Daily Archives: September 29, 2014

Know Your Soil

Knowing your soil and knowing what grows well in your environment is key to getting illustrious crops year after year.

Shortly after moving to a 2500ft elevation in the Catskills, Michael Urbanski was advised to plant berries, among other crops, and they are thriving in the rocky, mountain soil. The berries have literally gone wild, growing underneath the garden fence and into the neighboring field and overtaking neighboring raised beds. They were started with a few reeds and, despite extensive winter pruning, still return aggressively every year yielding abundant crops well into October.

You can see the two original wooden raised beds in the image below:

The two original raised beds: blackberries on the right, raspberries on left

The two original wooden raised beds: blackberries on the right, raspberries on left, dog in the middle…

The blackberries overtook the bed to their right and went underneath the fence and out into the wild:

Blackberries growing underneath and into the next bed on the right

Blackberries growing underneath and into the next bed on the right

A similar pattern occured with the raspberries growing in the left bed. In the picture below, they started in the bed on the right and over time spread into two adjacent beds and out into the main garden area.


Says Michael: “I’m curious to see if the reeds growing beyond the fence will produce next year, and if so, if they’ll survive the local scavengers long enough to be harvested. They are prolific growers, and require very little maintenance except for an annual prune. Be warned though, never plant these things anywhere near other projects that you have because as you can see they will quickly spread and overtake a large area if left unattended”. With minimal effort, these garden berry crops are yielding at least two to three pounds of fruit a day over the Summer season and into the Autumn simply because it’s an ideal location for them. Plant food that thrives in your particular environment and trade with neighbors.

copyright J.N. Urbanski

The afternoon’s haul after half the crop was picked.


copyright Michael Urbanski