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Perennials: Grazing for All Seasons

By Sharon
June 22, 2013

I will admit to being a grazer. When I was very young and growing up in eastern Kentucky, I nibbled my way up one side of the mountain and down the other, learning what was edible and what wasn't. I still nibble and graze and it just occurred to me that all the tastiest nibbles come from the perennials that grow around me.

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Name: Michele Roth
N.E. Indiana - Zone 5b
I'm always on my way out the door..
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Jun 21, 2013 8:19 PM CST
We missed all of our favorite grazing fruits last year due to the early drought and high heat, so this year we're extra thankful for what we have had so far. Today's bounty includes both strawberries and mulberries; with lots of both to be had this year. Hurray! Blackberries and apples are looking good this year, too. This is the first year ever that I've noticed near perfect-looking fruit on our naturally grown apple trees. I wonder if last year's fruitless season slowed the apple bug populations down that much, or maybe they're just behind schedule?
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Name: Sharon
Calvert City, KY (Zone 7a)
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Jun 21, 2013 8:31 PM CST
I think last year's drought did wonderful things for this years growth. I think it's a little like a fire, you know how when acres are burned badly, nothing left but blackened remains - suddenly new growth starts and it's even more lush than ever before. Seems like the drought did that for me. By the end of July my perennials were not black, but brown and crispy, just totally burned to death. I just chopped all the debris up, raked it in and felt like giving up. Suddenly this spring with all the rains and slow rising temps, everything was lush, healthier than ever before and until just the last few days, even my bloomed out roses had wonderful foliage. Not so much now for the roses because I think there might be a few Japanese beetles out there. But everything else - my daylilies could not wait to bloom and they are en masse right now.

The old green apple tree that is on the line between my neighbor and me, is not as productive, nor was it last year. There are still apples, but not as many as years before. It looks pretty shaggy, but everything else is great, including the asparagus that I thought I'd lost. Strawberries, not so great, and I'll have to replace some of them, but the ones I had were just fine.

So I don't know, but I do think the drought was followed by unusual things and maybe a reduction in your apple bug population was one of them. I've never been in a bad drought before, so I have nothing for comparison. It's just different this year. Smiling
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