January 5 2017

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!



November 27 2016

Clearing the fire pit

In the woods behind the paddocks is where the previous owners had their bonfire.  Beneath the leaves, there was a very, very big pile of ash – complete with lots of things that had not burnt, including lots of metal, tiles, bricks and plastics, as well as plates, mugs and many other things that could not be identified!

It took Teresa and me most of the day, but eventually we managed to clear out the things that could still burn and put that aside ready for a fire, took out the the bits that would not burn ready to dump, and then flattened out the “ash”.  It was more like soil, and so it was not easy to move.  In the end, we decided that we would not try to flatten it all, but would try and create a bit of a ridge around the area to make it more like a fire pit, in the hope that this would also try and contain the fires and stop them spreading into the woods.

After finishing up the fire pit, we then had a go at cutting the grass.  It was not entirely successful – but hopefully I now have a better idea of how to use the mower and so it should be easier next time – probably next year!