My first Fruity post was back in January when everything on the plot was looking rather bare. Now that the bushes and canes have got their leaves, I thought I'd do an update, as well as asking for a bit of advice.
The advice I need concerns my raspberries. When we took on our new plot at the end of last year, there were a few yellow raspberries still on some of the canes. These are those canes now.
I've never grown raspberries before and don't really know how to go about pruning them, especially as I'm unsure whether these are a summer or autumn fruiting variety. I know that you should cut autumn fruiting varieties down to the ground so that new canes will grow and produce this year's fruit, and that summer fruiting varieties will produce fruit on last year's growth, but how do I go about pruning these when I don't know which variety they are? I've thinned out some of the canes and this is what I'm left with. You can see that there's some new growth and that there's some older canes there too. Is there anything else I should be doing with these?
I know that this next variety is Glen Ample, a summer fruiting variety. As you can see, there are some brown and some green canes. I take it that fruit will be produced on the brown canes and that the green canes will go on to produce fruit next year, but how do I keep the new canes tidy as they grow? They seem to be growing amongst the older canes. Is there a way to keep them apart? It all sounds so easy when you read about it in a book, not so when you come to put it in to practice.
Do you remember the large bush I photographed in my January post? I didn't know what it was, but it turns out to be some kind of currant, probably a blackcurrant.
You can see that it's flowering and should go on to produce plenty of fruit.
This is my blackberry. Please don't take any notice of all the weeds growing around it, I haven't got round to doing anything with this part of the plot yet. As you can see, there's lots of dead wood towards the bottom of the plant which I shall have to prune out.
I've seen better strawberry patches but I'm giving it this year to see what it produces. If it isn't up to much it shall be cleared and new plants bought in.
The plants are flowering so I should get some kind of harvest.
My rhubarb plants have started to flower.
This is what the flower looks like once it's open.
The flowers were cut off so that the plants can direct their energy in to producing fruit, and I pulled a few more stalks to take home.
Unfortunately, I didn't notice until I got home that the stems had split. I looked up the causes for this and it seems that this can happen due to erratic growth due to seasonal conditions. Cool or dry periods followed by moist or mild weather means the hard outer growth splits when the new, rapid growth occurs. Mulching and feeding, neither of which I did this year, can help. This would explain the flowers too as rhubarb can bolt if it's thirsty and is one of the reasons why a mulch should be applied after watering well.
I shall remember to look after my rhubarb better this year.
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