The days are surely getting longer now. The first shoots of my rhubarb have started to show their heads above ground. My main rhubarb
patch is now 3 years old and is growing bigger and stronger day by day. I have mulched my main rhubarb patch with 4 or 5 inches of well matured horse manure compost. This little chap below is a second patch that I am trying to get rid of at the moment. I think I will try forcing this crown of rhubarb. You can only really force rhubarb crowns after they are well established because it puts quite a strain on the plant.
The trick is to exclude all light from the growing sticks so that they are sweeter and more tender. I have a large flowerpot I think I will use, unless I can find an unwanted black dustbin!
I have taken the opportunity in the last few weeks to prune and tie back my thorny fruit. Above you can see the blackberries
now pruned and tied back to a makeshift fence. Actually it was a space next to the shed where my dog kept escaping!! Thought I would make it a bit more of a challenge for him now!! Despite wearing thick gloves and several layers of clothing, I still managed to get an impressive collection of 'war wounds' - these plants are nasty!!
Above are my raspberries,
complete with mulch of well rotted manure. These have thrown out so many new canes it is important to cut out the spindly shoots and try to keep them under control. Here I started with 2 early varieties, 2 mid varieties and 2 Autumn varieties so I have a good long season. Not forgetting that the Autumn fruiting raspberries have to be cut to the ground each Winter because they fruit on the current years' canes! I have a feeling that 2009 is going to be a great year for raspberries - they just love the cold Winters! fingers crossed.
Finally the loganberries.
These are really rampant, and despite the plant only being 3 years old now, has produced 8 or 9 good strong shoots that I have tied back in a fan shape against a fence.