Raspberries – Done!

Gosh – it is amazing how good you feel when you get a hard job done, and you have been putting it off for ages and finally you do a proper job and end up body sore, but when you look at all you have achieved you feel great.  Well that’s how I feel.

Completely free from the shackles of weeds

Completely free from the shackles of weeds

My poor old raspberries have had a hard life.  I started out by planting them in the orchard, which is deliberately at the far end of our property, so that we have an excuse to go there, otherwise we might as well just have a small plot if we aren’t going to utilise it all.  After a couple of years I realised that having the raspberries so far away was a bad idea.  They need a lot of attention, to keep the weeds away and daily during the harvest time.  When they were in the orchard they weren’t being kept weed free, and even more of a crime, weren’t being harvested regularly.

And a weed free view from the side

And a weed free view from the side

So I made the decision to move them into the veggie patch so they were closer to the house so I could take better care of them.  I managed to relocate them, but sadly their quality of life and level of care didn’t improve.  I have two types – one that produces fruit once a year and one that does it twice and they need to be treated differently at the end of the season.  I tried to keep them separate when I moved them, but I wasn’t really sure where one started and the other finished, so I decided to leave them and see if I could tell.  The first season there wasn’t much fruit so I didn’t cut any canes down and left them to do their thing.

After the canes had been cut.  I hope I did it right.  I guess the proof will definitely be in the pudding... or not

After the canes had been cut. I hope I did it right. I guess the proof will definitely be in the pudding… or not

Last summer the boundary between the types became clear as one end of the rowhad two definite flushes and I put in a bamboo pole to mark the spot.  The fruit wasn’t all that good as I had neglected them in more ways than one.  With so many canes in there, weeded became a complete nightmare as they were all scratchy and prickly.  So weeding the raspberries kept being put to the bottom of the list and eventually entered the ‘never’ zone.   So they were a weedy, cane bound thicket that never received any extra nutrients or love as my guilt was so heavy.  Until now!

The sun going down over a long hard project, but well worth it!

The sun going down over a long hard project, but well worth it!

Now I have a lovely weed free raspberry patch and after finding all the canes, I then did an overdue chore that initially seemed quite brutal.  I cut out the canes.  On the single fruiting ones I cut all the canes down and on the other ones I tried to remove all but the new ones from last season.  This was quite tricky to tell as there were so many, but I guess next year it will be easier.  Then I gave them a good soak with diluted chicken poo goo, by way of an apology and I promise this season they will receive the best of my love.  I am even considering splashing out and buying in some kind of mulch.

Just to remind you what it looked like before

Just to remind you what it looked like before

I still have to build a structure to keep them all from leaning about the place, but I have decided next month shall be Assembly August as I have loads of things to build and August is kind of the calm before the storm as in the following month seed sowing shall begin in earnest.

Come again soon – I think I need to do some list jumping as I don’t think I could go from one hard weedy job to another.  The strawberries will have to wait.

Sarah the Gardener  : o )

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14 Comments on “Raspberries – Done!

  1. Ah so funny you mention your raspberries now; I haven’t quite gotten mine to a happy stage. Last year was a disaster, and this year is better, but not quite right! Such a learning process! Good for you for doing so much work!

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  2. oh no, not the strawberries! they’re my favorite fruit – hey, maybe I should just pop over and help you take care of them, eh? 🙂

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  3. Great job Sarah. I bought two raspberry plants and two blue berry plants this spring. Well around here the stores had them in stock far too early to get them outside and they died in the large pots that I had them in, except one, and I am not sure which it is. I suppose I should find a home for it. I loved your information as it gives me a few ideas on how to care for it what ever it is.

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    • Hi Lucinda. From what I understand raspberries are quite easy to look after, once you know what you are doing. I mostly work with the “give it a whirl” school of thought, so when I encounter something that actually requires some knowledge I’m a bit blindsided. I get there in the end.
      Cheers Sarah : o )

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  4. It does always feel so good to accomplish such a big task. Do you have some farms nearby that you could purchase some straw to use as mulch? It would help. I say that, but tend to do the same as you.. leave it until the weeds activate my garden guilt and go on a clean up spree.

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    • Hi Heidi. Most of the farms around us are dairy farms and so if they do grow anything it will be hay to feed the cows in the winter. Hay is no good as a mulch as it is full of grass seeds. I have considered growing a large patch of wheat in the field for mulch, but i’m not sure how Hubby the Un-Gardener will feel about me upscaling to open field cultivation!
      Cheers Sarah : o )

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    • Hi Fran. I found having a list, and also the sudden realisation that spring isn’t that far away, has spurred me on. I shall be sowing my first pepper seeds in a mere two weeks. This activity is largely driven by panic!
      Cheers Sarah : o )

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