Monday, 28 June 2010

The past week or so of hot sunny days has really got the soft fruit season off with a bang. Every year I try very hard with strawberries and for the last couple of years I have done fairly well. Yesterday I picked  a big basketful,and very delicious they were, but for me, nothing can beat a great big dish of these that I picked today.


Raspberries are my favourite soft fruit. To the extent that I have extended the raspberry row the full length of the veg garden, about thirty odd feet. I have a six foot fence that separates the front garden from veg garden, and although I still have some gaps, I have managed to fill most of the veg side of the fence with raspberries. Raspberries, like most soft fruit are easy to propagate,  - new canes come up all around the current years growth, and surplus ones can be easily detached and dug up, and re planted where you wish.So splash out on some good plants from a reliable supplier like Ken Muir and extend your row as you please.

My fence faces north east on the veg side, which is why I chose it for raspberries as I find that whilst they won't thrive in poor light conditions, they do well in a cooler damp aspect. I expect that's why we so often see Scottish raspberries in the shops. I mulch them well, but they still need copious watering to ensure a good crop.

It's useful to bear in mind the conditions required by different fruits when planning a garden fruit supply. Even if you have a limited amount of space, if you think in terms of using the vertical space around the edges of your plot, you will often find room for a supply of delicious organically grown fruit that you can pick at the peak of it's ripeness and goodness. Pears should always be given a good sunny condition, especially the delicate varieties like Comice. Victoria plums are happy in most places but you can grow fine varieties that you seldom see for sale  like Coe's Golden Drop, against a warm sunny wall. But raspberries and redcurrants are quite happy in relative shade.  My red and white currants are now grown against the north fence of the  chicken run - that's the inside of the fence where the chickens are. I grow them as cordons, (that's basically just a single stem with fruits growing all the way up) and throw a net over them when they are ripening, which I would have to do anyway to keep blackbirds off. I don't find the chickens or the ducks  do much damage, possibly eating the foliage low down, but that just keeps the "leg" clean, - when I've picked as many as I want, or can be bothered with, I  take the net off, it's quite fun watching them jump up to try to get the fruit.

If you don't have the time to devote to a veg garden, do think about trying some home grown fruit, it takes much less time and commitment, and can be acheived in a relatively small amout of space. And when you're tucking into that bowl of home grown raspberries and cream, you'll be glad you did.

11 comments:

  1. You made my mouth water with at raspberry picture. Ours are just starting to com in, too, though I get the small wild black raspberries. So good! I'll have to see if I can find someone selling the red ones.

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  2. I do love those red raspberries! MMmmm! I was trying to get some going last year, frustrating experience, the hard clay and rock soil are not very easy to dig and in the summer heat, well, it just kills about everything! (Especially the want to tend a garden)

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  3. I don't grow any of the soft fruits, maybe when we move here permanently. They will only be for Nigel though as most of them seem to disagree with me sadly. It is the very tiny 'pips or seeds' that seem to cause the problem! Glad your weather is improving. Diane

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  4. Yummy, can't wait for our raspberries next year, having to let them settle in this year before letting them fruit. They are so easy to grow aren't they, fab plants!

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  5. Hi Louise, I do hope you can find a local supply

    Hello Sharon, that does sound like hard work, I don't know what your climate's like in the winter, but I planted my original canes during the dormant season when we have plenty of rain to keep them alive until the spring. I pile on the mowings from the lawn mower in summer to help retain moisture, don't give up, I'm sure you'll succeed.

    Hello Diane, that's bad luck, I have the same problem with the lovely oysters that you can buy so cheaply in your part of France as I remember. disappointing when you know something is delicious only to be unable to tolerate it, digestively as it were.

    That's the hardest part Scented Sweetpeas, waiting for the first crop. I'm sure it will be worth the wait though

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  6. Mmmm Raspberries are my favorite, and are just starting their heavy period here in Oregon. When my small row gets low on production I just nip over to the "Crazy Cat Ladies" next door as I believe she thinks they are an endangered species because her entire yard is uncontrolled Raspberries. I have to get out the machete to keep them from invading my garden boarder.
    Doc

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  7. Beginning one's day with a bowl full of freshly-picked berries seems the perfect morning! We're in the midst of blueberry season in Atlanta, which is also quite a treat! Most don't make it to the house!

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  8. Those razzers look lovely - ive learnt my lesson and netted mine this year. I totally agree that you cant beat growing fruit. We are enjoying picking fresh strawbs for breakfast at the moment - its the best reason to get out of bed!

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  9. I'm picking tayberries every day at the moment. I usually freeze them and save them for a rainy day as we wouldn't eat them all at once and there's no way I would want them to spoil.

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  10. Your raspberries are really look delicious! I want to have some of these next year. Jam will be great to cook for these kind of fruit!

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  11. What an awesome and deliciously looking raspberries you have. I haven't tried growing raspberries in my garden as I haven't learned the ropes of how to grow it. But upon reading your post, I am enticed to try it out. I will follow your lead. Thank you very much.

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