Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Fruit Patch Established

Today I have planted out 10 raspberry canes and the 3 blackcurrant bushes that came from my old plot. Using my new azada made short work of digging a trench, which I lined with compost, to put the raspberries into. You can see the 3 blackcurrants at the end, in front of the builder's bag. There is a further raspberry cane which was there already, and I have left it where it was as it isn't in the way too much. At the back, I have created a small bed for the comfrey, which I planted out last week, while it was still frozen, so am keeping my fingers firmly crossed for that. There was a plastic raised bed type thing in our garden when we moved in and this has been recycled to make the retaining barrier that you can see in the foreground. The whole area is going to be covered in a mulch of wood chippings. (These are inside the builder's bag - hopefully there will be enough).

The azada has proved to be really quite useful. I had to cut about 10 inches off the handle, as I found it too long and unwieldy to use effectively as it was. It took me a while to develop a good technique with it. I realised after a while that the best method was to work forwards, standing on ground that had been cleared, and chopping and pulling the earth towards me, so that it was easier to sort the weeds from the soil. It's particularly good for creating neat edges. I still need to get a bit more used to it though.

Next jobs are to put in garlic and broad beans (after clearing spaces for them), and creating a strawberry patch. I have sent off for 10 free strawberry plants and a free blueberry bush which are offered in the March issue of Kitchen Garden, but I will try to source a few more from elsewhere as well. I really would like to produce more fruit. I do hope my new raspberries won't suffer too much with raspberry beetle. They are autumn fruiting ones, which seem to be less affected. Oh, and plant the rhubarb. There's so much to do....

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