[NAFEX] oh no! The blackberries too!!!

Donna &/or Kieran holycow at cookeville.com
Wed Apr 18 16:30:28 EDT 2007

Any of you down in the south who think the wild blackberries are fine, think 
again.  I was looking at my Kiowas, which were further along than the 
wildlings, pulling off buds and slitting them with my fingernail to try to 
find one that wasn't black inside.  After that I started in on the wild 
ones.  I pulled some 30 buds and found two that had been viable.  Since the 
freeze I have been thinking that at least we'd have the wild blackberries 
this year.  This is going to be even harder on the birds than I thought. 
Does look like the dogwood berries may be alright though.  I'm not going to 
go chop the blackberries because many of the buds look like the anthers will 
be fine, so at least the bees will be able to get some pollen from them.
    Many of our strawberry flowers were damaged in the freeze despite being 
double covered, and now we've had a couple of frosts that I wasn't home for 
so more are black in the middle.   Strangely enough, there were wild 
strawberries in the open during and since the freeze that have had viable 
centers.  I'm wondering if some of these would be worth crossing to carry 
better bud hardiness.  I'm not likely to be much use at something that long 
term, but the plants could easily be dug and shipped to someone else.
    I do get the impression of a shortage of blooming plants right now. 
There were 5 big bumblebees working a small patch of purple deadnettle this 
morning, bees that normally would have been busy cheating on our blueberry 
patch.  Yesterday a male hummingbird tried to work the same worked over 
patch, and then came over and tried pretty hard to find something to eat on 
my orange shirt.
    And the good news is that a few blueberries were undamaged, though 
whether there will be enough to be worth picking, (or whether I'll feel 
justified in keeping the birds from them when they have nothing else to 
eat), I don't know.    Donna 

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