Several more events have been added to my calendar including a class tomorrow night (April 12) in Bountiful, Utah, classes at Wheeler Farm, and classes at expos. Check my event calendar or event list for updates and information. There will be more events added in the future. If you know of an event I might be interested in or you would like to schedule me for your event please let me know.
Bush cherries are cherries that grow on a shrub or bush instead of a tree. There are several types of cherries with the common name of bush cherry including Sand Cherry (Prunus x cistena), Hansen’s Bush Cherry – also sometimes called Sand Cherry (Prunus bessyi), Nanking Cherry (Prunus tomentosa), Prunus cerasus X Prunus fruiticosa, and Prunus japonica x P. jacquemontii. That last one is the only one I have tasted the fruit from so far.
Bush cherries can be grown as a hedge, windbreak, or as a single shrub in situations where you may not want a cherry tree. Their cherry-like fruit may not be recognized by the passerby as an edible fruit and so if planted along a sidewalk you may not have the fruit picked by others without permission. The bush cherries I planted ripen later than tree cherries and so a crop may not be lost due to weather or birds and is also late enough to not attract cherry fruit fly.
The fruit of Prunus japonica x P. jacquemontii is red like Montmorency tart cherries and has a simliar flavor and size. At my house they ripen around the first part of August. My two shrubs purchased by mailorder from Hartmann’s Plant Company are about 1′ tall and are producing a small amount of fruit. Their mature size is 4 x 4′ when they will be producing a few pounds of fruit. A minimum of two bushes of different varieties should be planted.
Bush cherries vary in mature height from 4′ up to 10′ or more. Flavor, color, size, and harvest time and quantity will also vary. Some would be better used for jams than fresh eating. Bush cherries may also keep birds away from other fruit in your yard that ripens at the same time. Bush cherries are something you may want to consider in place of non-edible shrubs in your yard.
Miner’s lettuce (Claytonia perfoliata or Montia perfoliata) also known as Indian Lettuce and Winter Purslane is a wild edible plant native to the Western U.S. including here in Utah. It it typically found in moist, shady places in early spring through early summer and possibly in the fall. The first growth of Miner’s lettuce has small paddle shaped leaves. The plants later form a rounded, cup shaped leaf. The tiny, white flowers grow through the middle of the leaves in a small bouquet.
I had purchased some seeds which I was going to plant after moving into my house and then I noticed Miner’s lettuce was already growing in my yard. As an annual that reseeds readily I have never needed to plant it. Growing less than 10″ tall Miner’s lettuce can be used as an attractive groundcover. Just keep in mind it will disappear by Summer and reappear again in fall or the next spring. Seeds are available from Baker Creek and Richter’s. I sometimes have plants available for sale.
Each spring in my area I harvest abundantly beginning in early spring and around May it disappears until the fall or the next spring. I eat it fresh – usually in salads of mixed greens and alone. Miner’s lettuce can also be steamed and eaten like spinach. Miner’s lettuce is a mild flavored green that combines well with some of the stronger flavored wild edibles such as larger dandelion leaves or plantain leaves. Leaves and flowers are both edible at any stage of growth.
Several classes have been scheduled so far this season with more to come. Herb walks will also be added to the schedule. Check frequently for scheduled additions.
The next class will be this coming Tuesday in Centerville, Utah.
Please check the calendar for information and to pre register for this and other classes.
If you would like to grow sweet potatoes starting your own is a great way to begin. Sometimes sweet potato starts can be difficult to find. Plus, you can choose a variety you already know you like.
- Purchase sweet potatoes from the grocery store or natural foods store. If you see vegetables called “yams” they are sweet potatoes although they may be a different color of sweet potato. Sweet potato colors include pale orange to dark purple. Since you will be eating part of the sweet potato you can see if it is a variety that you like.
- Cut off 2″ or more of the more pointed end of the sweet potato and let it sit and dry (heal) for a day or two. Eat the rest of the potato. Recipes (towards the bottom of the page)
- Place the cut sweet potato in water leaving the top inch above the water.
- Change the water daily keeping it at about the same level every time.
- Watch for roots to form. After the roots have begun growing sprouts will begin to appear towards the top. Continue to change the water daily and let the roots and sprouts grow.
- Once there are sprouts with a few leaves which have roots attached you will be able to gently separate each sprout from the sweet potato end which you originally cut. You should have more than one sprout.
- Plant sprout in a pot filled with potting soil – cover the roots. The pot should be about 2″ larger in diameter than the sprout.
- If the chance of a frost is past (about May 15 in my area) and the soil is warmed go ahead and plant directly outside or plant to a larger pot for growing as a potted plant. Sweet potatoes can be grown indoors or outdoors in a pot. The pot should be a minimum of 14″ in diameter.
- Roots can be harvested when 1 1/2 – 2″ in diameter.
- Sweet potatoes are not cold tolerant and can be damaged by temperatures below 50 F so watch weather reports after planting.
Tickets are available for my seed starting class.
Learn how to start seeds including a brief hands-on opportunity to start a few seeds in class. Starting your own seeds gives you the choice in what you are planting including hard to find varieties, when to plant them, and to know how they were grown. Starting your own seeds can also save you money.
Class is limited to 22 people.
Cost of class includes seed starting that you will take home with you.
To register: Tickets
For more upcoming classes – check frequently for updates.
Please fill out my survey about gardening classes. The survey is anoymous and only 7 questions so it won’t take long. Thank you!
As I create my schedule for upcoming gardening classes I would appreciate your input for subject matter, location, days of the week, and time of day.
Multiple answers to most questions are permitted and encouraged.
Each class lasts about 1 hour – possibly up to 1 1/2 hours.
Thank you for your time!
To see a schedule of classes available to the public once my classes are scheduled please check my website calendar.
There will be additions to the calendar as time passes so check for additions to the class schedule.
Getting Spring Fever? Bring spring indoors!
Are you getting anxious for spring?
If you haven’t received seed catalogs order some or visit the websites to look through the options.
If you already have seeds see if it is time to start some for your area or start some to grow indoors
Edible houseplants – houseplants are great but houseplants you can eat are even better.
Force bulbs to bloom indoors – this may need some advance planning
I received this 25 Acts of Kindness list from Aurora Golden-Appleton and she gave me permission to share it with you!