September 4th, 2010 AndrewD
One of the winter chores is to ‘control’ your blackberry, ours is a variety called silvenberry. Over summer we got some fruit from it and other than picking the fruit, generally we ignored the plant. The fruit itself is great fresh and like most berries can be frozen. But also like any bramble you need to control it as it spreads quickly. So for those interested in growing it, some information.
Blackberries are the great excape artists of plants, they want to spread, we keep ours in a raised bed and have three blackberry plants.
Blackberries before haircut
If you are going to plant some I would recommend a raised bed as they do like good drainage, when it comes to soil type they are not too fussy.
The way it spreads are three fold.
- Birds eat the fruit and drop the seed, the version of blackberry we have, has lots of thorns, so no problems from the birds yet.
- Runners, they do send up runners near the plant, these are not to bad but must be kept in check, so just cut them back.
- Vines trailing on the ground. Over summer they send out vines, if these touch the ground, generally it will send out roots. Now these vines can be long, approx 2-3 metres away from the plant.
What happens when blackberries take hold
Blackberry runner not quite as developed
This year we did prune them fairly heavily so I am not sure we will be getting to much fruit from them this summer as generally the fruit appears on 2nd year wood, but as I generally ignored them the summer past this needed to be done.
One last point is that the runners will become kindling for the fireplace.
Now my raspberries are a different matter, they spread via suckers and as all my raspberries are what is referred to autumn raspberries, they are much easier to take care of, in winter you just trim them all down to the ground. They fruit on new wood. If you have summer raspberries they friut of second year wood, so you only take out the parts which friuted the year before.
And the best part was we were getting raspberries till May.
April 18th, 2009 AndrewD
Yes Summer in Yass has now passed. The morning and evenings are cooler and of course the days shorter. The hottest day over the past two weeks being 24.
So how did the summer produce go. I would rate it a 6 out of 10. We did not get things in the ground early enough and we had no back up plants for the late frost that hit us.
Tomatoes, approx 15 kg of tomatoes, mostly cheery and grape variety. Witha few kgs of Roma and less of the Amish. Also I really did not truss them up, definately next year I will truss them up and at least double them up. Of course we are still enoying some of the tomates as semi dried (in the oven) and bottled. And we also cooked a lot and froze them (no more of this).
Potatoes, had approx 15kg at the end, not enough. Probably under watered and under nourished and definitely need a lot more next year to plant.
Zucchinis, nothing else to say really, they get grated into evrything (including dog food) and when they become too large the kids can enter them in the Yass show.
Cucumbers OK, not great but enough, back to buying them. Pumkin. mmm Frost killed off teh first lot but we did get some butternuts and all going well we may have two Queensland blue (still growing).
Beans, foprget it. Besides all my beans for drying being killed off in the frost, I must be the only person in Australia not capable of growing beans.
Capsicums, forgot which capsicum I planted, but is of a small variety, still a few coming thru.
Egg Plant, Now there was a surprise – three plants and we may still get a few off before the first frost comes in. Definately more next year so we can bottle some.
Beetroot, were good as were the spring onions
Corn, well thast a 2 out of 10 and I say that because thats about as many good corn cobs we got. Not sure what went wrong there but most of the cobs did not fully develop. But the chickens still loved them.
Chickens, while not really a crop I recommend two – three birds for any family. Easy to look after, not expensive to feed and so far they are all healthy.
Watermelon, got this great little watermelon seeds and they produced these small fantastically sweet watermelons. After dinner these were the perfect size to cut into 4
Later I will add some pics as well.