Thursday, April 18

Wielding the secateurs!

The brighter weather has encouraged us to set to work on the plot. It's been a matter of trying to get some long delayed jobs done. Whilst Martyn's first task was to tidy beds and prepare them for potato planting, I concentrated on the soft fruit department.

The first task was to tame a tayberry that was in danger of taking someone's eye out. Normally all last year's canes would have been removed by now, new canes would have been tied in and leaves and flower buds would be forming. This year isn't at all normal but at least now we have one less unruly tayberry that just needs to get it's act together and produce some fruit.
We have a rampant blackberry that needs the same sort of attention but entering into battle with one thorny thug was enough for the moment so the blackberry will have to wait although a more friendly thornless blackberry and Japanese wineberry received the same attention.

I also cut out all the old canes from one of our autumn fruiting raspberry varieties - Joan J. The new canes are just starting to come into growth. I hope these produce as many fruits as they did last year.
Yet more prickly customers in the shape of gooseberries were given a light pruning to maintain the required goblet shape. The more vigorous jostaberries were pruned in the same way. At last both types of bush are starting to produce much delayed leaves. 
The alpine strawberries growing along the edges of the fruit beds were well past their best and so have been removed. We are hopefully growing more new plants from seed and these will take the place of the discarded plants later. Meanwhile the beds have been tidied and the plants given a little fertiliser - chicken manure pellets - to give them a boost.


The first of the two beds pictured below bed has a Glencoe - purple raspberry - in the centre trained onto wires. The tip of one cane has rooted into the soil and so will produce a second plant. On each side of the raspberry are a jostaberry, a gooseberry and a  young rhubarb.
The second bed also contains two each of gooseberries, jostaberries and rhubarb but in the centre of this bed is a whitecurrant bush.
We have another couple of gooseberries trained up a wire fence which also supports a couple of kiwi plants. The kiwis haven't yet produced any fruit as the male is very reluctant to supply the necessary pollen - in fact this year the female is equally reluctant to show any signs of new growth. Around the base of each gooseberry needs a bit of attention as couch grass has infiltrated their root systems.
These two gooseberries had put on lots of vigorous growth and so were subjected to some very harsh pruning. They did retaliate though by spearing my fingers - even through my gardening gloves!

PS Don't forget the competition to win a fire pit - more information here (I do hope you manage to take part as I am looking forward to reading your stories - I'm not judging so I can just enjoy)!



Copyright: Original post from Our Plot at Green Lane Allotments http://glallotments.blogspot.co.uk/ author S Garrett

18 comments:

  1. You've been really busy Sue! Your plot is looking great and it seems like you'll have lots of produce to enjoy during the year. I'd not heard of a jostaberry before but did a quick google and found out it's like a blackcurrant. You learn something new every day :-)

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    1. I have been busy Paula but there is still that dastardly blackberry to tackle!

      If you didn't find a photo of a jostaberry I have a photo onthis post It comes after the redcurrant photos. A jostaberry is a blackcurrant/gooseberry cross. Larger than a currant and smaller than a gooseberry and tastes a bit of both. Although I think blackcurrant flavour is slightly dominant, others think the gooseberry taste prevails!

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  2. You've certainly been busy now that the weather's cooperating. There's plenty of jobs I could be catching up with at the plot but it's just so windy, I don't have the inclination to be outdoors in it. Hubby has prepared the bed where the soft fruit I bought last year is going to go, so I've got a gooseberry, blackcurrant and rhubarb ready to plant there. I've also got a Tayberry but I don't know what I'm doing with that yet, it will need some sort of contraption building to train it to I suppose.

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    1. We are now having a wind induced break, Jo! Tayberries are vigorous beasts so give it plenty of space.

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  3. You certainly got plenty done. i am hoping to make a valiant effort at getting some serious work done this coming weekend. The seeds are all planted in the greenhouse now so that is the longest taks out of the way...i also am hoping to start tackling the new bee plot but this is going to be a huge project as it hasn't had anything done with it in at least 10 years....wish me look!!

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    1. The wind needs to hold off a bit before we do much else, Tanya

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  4. You are very brave Sue. Those tayberries are vicious!

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    1. They are Roger but the blackberry that is awaiting attention is even worse!

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  5. Oh Sue, you have no idea how much better I feel reading this. I only finished pruning my own autumn raspberries this afternoon :}

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    1. Let me make you feel even better, Bilbo - I still have one variety to prune!

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  6. Oh, you've been busy, I hope the good weather is staying. We had a terrible weather today but it will hopefully get better over the week-end. I used to grow gooseberries and raspberries when I lived in Norway, but the area I had back then for fruit was the same size as my whole garden here in London! I don't feel I could sacrifice any space in my garden for growing fruit as my garden is so tiny, but I have got the seeds in for salad, beetroots and radish, I am going to grow vegetables for the first time! (in window baskets) Have a great week end, take care, Helene :-)

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    1. What about climbing up a wall or fence or in a tub, Helene?

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  7. It looks like you have been very busy lately! The berry plants look so promising!

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    1. Just hope that they live up to the promise, Malar

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  8. Looks like you have really been able to get on with things Sue! It's great to get going at last isn't it?

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    1. It is, Jill- the trouble is we are now combining gardening we major decorating!

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  9. You have such a great collection of fruit Sue. My raspberry canes are still barely budding, I hope they produce some fruit this year!!

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    1. Our summer fruiting one are just getting buds too Janet.

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