Monday, March 14

Fruity business

The rain held off for a day or two and on Saturday we managed a long overdue visit to the allotment.


My main focus was centred around fruit. I had tackled the most dangerous pruning back in February. This involved battling with the vicious thorns of the tayberry.
I was very severe as I think leaving too many canes causes problems later when much of the fruit is hidden beneath a tangle of thorny growth. This year I will also remove some new canes as they grow in an attempt to make final pruning a little less hazardous.

This weekend it was the turns of the gooseberries and jostaberries to face the chop. The gooseberries didn't require much attention. It was just a case of thinning the shoots by removing those growing into the centre of each bush and taking out any growing too close to or crossing paths with a neighbour.
It's not easy to show before and after in photographs but hopefully you can see how the centre of the plant has been opened. You can also see that the beds need weeding. The bushes were planted before we became converts of weed control fabric. Six gooseberries were give this treatment.

The jostaberries needed a bit more attention but I worked on the same principle as for the gooseberries. If the weather had been friendlier I would have pruned earlier as I had to be careful not to knock off the buds already clothing the branches.
I hope you can see a difference. Maybe it isn't obvious from the photos but the prunings from the gooseberries and five jostaberries filled a wheelbarrow.

Next I started on tidying up the strawberries by removing dead and old leaves.
The back two rows in the photo above have been tidied and the front row still needs doing. In all I think I have tidied about a fifth of the strawberry plants.

So what was Martyn up to all this time? He was busy playing at being a lumberjack which he has written about on his blog here.

Before we came home we gathered together a few vegetables. 
A while ago we bought some beetroot and mint dip from the supermarket and really liked it. Then the second lots that we bought, (like most of their soups) tasted of nothing but garlic. After perusing the label I came up with my own version.
The beetroot we harvested is destined for another batch.



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







24 comments:

  1. Sue, you do a wonderful job of pruning. I have much to learn! I let my blueberry bushes grow wild and paid the price last year with terrible production--it took watching a YouTube video on pruning to set me right.
    You're also taunting me with those brussels sprouts. I adore them, but had little luck growing them. They were totally infested with aphids.
    Have a wonderful week

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    1. I still have to deal with the blueberries, Sue. I tend to treat them more gently. I'll have to visit YouTube,

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  2. I think I have a loganberry. Uncertain because upon getting it home I found it had two labels, one said loganberry the other said tayberry. Whichever, it is a proper thug of a plant and is in imminent danger of becoming compost as the fruits do not come well in this area.
    I don't know about you, but we have a fair few days of great weather for getting out and cracking on with jobs!

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    1. They are both thugs Deborah. We had a good day in the garden, yesterday.

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  3. I have a loganberry & a tayberry. Incorrect pruning the year before meant no harvest last year. The weather I've been led to believe will be good for the next couple of weeks, I hope you get all your jobs done xx

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    1. Let's hope for a good berry harvest and some good weather, Jo.

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  4. Pruning the thorny fruits is certainly a chore. I am thankful our blackberries are thornless, but we still have gooseberries and raspberries to deal with. I can imagine you had a lot of prunings to haul away from your large gooseberries. The beetroot dip looks lovely!

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    1. Our blackberry is thornless, Dave. WE banished our thorny one to the great compost heap. It was worse than the tayberry. The raspberries aren't too bad but the gooseberries pack a punch.

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  5. I can certainly see the difference after your pruning. The plants will be much better for being opened up.

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  6. Well, there's one advantage to not having a berry patch, no pruning! :-)

    Ottolenghi has a beetroot dip recipe that I adore, I think it can be found on the Guardian website.

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  7. I can certainly see the difference in your pruned photos. I did some major cutting back this past weekend as well since we had some lovely weather. Only ornamentals were done as our raspberry and blackberry patch have only a few small canes right now. Hopefully it will be a different story next year when they have had a full year to grow.

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    1. I still have pruning of ornamentals - mainly a row of buddleias.

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  8. Well done on your fruit pruning and tidying. My gooseberries and blackcurrants could do with a bit of attention I think. The dip looks good. I made a sort of humous with borlotti beans from the freezer the other day that was quite a triumph. You're still getting a good harvest, some very nice veggies there.

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    1. We've never tried growing borlotti beans, CJ.

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  9. Wow! That's a lot work Sue. Hope you're not hurt by the berries torn! Good harvest of beet, leeks, carrots and cabbages! ;)

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    1. My gloves protected me, Malar!

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  10. You still have something to be harvested on your allotment! interesting

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  11. Your gooseberries look very neat now sue, and much easier to harvest /good air circulation. Mine are even worse than your 'before' photo, growing all over the place, but I know I should prune them really. I tie the stems to sticks to create a more open shape but it's not as effective as pruning.

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    1. Certainly makes for a less painful harvest, Lou

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  12. Love that dip! You must be please to have all the prickly pruning out of the way!xxx

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