Raspberry Bed - the final allotment version

Because I got nagged by email, I have somewhat reluctantly agreed to post a picture of the raspberry bed. It doesn’t look like anything much at this time of year, and certainly I don’t look like anything much, planting raspberries in my pixie hat and old allotment coat! You can see the raspberry canes that Tony dug out of the middle of the strawberry bed - and that I then cut the old wood from and pruned to planting height - laying across the planting string. We offset the plants from one side of the string to the other, to make weeding and harvesting slightly easier and to give each plant the maximum amount of air ventilation and sunlight – if you plant them in straight rows, the front one shields the next from the sun and the second one shields the third, so by halfway down the row, the plants are getting very little sun indeed.

As I say, it looks like nothing much now, but wait until I show you another picture in late Spring, when the canes will be shooting up and the leaf buds will have opened to show the lovely fresh green of new leaves.

We’re still doing lots of structural work – you can see that the cold frame is completely half finished! In other words, the front end of the frame has been reglazed and is ready to be used, but the back end hasn’t had its glass covers put back on yet because we’re waiting for the wooden frame to dry out – it was utterly sodden with rainwater and we don’t want to dry it too fast or it will warp and not fit the base. Initially Tony used webbing on the front end of the frame: it allowed the glass cover to fall back away from the frame without actually hitting the ground on the other side and breaking the glass – that lasted two nights! On the third morning we went up and found that mice had eaten straight through it. Now we have a wooden prop that fits into a narrow groove cut into the front edge of the lid – it means we can’t open it past the vertical, but it also means the mice can’t catch us out by chewing through it. We’re hoping that the regular presence of Rebus the Cairn Terrier will discourage the rodents from visiting us quite so often.

And if possible, I shall report on 235's onion experiment in my next post. I wanted to report today, but the rain and wind were so strong I actually couldn't see the onion bed well enough to check how many seeds had germinated. Oh the joys of a winter allotment!

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Posted by The Allotment Blogger on Saturday, December 13, 2008

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