Friday, September 2

Out with the old and in with the new

Some of our soft fruits have come to the end of their cropping season and so it was time to set to work preparing the plants for next season.

The first plant - the Glencoe purple raspberry - was pruned a few weeks ago. That was a relatively simple job. Glencoe grows in a similar way to a blackberry and forms a clump from which several long canes grow. During the fruiting season new canes are produced on which next year's fruit will grow.
After fruiting all the old canes that produced fruit are cut down to the ground and the new canes tied into a wire framework.
As the canes are fairly long and our framework isn't long enough to train the canes along a length of wire the canes are looped.

Next on the list were the strawberries. Previously we had selected and potted up the required number of runners. Now the netting was removed, as were all the remaining unwanted runners. 
You may notice that the strawberries are still trying to produce a few fruits but these are fairly tatty specimens.
I also cut back all the old tatty leaves taking care not to cut the new shoots being produced from the crown. 

The summer raspberries were the next in the firing line. Again as for Glencoe all the old fruiting canes and some weedy new ones were removed as were any that had strayed too far from the parent plant. There were about the right number of new canes left so all the remaining new canes were tied to the wires. Had there been more than about five canes left on any of the plants I would have removed some.

I didn't take a before photo but this is what I am left with.
These are Tulameen which seemed unaffected by the mystery raspberry killer.

Lastly - for now - I tackled the prickliest customer, the Japanese Wineberry. Again the plant produces new canes which will support next year's berries and so this year's fruiting canes were completely removed.
Then the new canes are tied onto the wires.
The wineberry may be a bit prickly but you are more likely to be scratched rather than stabbed. Pruning tends to be a sticky job rather than a painful one. However, with one of the remaining fruits awaiting this treatment is the tayberry - my plot nemesis, it is a completely different story. This plant is vicious and will be dealt with when it loses its leaves and I can see what I am doing.
Once the blackberry has finished fruiting that will also have the old canes removed. Unlike the tayberry this holds no fears as our blackberry is thornless.

If you are thinking about planting a blackberry, do yourself a favour and make sure you choose a thornless variety. Does anyone know of a thornless tayberry?

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


18 comments:

  1. That's certainly quite a big job getting things cut back, but I'm sure after all the goodness those plants produced, it's worth it.
    Have a great weekend, Sue.

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    1. It is, Sue. Gooseberries and jostaberries also in line for later. Enjoy your weekend too.

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  2. That looks like a job well done. I must admit that it was one of my worst jobs on the allotment.

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    1. I don't mind it, Jo except for the tayberry.

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  3. you have so much fruit to contend with...What is your favurite thing to make with it?? I will be getting my fruit sorted soon and the strawberry patch is definitely being moved this year as it really didn't produce very well. I know why and know what needs to be done...just have to get cracking as soon as I have finished lifting the potatoes...the plan forms nicely in my mind as I type!"!"

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    1. To be honest and boring, Tanya we like it best fresh as nature intended.

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  4. Just makes one realise how much work is involved in growing fruit (well, most edible things actually!). Hopefully your efforts will lead to another bountiful harvest next year.

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    1. The most time consuming task is picking and preparing it all, Mark.

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  5. I do enjoy every single part of the growing season - even the fall cleanup when you get rid of all the old, diseased, dead growth and the beds look so tidy and ready for next year. My raspberry and blackberry plants are still tiny, so not much pruning required, but they do need a good weeding and layer of mulch which is on the to-do list once the kids are back in school.

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    1. I hope that blackberry is thornless, Margaret. We once had a thorny one that was a battle to prune.

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  6. Blackberries and raspberries are my two favourite fruits. I think my 'thornless tayberry' is a loganberry as it came with two labels, one of each, and I think we've discussed it before that it is a loganberry, but it is too sharp to eat without mountains of sugar. Whichever, it's days are numbered as it is too thuggish for my garden.

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    1. I do remember, Deborah. If our tayberry was in our garden its days would be numbered. Tolerance level is higher where the allotment is concerned.

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  7. Oh we have a fabulous thornless blackberry - the berries are huge and taste like toffee apples :) I stopped the strawberry planting a few years ago, we don't eat them, hahaha, I guess we just thought they were easy to grow and all allotments have them. The raspberries are getting a seeing to soon! x

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    1. Our blackberries have large fruits too, Carrie. No good growing things that you don't eat.

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  8. That's beautiful berries to be harvest! ;)

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    1. I hope thet do well next year, Malar

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  9. You certainly are powering on with big jobs! You put me to shame!xxx

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    1. We probably have more time on our hands, Dina.

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