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Hi there. I live in Bridgeport, CT on a city (50 x 100) lot with my two cats, Holly and Wallingford. I have been in this house 3 years now and I have planted blueberries, blackberries, and strawberries in the back yard. In the front between the sidewalk and the curb, I have an herb garden using creeping thyme as a ground cover. I get to use part of my neighbor's yard to garden in and between the two of us we grew so many tomatoes that I canned about 10 quarts of sauce and made green tomato relish and chutney until I never want to see another green tomato!
I have lots of daffodils and now the tulps are starting to bloom. After the tulips are finished, the lillies take over that bed. From what I can tell - there is going to be quite a show this year.
I lived in Southern California until I moved to Connecticut 8 years ago - so New England weather and plants are still a bit of an unknown for me. I can use a lot of help and support and just plain old garden chats as I am the only avid gardener I know - so far . . .
I want to plant fruit trees and fruiting bushes this spring - any suggestions? (I like unusual things - thinking about Medlar, gooseberry, oriental persimmon, tea camilla, nanking cherry, bush chestnut.) Any ideas will be happily received.
Just wanted to say welcome to the forum. I can't imagine anyone saying that it wasn't okay for you to join! I don't post here that often myself, but do check in pretty frequently as I live in Massachusetts. After subscribing to DG for just under a year now, I'm beginning to realize just how much I DON'T know about gardening.
Hello Yankeecat and welcome! I don't really grow fruit but pears, and apples (along with the berries you grow) are probably most fitted to CT. I'm sure someone more knowledgeable will come along.(I tried hardy kiwi and the vines are nice but no fruit after 5 years!)
Glad you joined us!
Hi! Hop on in. :) I joined DG a month or so ago and it's the best $15 I think I've ever spent--very supportive folks, great advice, and best of all, the feeling that you're not alone in your gardening obsession. (DH thinks I'm nuts and most other people just get this glazed look when I start going on and on and onandonandonandon about my plants.) I'm new to gardening too, but that is totally OK here. You might want to check out the Welcome Mat forum for newbies, and direct specific plant questions to specific plant forums (the Nuts and Fruit forum might be useful for you too). I like to hang out in the NE forum because I'm from MA originally and I get homesick. :) I also used to live in SoCal...where are you from?
I'm originally from SoCal, too. I have lived in Connecticut for 8 years. I was hooked when I saw the tulip bulbs I planted coming up for the first time. I'm not too fond of snow - in fact I thought it was ashes from a fire in the sky the first time I was caught out in it. I have gotten over that.
I still have my fig tree inside for the winter and it is setting figs! It is right by the grow light for my seedlings - anyone know if the grow light is the stimulus for the fruiting?
Yankee, I think grow lights are necessary for fruiting (and often flowering) inside. I think That's why flourescent lights are good enough for seedlings but not beyond that.
That's great though, about your figs!
YankeeCat--Laughed when I read your "first snow" story--I had pretty much the opposite occur to me when I lived in Santa Barbara. I stepped outside my classroom and smelled woodsmoke and said, Oh, how nice, it must be fall, and hey, is that snow? My students, who were all from SoCal themselves, warned me otherwise. :) (Thankfully nothing burnt that day but some grass.)
phuggins - You meant what part of So Cal am I from - not where am I from because I already said that. Duh! I went to high school in "the valley" - actually the far end - Sunland/Tujunga. I spent more than 30 years in Orange County, I started college and never left - the last 17 years I lived in Tustin. Never got too far from where I was born - Monrovia. What do you teach? I teach MS Office as an adjunct at a local Community College two nights a week and work as a sales analyst for a manufacturing company during the day.
Dave47 - Fig Tree - I think that I will just keep it in the house - it is SO heavy to get it back outside and then it always gets sunburned. Anyone have a suggestion for a low energy "grow light" that I can hang from the ceiling over it? (I'm SO excited about the figs!)
Chicory31 - what kind (clutivar I think is the word) of gooseberry do you have? The more read about them - the more confused I get. Will they fruit in some shade? Where did you get your gooseberry from?
daisygrrl - Espelliering fruit trees - yes, I did think about it - I am not sure how close I can plant the trees to the garage foundation without the roots causing trouble. I found a couple mail order nurseries that sell espelliered Apple trees. Some of the fruits I'm looking at are really bushes - so I figure they won't take up a whole lot of room if I feed them lots of compost and organic fertilizer.
I teach biology at a small college in WV (after about 10 years of adjuncting at various and sundry other locations across the country). Sales analyst, I'm impressed, anything even vaguely business-oriented makes my brain seize up. :)
YankeeCat, it's too late for me to welcome you, since you've already given me advice twice! Glad you're here! We could start a new forum for city gardeners...I'm in New Haven.
I know it's not glamorous, but I'm growing a raspberry bush, and it is doing AMAZING. This is the third spring, and it is huge. Last year, I had raspberries for my cereal every morning for months (two waves--one in june-ish, another in september-ish), and this year I think will be a bumper crop.
I think the trick with New England gardening (or anywhere that has particular conditions, I guess) is not to wrestle with nature. I really want to plant pomegranates. Until I have a greenhouse, that just won't happen. Since you're from Southern California, maybe the raspberries and blueberries and stuff could be considered exotic??? This is what I'm trying to convince myself of--the "grass is greener" theory. (I'm originally from this area anyway, so it's a little harder)
Anyhow, glad you've joined up!
What about just starting a Thread in this group for city gardeners? I think it is a really great idea.
Would you like a blackberry plant? I have a huge Araphoe that has "babies" that I just pull out and throw away. It is semi-erect - I have it up against a chain link fence and nearly thornless. No lie - the berries were over an inch long last year and I had gallons. So many that towards the end of the season - I had nightmares about them. I'm guessing that they will produce when your raspberries are not producing. I have friends in New Haven and could probably even drop it off! You won't get berries this year because they grow on second year wood, but as long as we have enough chill hours - next year - watch out!
A Yankee Cat, I mow my blackberries. I pick them and eat them but nobody wants a frozen bag full. Sure they want grapes or blueberries.My advice is don't try to grow them, they will produce more than you can use anyway. Welcome to DG. Everybody has an opinion. Just remember that's all they are. We might even listen to your opinion. Just kidding. Welcome aboard. Frank
Hey, YankeeCat, that would be great! How nice of you! Let me find a spot for it...I have some room along a fence, and it gets about 6 hours of sun a day--do you think that would do it? It'd be nice to have a little variety in my cereal (and pies, and crumbles...) next year.
Meg_fw - I think that 6 hours of sun would be fine. I'm probably coming to New Haven Saturday evening. I can put a plant in a quart plastic pot and it can sit in there for awhile - if it needs to. Is there a way we can exchange phone numbers other than posting them in a thread?
Al - I'm so close to Vermont, we can see the Green Mountains from the top of our hill if we look to the west, so feel free to make me an honorary Vermonter as well. That's a great state! I think Patti spends part of her year in Vermont.
I sometimes go to Vermont - I love the Mettowee Mill Nursery in Dorset, Vt. Oh, and welcome Cat - glad to re-meet you!! I thought I'd missed you when you joined but then I looked at the date and you joined the year before I did!! LOL Eleanor