a late Sunday afternoon. The place was packed. For those who predict an end someday to the retail nursery business, not so fast. Green Acres was hopping.
|Leveling Out a Half Wine Barrel|
The second thing that struck us? Hey! Look at those half-wine barrels made from oak! Darn! "Wouldn't that look good in that empty spot in the Bird Back 40," I mentioned to the wife. She nodded in response. Note to self: There's ALWAYS an open and empty spot in the Bird Back 40!
As we entered Green Acres on my quest for fruit tree fertilizer, it suddenly dawned upon me that the wine barrels up front just might be the ticket for that elusive Southern Highbush Blueberry that I've always wanted to grow, but failed miserably at in previous years.
|Sharp Blue Blueberry Plant Starter|
A quick check with the handy-dandy Green Acres sales associate confirmed that suspicion. Of course, had Green Acres been in the business of selling elephants, I'm sure he would have confirmed an elephant could indeed be grown in that barrel. It is his job, after all, to move product. And he spotted two suckers a mile off! That would be me -- and the wife that is Venus.
As luck would have it -- Green Acres had a fairly nice supply of blueberry selections grown by our friends at Dave Wilson Nursery. Nearly every fruit tree in the Bird Back 40 is a Dave Wilson Nursery special. They've only been growing and selling fruit trees for about a zillion years. They kind of know what they're doing.
And -- as luck would have it? Those blueberry starter plants were located right next to blackberry starter plants! Who would have thought to pair those two together? Certainly not us, the suckers. I'd heard a lot of nice things about that Navajo Blackberry plant, and with yet another empty spot in the Bird Back 40, we could pare it with the purchase of a Sharp Blue Blueberry!
Ah -- but that's not all my friends... I've learned from harsh experience that blueberry plants will not survive unless they are treated with loving care and planted in a soil with a low pH. The higher the acid content, the better, and the clay soils that dominate our North Natomas spread just don't offer that pH requirement that blueberries need to survive and thrive.
|Southern Highbush Blueberry|
They would do well, however, in that half wine barrel (made from oak no less). But I would need more than just a barrel. I would need a special soil that blueberry plants thrive in.
Guess who came to the rescue? Why, our helpful, handy-dandy, Green Acres sales associate. Are you surprised? Cash registers were lighting up in this associate's eyes. I had come in -- after all -- for ONE (1) bag of fruit tree fertilizer. I would exit Green Acres with so much more, making said sales assistant quite happy in the process.
If you've ever wondered why children -- they made us do those stupid word math problems in school? This is the reason why: One half wine barrel (made from oak, no less) holds 4.5 cubic yards of soil. Each bag of the special mixture that I would need, contains 1.5 cubic yards of a soil high in acid content. How many bags of soil do the suckers need? If your answer was three, congratulations, you passed sixth grade.
|Specially designed for blueberries AND Azaleas|
As we exited Green Acres that late Sunday afternoon with one half-wine barrel, three bags of soil, a Sharp Blue blueberry starter plant, a Navajo blackberry starter plant and ONE (1) bag of fruit tree fertilizer I suddenly realized I should be allowed near any nursery again until spring has come and gone.
But as for that Southern Highbush Blueberry? I must admit -- it does look good. And with the fruit trees and vines now planted and properly fertilized, bring on spring and summer and those wonderfully delicious home-grown fresh fruit months...