The Fruit Cage
As you can see from the pictures, the fruit cage was rather overgrown.
The central three raised beds have quite a lot of strawberry plants – but many of the main plants appear to be quite old, and the runners are all over the place – and not just in the beds. Along the back, beside the fence, we know that the plans are mainly raspberry (or possibly loganberry) plants as when we moved in there were a few fruits left, but all somewhat overgrown. There is also a thicker stemmed plant which we are told is a brambless blackberry. Along the short side are a number of quite rampant blackberry bushes and a vine, and along the other sides – who knows what.
As you can see from the after pictures, we completely cleared the raised beds, and potted up a lot of strawberry plants to put in the greenhouse ready to plant back in the beds later in the year. Apparently we should be planting them about a foot apart in late spring, and they should produce fruit within about 2 months. We will see.
As for the raspberries/loganberries, we followed advice and cut them back to about 2 foot high. We now need to mulch them with some manure/compost and let the worms do their work, and hopefully we will get some fruit later in the year. It seems that the best fruit is likely to be on stems that are in their second year, so we will probably need to be a bit more careful with the pruning next winter to get more fruit in 2018.
We did not cut back too much of the blackberries or the vine – but have been told to cut the vine back to about 3 foot, cutting just about a node/bud, and to cut the blackberries back hard – they are rampant and so will grow a lot over the year.
The other two sides now need to be cleared – there is not much in these beds – and just leave the three or four large plants and see what becomes of them in 2017!