Mk Neal

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since Feb 02, 2019
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Recent posts by Mk Neal

I often get volunteer squash and tomatoes from my compost, if they are in a good place I encourage them, if in a bad place I move or toss.  Last year some volunteer acorn squash did so well I saved the seed to plant this year.  Also have some patches of amaranth and arugula that self-seed every year, I encourage them and move the seedling as needed.
Recent fall weather has been so unpredictable here, we may end up with a late frost and no dormancy at the point of your construction.
1 month ago
Chicago, Illinois between the lake and the ridge, silty black lakebed soil.


All sorts of berries grow gangbusters with no significant pest or disease:

black-cap raspberries extremely productive even in part shade.  These began as wild volunteers.
red currants also very high-yield
black currants good in shade, some aphid damage, though
blueberries dwarf bushes do OK with acid supplement
alpine strawberries not high-yield, but perenniel low-maintenance.

Tree fruits more problematic

sour cherry "northstar" gets a lot of fruit in shade, but poor quality due to plum curculio and fruit flies last 2 years.
American plum also suffers from curculio and aphids
apple had to be cut down due to fire blight
mulberry tree drops massive amounts of fruit, mostly leave this for the wildlife.  Keeps birds from bothering the better berries.

Concord-type grape produces a lot of fruit.  I spray neem and tend the vines, otherwise lose a lot to fungus and fruitflies.  Birds and raccoons take some.

Rhubarb high-yield with no problems.

Pawpaws expect first fruits this year (2019).

MK Neal

2 months ago