Farmer Jim and I have been discussing needed changes to the garden. We are battling horsetail in one corner of what was a flower garden. Last fall Farmer Jim took down the flowering quince. I hated to see it go but it had some fire blight which is a horrible fungal disease. After the flowers finished blooming, they would dry up and many of the leaves would turn brown leaving ugly dead branches. Of course, because it suckers I have around six new quince to find homes for. I will pot them up in containers for this year and watch to see if they have fire blight symptoms. If they do they will be discarded.
This area is a mess now with containers all spending the winter on a deck. The wind has blown some containers over and its time to get them cleaned up. The deck itself needs repainting. We need to make better use of this space. I think the plants in the front area will be dug up. Landscape fabric will go down and then two new raised beds will be built on top of the fabric. I still want a rounded edge to this garden as it’s the walkway along the water. Yes, it would be easier to have lawn here and mow the horsetail to death. That won’t happen as we have too much lawn already. So a new garden project has begun. Somehow when we moved a plant to this area a piece of raspberry cane came with it. It then became a mix of tulips, bluebells, quince, raspberry and horsetail.
Yes, we will build some more raised beds for this area. You see it gets full sun unlike the gardens near the house. It will be a wonderful place for a fruit garden. I love my jam. Now that I look at the raspberry photo from last summer I see Sedum angelina that will have to come out as well.
So this morning I went out to dig up the raspberry canes. The soil is heavy clay so it wasn’t long before my boots were clumped with soil. I had to take advantage of a sunny day and get the plants out of the ground.
I ended up with a pile of canes. I know there are some broken roots left in the ground and I will get them later. I took the raspberry canes and hosed the roots off. There was no way I was chancing any horsetail moving with them. It doesn’t hurt to remove the soil off of plant roots.
I was able to see tiny eyes of new growth starting near the crown of the plants. The white part on the photo above is new growth near the roots. Some roots were damaged by the shovel but they will be fine. I haven’t lost a cane yet. They are tough plants.
The important part is preparing the new planting area so its ready to receive your plants. The raised beds in the kitchen garden all have new soil in them. I took the canes, cut off the old growth and was able to plant most of them in the raised bed above. It’s important to remember that the canes that produced fruit last year will not produce this year. The older canes I dug up had a grey hollow stem so it was easy to distinguish them from the new canes and know which stems to cut back. The new canes were produced last year and you can see new buds forming along the stems. This pruning is done on summer bearing raspberries. I will do some tip pruning next month when the plants have settled into their new home.
Farmer Jim has installed a post and trellis system to train them on. I am still waiting for the clothesline to be strung from end to end. In the mean time I am using baling twine from the barn. Its strong and will work for now. Above are the canes I planted last year. I only had a few berries from them but hope to have a better harvest this summer.
The raspberry canes are planted in their new home. It was a good thing I planted them as it has rained ever since. Tiny green shoots are appearing at the soil level from new growth just beginning from the original plants. These raspberries plants are the ‘Tulameen’ variety which have large sweet berries and are good producers. They continue to bear fruit for weeks.