At this time of year, its hard to believe that Summer will ever come again, with long cold days and frosty evenings. However, when a parcel arrived for me a couple of weeks ago containing 12 Summer fruiting raspberry canes, I couldn’t help but think of the seasons ahead.
In preparation for planting I had already cleared an area for my new canes, as this was part of a bigger plan to improve the fruit patch on my plot. There were a lot of old raspberry cane root and runners which needed to be removed, along with tangles of grass roots. Unfortunately I don’t think that this is the end of the grass overtaking my fruit patch, but I’ve tried to remove as much as I can.
The canes arrived in bare root form, which are best planted between November and March, so as soon as they arrived I took them straight to the allotment to plant them out (partly because I was too excited to wait, but also so the roots didn’t dry out too much!). I’ve spaced them approximately 40 cm apart, in two rows, which I can tie in to parallel wires once they start to grow.
To finish the area, I added a mulch of shredded cardboard, which I laid around the base of each cane (anywhere where any potential weeds might grow) which I dampened before applying a layer of manure. I would like to add a little more manure if I get a chance, the layer ideally needs to be thick enough to smother any weeds that want to pop up. The area also hasn’t had any goodness added back in for a couple of years, so this layer of mulch should help to feed some nutrients back into the soil resulting in happier plants.
I also found myself two bargains at a local garden centre,a Tayberry Plant and a Loganberry Plant! I’ve not grown these before, I’m not even sure I’ve tasted these berries in the past! So I am quite intrigued to see what these fruits are like, both to grow and eat.
Hopefully next year will be a good year for summer berries!