Blueberry plants benefit from a mulch of pine needles. Conveniently, Mother Nature has provided me with all the free mulch I could want. I spent a little time yesterday raking the pine needles and spreading them around the bushes. The pine needle mulch covered the soaker hose which will help minimize loss of moisture, a nice added bonus. This time of year is not the best time to mulch (early srping and late fall are better choices) but I needed to do something with the pine needles lying around the yard and the soaker hose needed to be covered. This seemed like a good compromise.
I've attempted to set up a permanent herb bed. So far it has purple basil, mint and chives. Since mint can be invasive, I dug a large hole and put a large pot into it and then planted the mint in the pot. This will prevent the mint from taking over the entire herb garden or at least slow its progress down significantly.
I've also attempted to set up a permanent strawberry patch. My current patch is in a large compound container but I've set all the runners into a bed in the ground and they seem to be doing really well. Unfortunately, I won't know until next year if these endevours were successful but I'm optimistic.
The best surprise of the growing season has been the lack of trouble caused by the abundance of tree cover. Apparently, the sunshine in the morning and the dappled sunshine throughout the day is providing the plants (eggplant, pepper, strawberries, kale, beets, mint, basil, swiss chard, and chives) with enough light.