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The Backyard Garden is Chugging Along

The Staymens, my favorite apple, seem to be doing well.

Looks like there’s some progress among my edible plants and trees … finally. The growing season has been so wet that it has discouraged growth, flowering, and creating fruit among most of my edibles, but the sun over the past few days is having a positive impact.

Tomatoes have been slow to grow, but there are a lot of flowers now.

I have Staymen apples, concord grapes, black cherries (all gone, thanks to the damn birds), blueberries, as well as a garden with Italian basil, white and green cucumbers, figs, four varieties of heritage tomatoes, red bell peppers and some spices. I planted all of it and have seen mixed results over the years.

Right now, the main ingredient (tomatoes) is growing slowly, but steadily and I’m holding out hope after nearly giving up a couple of weeks ago. The squirrels seem to like my apples, so I put up screening on them (the screening captured a bird when it was on the blueberries).

We’ll see how it goes.

My back yard contains a lot of food.
The basil goes nicely with the tomatoes.
This is the first promising sign from the cucumbers.
Netting saved the blueberries. I don’t recall the last time I got a handful.

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Dan Smith is an award-winning journalist in Roanoke, Va., and a member of the Virginia Communications Hall of Fame. He is an author, photographer, essayist, father and grandfather. Co-founder of Valley Business FRONT magazine and founder of the Roanoke Regional Writers Conference. On Advisory Board of New River Voice.

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