Sunday Sunshine

24 Feb

I finally made it down to my allotment – first time this year ( don’t tell anyone !!)

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It was a lovely morning and there were plenty of signs of spring to be seen – the odd bumble bee, buds on the fruit bushes, and millions of nigella seedlings !!
This weekend’s task was to tackle my soft fruit. Over a third of my plot is laid down to soft fruit – black currants, red currants, summer & autumn raspberries, gooseberries, blackberries and josta berries. Josta berries are a strange cross between gooseberries and black currants you can eat them raw or cooked and they make nice jam and ice cream.
This permanent planting of fruit is a good use of space as maintenance is minimal and the rewards are high. It would cost a fortune to buy the fruit I harvest and it’s easy to preserve and freeze.

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At this time of year I just need to cut down the autumn raspberries to the ground – they fruit on this coming seasons canes. On the summer raspberries I cut out the canes that fruited last summer leaving the new growth to fruit this summer.
The black currants were pruned last summer when I harvested the fruit – I simply cut out the heavily fruited branches and then remove the berries – much less back breaking! But if you didn’t do this, you can remove some of the older growth.
My gooseberry and josta berry have got completely out of control so I took the radical action of hard pruning these – I won’t get much fruit this year – but to be honest there’s still plenty in the freezer!

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It was just about dry enough for a bonfire too ! Although I do seem to have a problem with bonfires and had to get my lovely allotment neighbour Eric to help – bonfires are obviously a man thing !

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