Weekend Garden Update and How to Prune a Raspberry Patch

Today's weather report - slush, sleet, slush. I am glad I got a few hours in the garden on Sunday. Here is what got done.

I oohed and aahed over the over-wintered leeks. If you peel back the outer layers, there is a sweet, leeky gem underneath. Silky and fresh in soups or braises - perfect for today's weather.

Sandy brought her mini tennis ball to the garden. She was pretty happy overall with the development of the garden work.

We said hello to the garlic.  It never got mulched this winter, but the 3 feet of snow we had all winter long seemed to do the trick. I will add a little Compost Plus to make it happy.

The Japanese Fan Tail Willow that is part of our hedgerow creating a privacy screen from the road made me pretty happy as I walked back to the house at dusk. The catkins were just calling out for a nuzzle.

The raspberry bushes got a haircut. The donkeys love to eat those prickly brambles. Hard to believe.

Raspberry patch before it gets pruned. Notice how thick it is. The trick is to cut out the growth that is two years old. Those are the "canes" that bore fruit last summer. They will not make fruit this year and just take energy away from the plant. They are pretty easy to identify because the bark peels back and the color is not as red as the 1 year old growth. When you cut them, the interior of the cane is drier and pale green. The canes that will bear fruit this year are brighter red, and when you cut them they are a brighter green and full of sap.

After pruning. The canes each have about six inches of space. I also cut the tips of the canes off, about 1 inch or so. This helps give the cane energy lower down on the cane where the fruit will size up a little more.

Fall bearing raspberries are cut right down to the ground, as you can see below.

Cannot wait to eat these, freeze them, make jam.

But first, back to the sleet.