Friday, November 4

One day I WILL come out on top

We have a tayberry on the plot. We didn't plant it - it was inherited. There is only one way to describe it - it's a thug. Since we got rid of our thorny blackberry hedge, and planted instead a thornless blackberry, it has become my least favourite plant to deal with. That's putting it politely. The blackberry only relegated it into second place as there was far more of it.
Not only are the long canes equipped with lethal thorns but each year the plant produces new canes at an alarming rate. The new canes make it their mission to reach out and attack a busy gardener as he/she passes by and to crown it all the new canes hide the fruit making picking difficult. Although the blackbird has no problems.
Each year I am ruthless when pruning. I described my method in a previous post here. This year I have decided to be more ruthless than ever and have left very few canes in place.
On top of that I aim to attack any new shoots that appear with gusto even if it means a year without fruit the following year.

I intend to cut all new shoots from the clumps above. There is another clump of root behind the shed that has been cut down completely. The idea is that I will allow a few new shoots to grow from that next year and so the clumps will in theory fruit in alternate years and also be more controllable. That's the theory and may not be the actual reality. So far it has been null point to me but one year I will triumph.
At least the wildlife loves it especially the bees.



24 comments:

  1. It's frustrating dealing with cane fruits--but yes, the critters enjoy these so much.
    I'm sure if I let things go, my yard would be buried alive in mere months.
    Good luck, Sue.

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    1. Thanks, Sue. I just hope that I manage to keep up with my good intentions next year.

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  2. Lovely wildlife photos. I made the mistake of planting my tayberry at the crossroads in my raised beds, so we have to go past it a lot. As you say, it's lethal. At least right now they are neatly tied up though. And the berries are fantastic. I do like the idea of a thornless blackberry. My worst plants for scratches are my two enormous allotment gooseberries. After picking them I have scratches all the way up both arms usually.

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    1. Ours tends to stretch across the gap between the greenhouse and the fence that it is growing on, CJ. This is our main thoroughfare and so we have to keep it chopped back at that point all through summer. I try to prune my groceries so they don't have branches too close together and so it is not too bad picking the fruit.

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    2. I can highly recommend a thornless blackberry.

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  3. Your plan sounds to me like pre-meditated murder!

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    1. Have you ever tried to murder a rampant bramble, Mark? A tayberry is just as tough and can take far more drastic action then I am intent on,

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  4. What a beautiful collage of birds and bugs :) Good luck with the tayberry - are you sure it wouldn't be easier to dig the whole thing out?

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    1. It would be the devil's own job getting rid of it, Jayne. Besides it would be a shame to deprive the wildlife of it.

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  5. If only you could train the blackbirds to fetch the berries for you! I'm glad you're keeping some if only for the bees.

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    1. I like the idea, tpals just a like fisherman using cormorants! I doubt whether I could stop a blackbird from eating the fruit though :-)

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  6. The blackbirds never seem to have any trouble do they.

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    1. They don't, Jessica it always amazes me.

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  7. You have more patience than I do. I have a loganberry which is of similar ilk but without the thorns. It pops up and spreads absolutely everywhere choking out anything in it's way. I don't even like the fruit so to the compost it will go {provided it doesn't take root there!}

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    1. I always thought that a loganberry had similar thorns, Deborah. You learn something every day don't you?

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    2. I'm assuming it's a loganberry. When I got it home it had loganberry on the plant and tayberry on the pot! Either way, it is definitely thornless but every so whippy and prolific.

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    3. I've been browsing and you can now buy both thornless tayberries and loganberries.. Too late for us though.

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  8. I hope that it tastes good after giving you so much work:)

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  9. So I'm assuming that it fruits on year old canes? If it fruited on current year growth as well, I would probably sacrifice some fruit and just cut it to the ground each fall. That's the tired me talking though - I have a LOT of ornamental thugs in the garden that I'm trying to get rid of...and the key word there is "trying" :)

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    1. They fruit best On canes produced the previous year, Margaret so those that I have tied in will produce fruit next year. They are a bit like blackberries and will produce on old canes to but gradually the fruit will become smaller and the canes produce an impenetrable thicket.

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  10. That berry is very invasive! Blackbird have some trick that you need to learn in order to harvest the berries Sue! ;)

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    1. I think the trick would be to grow a very long, pointed beak, Malar :-)

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  11. Oh it sounds as if you've got a serious ongoing battle on your hands Sue but at least you are providing a tasty snack station for all those creatures on the wing. Good luck for 2017!

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    1. I have, Anna but I will not be beaten.

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