Raspberries

Look! I paid £10 for a bunch of sticks! Aren’t they pretty?

Hard to believe loooking at them now I know, but I have high hopes for these little lovelies. They may be nothing more than grubby little twigs at the moment, but come the autumn I shall be picking juicy raspberries off these canes.

They arrived in the post this morning, and they’ll be going into the ground in the allotment as soon as I can dig a bed for them. 10 Autumn Bliss raspberries for the princely sum of £10.50 from Keeper’s Nursery: what a bargain!

They’re cheaper in part because they come – and you might just have noticed this – bare-rooted, possible because they’re in the middle of their winter hibernation. But whatever way you look at it, £10 is a bargain.

Because I got the allotment only a couple of weeks ago I wasn’t spoiled for choice when it came to buying some canes (and even these have now sold out) but this variety comes with all the usual positive descriptors: “heavy cropper”, “outstanding sweet flavour” blah blah blah.

(Before we get too excited by this mouth-watering image let’s consider: have you ever seen a fruit or vegetable variety described as “fairly bland tasting” or “pretty temperamental and only a few fruits”?)

I’ve also managed to get autumn fruiting raspberries and that’s what I wanted.  Raspberries are either autumn or summer fruiting, and if you go for the latter then it’s simple to look after them. The fruit grows on this year’s growth, with means that at the end of the year just cut all the canes down to a few inches off the ground and that’s it. Job done.

Summer raspberries, on the other hand, fruit on two-year-old canes. That sounds far more complicated to me; remembering which canes are two years old, cutting them down after fruiting and then letting them grow another year before they do anything useful? I only have a small brain and that’s far too difficult to get my head round.

Nope, autumn raspberries every time. They grow, they give you lots of fruit and then you cut them down. And then you do it all over again the next year. And the next. And the…

So, plants here. I just need to pull my finger out and dig a bed to put them in…

On the ipod while drooling over the twigs: Common People. The William Shatner version, of course. What do you mean, “there’s another one”?