Friday, January 22, 2010

We love dirt!!

So.. at last James gets to use that gardening tool set he received as a Christmas gift, for its intended purpose.  He has been using it to help with the snow clearing, but he was very keen to start clearing his 'very own' patch (note his 'very own' tiny fir tree planted in what I think is a fairly vulnerable spot - but what do i know?).
The days have been getting longer - a whole hour longer, even, so with the coming of the thaw,  our afternoon rhythm has slowly caught up.  Instead of John lighting the fire soon after lunchtime, and us snuggling in front of it, we have been outside longer in the afternoons - mostly clearing up the front and side of the house after all this weather.  One thing has been on my mind, though, since before the holidays.  My soft fruit delivery arrived on a very snowy Christmas Eve, and was consigned to the greenhouse until more clement conditions. Wednesday was the perfect day for it - mild and almost spring like.  Just right for planting out our bramble (blackberry) and raspberry canes.

John had started clearing out space for this at the bottom of the garden last year, so all it really needed was a spading over, and James helped to rake it level.  The earth was beautifully crumbly and smelt fantastic.That wooden frame you see was where our old compost heap used to be, so that has no doubt helped the worm population and soil structure.
We very rarely go down the garden, without our  very battered copy of Lawrence D Hill's  Month by Month Organic Gardening - bought before I even had a garden!  Well, ok,  Mr Hills does have his fruit planting advice in the October chapter, but we'll gloss over that detail - I'm sure it will be fine.  He recommends planting raspberry canes 3 inches deep and 1 foot apart  - so that's what we did.

9 regular Autumn Bliss and 3 Autumn Gold - really hoping to make a bi-coloured raspberry tart later in the year. We also planted our bramble bush - a thornless variety - Loch Maree, which apparently promises huge juicy berries at the end of August.

It needs a bit of support to scramble over, so the old compost bin frame was perfect.  Lawrence D Hills suggests a surface mulch, so as there was a comfrey plant growing nearby, I just pulled some of the old bits off it and tucked them round the plant.  James was getting cold by then, and telling me so quite vociferously, so - we'll get back to it. Also need to get the blueberries, cranberry and lingonberry into larger pots and out to join the others on the low wall. So very very happy and excited to have our hands in the dirt again.  


  1. I have been trying to get my hands dirty all week. But the weather has still been totally against me!

    Looking forward to your bi-coloured raspberry tart, sounds lovely.

  2. We've been getting out over the last couple of weeks too, the soil is lovely at the moment.

    Keep an eye on your Comfrey mulch - we've done this a few times and find new plants crop up - which we just relocate to somewhere more convenient, Just thought I'd mention it though.
    Have a great growing year.

  3. Good luck with the thornless bramble; for some reason our thornless never really thrived (compared with the wild ones which I spend most of the year trying to tame into submission lol!)

  4. I'll be interested to hear how your bramble gets on. I have long term plans for one at our plot.

    And yes, do be careful with the comfrey. I'm still trying to get rid of ours 4 years after planting a few roots.


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