Long time lurker, first time poster.
I am fairly new to growing things on a bigger scale on my own. Being in zone 4 I find almost all the harvest calendars are tailored to Zone 5 and above. And I find plants mislabeled for the incorrect zones which means I have to do more research before purchasing. I am maxed out on space with my 1/2 acre lot and with many large trees shading most of the property. Careful planning had to be done to make certain plants work for the space. Orchards here all grow the same dozen varieties. I understand it’s supply and demand as well as our climate sucks for growing things.
But through careful observation I have been able to take notes on each of my plants for my own research as more things matured.
In my notes I input when fruit is first visible, bees are pollinating, first sign of disease, harvest times as well as characteristics of plant growth. I am moving in the next 6 months and unfortunately can’t take any of the plants with me. So I will be starting over with a blank slate.
My biggest struggle has been rabbits. After having almost every plant eaten to the ground my first year I made a few changes. I was able to chicken wire around my fences in the few spots they were getting in through. I also fenced in around each plant area. It’s not uncommon to see 6 or more running around at any given time here.
I grow a wide variety of plants each a different variety.
2 cherry bushes
One interesting thing I found was the japanese beetles didn’t touch my Royalty purple raspberries, but they decimated my Anne Yellows. I had to use bird netting on the Royalty as the birds were getting the majority of them. The only thing I could think of was maybe it was too thorny for the beetles. My neighbor next door has 2 bird feeders and 2 bird baths so the overflow comes to my yard.
Everyone told me birds don’t touch elderberries. Well they ate all mine.
I might follow this up with a review of each plant if I get the time.