Robert Young Bamboo - new canes

This month the new fresh cans are popping up on the Robert Young Bamboo. They are striped with yellows, greens and red wine colors. This is one of my favorite bamboos. The height will get to about 14 feet and the cane diameter is about an inch in diameter or more if your stand is happily fed. Some of the canes jog in a zig zag of about 6 inches called knees. This style of bamboo is in the runner category so it should be contained with a sturdy barrier or kept in a container. If you have a lot of space and do not mind, it will spread to a wide area but usually will not travel under pavement. Usually folks are glad they took the time to submerge a perimeter and then let it fill that area beautifully. The new canes coming up right now will be their final diameter and will grow 6 inches per day to their final height and then just get woodier, stronger over the next 5 years.

 

Hops for Relaxation

Hop Vine at Main Street Trees Nursery

Hop vines are a treat in any garden and very easy to grow. This photo shows how big my vines are now—these are already 12 feet tall! This variety is Nugget Hop. I’m also trying out 8 other varieties.

Multiple uses: Hops are of course an age-old key taste ingredient in beer brewing. I like to trade some dried hop flowers with my home-beer-brewing friends—in exchange I get a taste of the beer! The full bunches of greenish flowers are also worth the effort just for themselves. They can be dried for an arrangement or used herbally as a sleep aid, either in a tea or stuffed into a pillow.

Hops will get very tall and harvest can be done after the vines are brought low. Later in the year I’ll post harvest photos of the part that is used—the fragrant, sticky flower. Over the winter the rhizome is dormant underground and the last year’s dried vines are clipped off. Then in spring, the new vines quickly shoot up the string or wire used to train them upward.

Citrus Tasting

Lucky friends and customers visiting or shopping at Main Street Trees landed in front of this table full of a dozen different citrus that were ripe on that day last month. It's helpful to taste the fruit before buying a tree. Grow what you and your family will most enjoy. Dozens of folks had a hands-on taste test of fruit ripe at that time.

New style gardeners are now growing plants in their yards that provide fruits and vegetables year round. To that, we add our backyard eggs and small-scale natural beekeeping for honey. And so we shop a little less. We know our food's source and that it's wholesome and good.

Fruit / Food Hedge

 

Growing a lot of what you eat can be a pleasant way to live. Gardening can be a lifestyle choice where you get your exercise, fresh air, sunshine, a visit with nature and food for eating and sharing. Even if you rent or are moving soon you can have a container garden that can move when you do. Thinking of expanding your fruit trees soon? You can keep your fruit trees small enough to pick the fruit and prune without a ladder if you train it to be small and keeping it in a container is one way of dwarfing it.