Transformations and inspiration

Thanks to the inspiration of @TNHunter and others on this forum, I would like to open a thread for works in progress and before and afters. Many of us are inspired by the successes of others to go out of our confidence or comfort zone to try something different.

While there are many examples on specific threads, this is a general place for seeing the results of inspiring stories of all kinds.

I have spent a lot of time on fruit trees but none on my berries and it shows. After seeing the wonderful fruit bounty of others, I would like to see if I can do better.

I have a nuisance area where old grasses once thrived but now I spend a lot of time weed eating. It has pretty rich soil but no real purpose. At the same time, my berries are spread out all over the yard in poor soil and are too far away to consider watering during dry periods. Perhaps secondary to the haphazard way I have approached them, I don’t fertilize or manage them in any way. I’m not even sure which varieties they are. These are blackberries, blueberries, gooseberries, and raspberries.

Today I started digging up the grasses that are easier to move. At the end of the section is my compost area, but it is is not “fruitful” and needs to be moved and reworked.

This is a before photo after I dug up a few things.

Wish me luck!


Great idea for a thread! Look forward to your progress

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That location looks good already… I can see all kinds of nice things growing there.

I love blue berries but so do my birds. Last year flash tape helped a lot, but this year not so much. Birds are getting most of them. I hate that…

With raspberries (all of mine red, gold and blacks) have thorns, and I don’t even notice birds getting any (they may) but I sure can’t tell it and I don’t see them landing on the canes to get fruit.

My thornless ouachita blackberries, the birds wore out last year too, I had to put bird netting over them too, which I don’t care for.

My Illini blackberries I never notice birds bothering them or squirrels… but they have some serious thorns on them. I will sure put up with thorns to not have to worry with bird and squirrel protection.

It is really nice to have lots of berries, but not if something else is eating most of them :frowning:

My two goumi bushes produce so many berries that the birds eat all they want and we do to and we are all happy.

Good Luck to you on your project. Look forward to updates !


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I managed to achieve an F1 Hybrid between 2 sprawling vine tomatoes which is a small highly compact bush.
The fruit quality is superior to both parents.
It is a (Purple Cherokee x Cherry Globe) Hybrid.
This was 4 years ago.
I only have 35 seeds as javelina eat the original F1 Hybrid.
How do I best proceed to get back that very unique Hybrid?
It is a 4oz tomato of very exceptional flavor, sweetness & aromas.
Very crisp, juicy & beautiful fruit.
It starts branching & blooming when only 3" tall.
35 seeds no more & no original plant to clone.
Please help if you have breeding knowledge!


@ZinHead I don’t, but that’s a very cool project! Breeding is cool. I used to want to breed roses until I found out I’m kind of terrible at growing from seed.

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There is a person who developed a way of cloning from the stem cells at the union of rose petal & flower stem to get characteristics of uniquely colored petals.
Wish I could remember the name.
Found when I was researching micro tip tissue culture & apical meristem tissue culture. .
Triggering genetic divergence in a branch to create a sport branch, then propagating it is another option.

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Ran across an old post of yours, and the description is exactly what I have been doing.

Apr '21

I have a 4ft x 90 ft raised bed that I keep covered in a deep hay or pine straw mulch. Normally each spring I have to pull some weeds lay them on top… then a new deep layer goes down. Talking 10 inch deep layer of hay and pine straw.

I considered tilling the ground initially, but my tillers pull cord broke. I ended up breaking up the hard ground with a mattock, them covering the poor soil with some better soil mix. I had some pretty deep roots to remove initially and moved out all the grasses from this area.

I don’t have a truck, so the best mulch for me was hay bales on my trailer. I’m in the process of laying down a thick layer of hay and will go from there. I may supplement with compost, but my back is killing me from using the mattock on the hard ground.

I like the simplicity of your t stakes and wire for support. That will be my plan going forward. Thanks to you for continuing to encourage me.

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An update on my berry bed. It’s coming along! About half are transplanted from the yard, the other half purchased.

Blackberry–Osage, Arapaho, Navajo, Kiowa, triple crown. Blueberry–climax, legacy, Tiff blue, pink lemonade and sharp blue (my bad on this one. Zone 7 and I’m 6b)

I’ll give an update in the spring.

Thanks again @TNHunter for your inspiration