Monthly Archives: May 2011

More infrastructure: building a fruit cage

While R gets on with things more green, I bash on with infrastructure works (bash being descriptive of the technical skills employed here).  I’ve built a walk-in fruit cage to protect the raspberries from avian attack. The cage even has a hinged entrance door!

But I made an elementary design error: I built the end walls right up against the paths between the canes, so once in the cage there’ll be no way from one row to another once the raspberries are grown.  Doh!

The late-planted raspberries are looking sturdy and promising.  But we might have made another mistake – mixing summer and autumn fruiting canes in the same patch.

Summer fruiting canes are treated differently from autumn fruiting ones. Autumn canes are chopped (3″ from the ground) in February. Summer fruiting canes fruit on last year’s growth and the canes are cut (3″ from the ground) soon after harvesting in July.

Mixing them in the same patch is tricky. The canes throw up new canes each year and spread quite quickly. After a few years it might be difficult to differentiate between the two strains.  However, we have planted them in separate rows, so as long as we remember which is which, we might be OK.

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Tomatoes: the kindness of strangers

With the greenhouse erected, it was time to get the tomato plants in.  The chap from the neighbouring plot kindly donated his surplus plants and we got them in just before going away again for a few days.  We’ve been having a spell of unusually warm weather for April, so we were concerned about leaving the plants in a hot greenhouse.  But the courtesies and cooperative spirit of allotment society meant, with several offers to keep an eye on the watering, we need have nothing to worry about.

There’s been progress outside the greenhouse too, with the potatoes, peas and beans doing well, and runner beans sown.  The kale is looking sorry, though, with the young leaves being eaten by some kind of insect.  There’s some helpful info here: How to Naturally Kill Bugs on Kale