I just been looking back at my blog post “Fruitilicious” last year, it’s about how I don’t really have any success with soft fruit or any fruit for that matter!
I was looking back because over the last week I have tied up the raspberries & Tayberry bushes. I have summer and autumn fruiting raspberries and they have to be treated different, as summer fruiting varieties produce there fruit on last year’s new growth and autumn fruiting varieties produce there’s on this year’s growth,
So summer varieties have to have the fruiting stems removed from last year and the new shoots from last year left. How can you tell the difference this time of year?? I hear you all shout… Well I have a simple system really, I tie a peace of garden twine loosely round the stem of the new growth that appears throughout the fruiting season and these don’t get the chop whereas all the others do, you can also tell the difference as the stems that are older don’t look as green but instead look much more woody.And my Tayberries are also treated like summer fruiting raspberries and the old growth chopped back.
The autumn fruiting varieties are a lot simpler to sort them all just get chopped back every year.
2012 was a funny year for my raspberries as they were not producing fruit when they should be; I have 6 varieties of raspberry’s ranging from Very early to very late giving me a long season. Indeed I was picking raspberries in mid-November last year! But the season didn’t start when it should in fact all the raspberries were a good 5-6 weeks later than they should have been my first raspberries were not ready until mid-July I had quite a good crop though except from the very early variety’s as I think it was just too cold for them to do anything.
My Tayberry was a big flop though I just had 1 berry but my, it was a big juicy one. I am hoping this year will be better.
My strawberries were absolutely brilliant last year the best I have ever had I would say I had 5-6KG in total and that’s being conservative! I put it down to the preparation I put in the year before I dug them all out and dug in a load of my homemade compost (with my chicken’s poo in it)then put them back only selecting the healthy plants and the young plants also. And I netted them from the start to stop the birds.
I had no joy also with my new pear tree I planted it was looking magnificent in early April but we had a cold snap and all the blossom fell and thus no fruit! Hopefully this year will be kinder to us allotment growers.