Thursday, 20 January 2011

Manuring the Raspberries

I have managed to get up to the allotment twice this week YEAH ! the weather is getting better, although of course we could always get another load of snow.  We moved into our house many years ago during a February and I have photo's of us all making a snowman, so you never can tell !!

Anyway! this week I have managed with the help of my gardening assistant (Austin) to put wheelbarrow loads of manure (that we had delivered at the end of last Autumn) onto my Raspberry canes.  Because of  the cold weather I was unable to cut them back before now.  However I have finally managed to cut the canes right back this week.  They are a late fruiting variety (unknown) I always get lot's of lovely fruit from them, but not as large as the fruit from the canes on the plot where my young canes came from.  I checked with the person who gave me my canes who says she always cuts hers back and manures them.  This is the third year that I have had mine planted, so I thought I would cut them hard back, manure them and see what happens. I only hope I have done the right thing?

There are lots of things going on in the beds, such as flower bulbs peeping through, buds sprouting on the gooseberry bushes and the blackcurrant bush. The herbs are starting to look healthy again, but I have to either dig up and thin out or cut severely back the purple sage as it's far too big for my herb bed.

I am looking forward to growing Globe artichokes this year and I am going to order some plants from Stephen at Victoriana Nursery  who incidentally is kindly giving any of my readers 10% discount on anything you order from him.  If you want to take up this offer just click on the link on my sidebar as it takes you to his website and when you order the 10% is automatically taken off, but please do check your order to make sure that happens before hitting the final step in ordering. I have checked it out and it does work, but technology sometimes does funny things.

I am going to sow my broad beans in the first week of February and this year I am trying a different one called 'Red Epicure' ( Unwin's) which are chestnut crimson coloured beans which apparently if lightly steamed keep their colour, we shall see !! as well as these I shall grow my favourite 'Bunyards Exhibition' which are tasty.
I think this year I am going to try sowing direct on some things, as I find that keeping an eye on seedlings gets to be a bit of a pain especially if we want to be away for days at a time. There are certain plants that I do like to see that they are good and healthy before setting them in the beds, such as - broad beans, onions, pumpkins, squashes, cucumbers,  come to think of it quite a few things, so maybe I wont be so brave after all ha ha.


Prospero said...

Two questions for you this week, Doc...

What is an Austin and where can you get one? (I'm just trying to keep up with the Joneses. If you have one, I want one. )

I was watching "The Good Life," an old BBC series, the other day and they were on about allotments (naturally, I thought about you. This charming comedy was written especially for you.

In this episode, Tom and Barbara had decided to plant raspberries and other "specialty" crops because they couldn't sell the boring leafy stuff.

As for me, I have tomatoes, Japanese radish, Bermuda onions, lettuce and carrots on the grow. I'm starting to think about my spring-summer garden now.

Pam said...

Me too - definitely going to grow more direct sown this year, if nothing else to free up space for those things that can only be module grown.
P x

Maureen said...

Ha Ha Prospero that made me laugh!! an Austin is a vintage helper that you have to feed and care for and in return he does the odd job here and there ha ha.

I have a friend who lives in Dublin who also thinks of me whenever he watches 'The Good Life' !! cheeky !!
Japanese radishes and Bermuda onions sound very interesting, and exotic, but I guess they look like any onion and radish in reality , or do they ?
Have a good week-end
m x

Maureen said...

Hi PAM, I intend to have a go at direct sowing this year as we have an elderly plot holder who sows almost everything straight into the ground, and his veg is amazing.

ReapWhatYouGrow said...

Good to get some tips on raspberries. We have had no success at all, despite Jamie trying for years. I will pass on your tips to him and keep fingers crossed!

Plantaliscious said...

I'm new to this allotment lark, only got my plot this January and still trying to dig out the couch grass in time for Spring, but I was planning on starting most things off in the greenhouse in pots or modules. Except carrots and parsnips. But I am getting a little concerned about how much space this is going to take up, so who knows!

I'm holding back on ordering raspberry canes until I have dug over the bed, manured it and put some supports in place. So much to do, so little time ;-)

Maureen said...

Hi ReapWhatYouGrow, I hope you have better luck this year with the Raspberries, if not start again with some new canes in another spot. I have been visiting your blog ( sorry I didn't leave a comment) and I see that you have trouble with your strawberries too.

Hi Plantalicious, thanks for visiting and for the comment. Well done on getting an allotment, it's hard work especially if you have a garden to tend as well, but the harvests make it all worth while. I will visit your blog and see what you have done so far.

Damo said...

Hi Maureen, sounds like a good variety of broad bean. My Autumn sowings are a few inches high now and I'll plant another couple of rows in a month or so. I don't think you can beat broad beans when they're picked at the right time.

Maureen said...

Hi Damo
Your right, broad beans are delicious when picked just right. I like mine as tiny beans, or if they get big I double pod them. I am looking forward to the new Red variety. I planted the seeds of both today.