Category Archives: blueberry

Summertime and the living is ….. a bit frenetic

I’m delving into the classics now.  Over the last weekend, the weather had turned lovely again and we had a wave of guests.  There were a lot of mouths to feed and a desire from us to showcase GYO. When it comes to desserts it’s easy; one’s thoughts turn to summer puddings and fruit fools.

This is when soft fruit comes into its own, red and black currants; raspberries and gooseberries.  Delia provided the summer pudding fruit ratios, (though I found the 7 slices not enough to line my bowl), Nigel Slater, the gooseberry fool recipe, (no pictures of the puddings, sadly, as I was too busy).

Of course, this was the point at which I realised that there is a bit of a gap in our red berry category.  Yes, we’re good on redcurrants, plenty there, however our strawberries had finished by the first week of July and our autumn raspberries have just started to set fruit.  We’ve not grown summer fruiting raspberries for a number of years, as I always found them to be a bit disappointing.  Sadly, we didn’t have any cherries as we hadn’t got round to netting.  The birds have feasted well.

I had to nip to the shop for raspberries.

To avoid this in future summers, I’ve been investigating late season strawberries, fruit that will crop into late July and perhaps even August.  Some of the newer varieties seem to fit the bill.  I’ve plumped on Florence from East Malling, (always good to see that this emminent research station is still producing the goods), so I’ll place an order for 50 runners this autumn.

I did an amble along the field boundaries; the shelter belt is bulking up nicely and the brambles in the hedgerow are full of insects.

It definitely pays to be a bit lax towards the edges of the garden.

 

 

 

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blueberry thrills…

We have a few blueberry bushes. 3 of them are now 2+years old so hopefully, this year, they’ll get into their cropping stride, (it takes a while for blueberries to produce a decent crop).  Another 2 plants are quite young so I don’t expect much from them for a while.  We grow a number of Vaccinium corymbosum, (northern highbush blueberry), cultivars across the harvesting season:

Patriot (early); Earliblue (early); Chandler (mid) and Brigitta (late).

Today I potted on the 3 largest bushes.  Blueberries like moist, acidic soil so to mimic this I line my pots with one of those disposable compost bin liners into which I have cut slits.  The new pot is just one or two sizes larger than the current one.

dsc_0016The plant is given a quick prune and weed, (I restrict the pruning to taking out any dead wood).

dsc_0017…ericaceous soil is a must and watering with rainwater helps maintain the soil acidity.

dsc_0018dsc_0019(I relocated the hibernating queen wasp!)

dsc_0020I planted the shrub at the same depth and backfilled with the new compost, finishing off with a sprinkle of blood, fish and bone.   I could top dress with gravel to hide the bag, but to be honest I’m not that fussed.

dsc_0022So off I trundled to the fruit cage….

dsc_0024Another late winter job done and dusted!