Hi! I was on GardenWeb, too. But not for long and it was a few years ago. I had a kid and an upholstery business and they won out over the internet. I still have the kid and the business, but I have various questions about things like plum curculios, apple rust, peach ooze, and a non-flowering kiwi that is definitely not the variety i ordered.
My family grew up(and is again) in central NJ at the base of the first foothill of the Appalachians, just starting the coastal plain. I’m close to New York City, but thoroughly in the suburbs much to my dismay. Our almost quarter of an acre is THOROUGHLY used. We have 2 peaches, 2 apples, 1 cherry, 2 elderberries, 4 blueberries that count and 3 that aren’t quite dead. A bunch of (not)“thornless” canby raspberries and actually thornless triple crown blackberries (so good), a WONDERFUL Shiro plum (yellow, just harvested), a good for nothing starking delicious red plum, a couple of volunteers, plum and a peach, a stanley prune plum, some red currants, a hardy kiwi -lame-, and a wonderful Mango pawpaw. Strawberries. And a concord grape. And lots of medicinal herbs.
I grew up gardening, playing in the stream, and hauling garbage out of “our” floodplain woods. And raking an acre of leaves. We had lots of lawn with 2 hills and giant oak trees and a 100 year old house. There are entire radio stations that are “washing wallpaper paste music” to me.
I was more interested in animals than plants until my late teens. I had ducks and a parakeet and 2 fish, my brothers and sisters had a squirrel, a litter of skunks (briefly), sparrows, and we had anoles. Occasionally we got to keep a stray dog for a while. Then we had cats. The year my dad sprayed the peach tree, we got lots of peaches. We ran around barefoot and my neighbor had a huge chestnut tree. I used to live on the swing on the apple tree in his front yard, and i spent lots of time up in his plum trees eating warm yellow plums. We had the run of our other neighbor’s yard, too, and she had a good mulberry. I had grape vines, but they didnt get going until after I left. My dad died and everything fell apart. At some point I got more interested in wild edible plants, and then in medicinal plants. I really studied them (plant books by Michael Moore are awesome!) for a few years. I had a big garden in Oregon and found out that wells can run dry. It didn’t, but my landlady was really worried so I stopped watering. I thought they were an endless source of water!
Back here in wet NJ, (my plant-loving Mom calls it a temperate rainforest) I moved into my mom’s little white house that had azaleas and grass. And proceeded to beg a square foot for a tomato plant. Then 5 square feet for a flower bed. Etc etc. Little by little I’ve carved that grass down. I’ve been here 15ish years, switched from medicinal plants to Bible, gotten married, and had a kid (9 years old.) He’s more into minecraft than plants but i have hope yet. Because gardening is hoping. I always think I’ll get it right next year. And i do keep learning. But I’m about ready to whack a couple of trees because they don’t really contribute.
I’m not into chemical sprays, but I need to figure out what to do for these apple trees. Pretty sure I can figure some of it out here.