Review learning outcomes Remind about Learner Diaries
Most soft fruit is self fertile – but cross fertilization improves fruit set. Soft fruit is more tolerant of shade than top fruit.
Pruning video. Autumn fruiting canes are cut down to about 5cm in winter – remove them all and the new canes will grow in Spring. Watering – another good situation to use a porous hose if you have a lot of plants. The slow drip of water is absorbed without much evaporation and the pipe can be run down between the rows if double rows are planted. Feeding – fertilizers are applied as a dressing in a band about 15cm wide not touching the stems, between the rows. This will be washed into the soil – the feeder roots of raspberries are shallow so it cannot be dug in.
Use of varieties and protection to extend the fruiting season. Elsanta – ‘the fruit that bounces’
Semi permanent crop – doesn’t need the sort of preparation that raspberries or currants do but the soil needs to be improved. Can propagate from runners (perpetual strawberries do not produce runners – divide crowns in November) – but this can result in virus build up in the bed, so only use healthy plants. Particular problem is build up of eelworm – which tunnel the roots and kill the plants. The replanting period enables strawberries to be worked into a four year vegetable rotation.
Using a porous pipe can really cut down fungal diseases as the water goes only where it is needed. Strawing down keeps the fruit clean – not necessary if you have planted through black polythene. Cutting off and burning the foliage removes botrytis spores and other disease causing agents. If the crop debris are left disease problems build up quickly. Pests and diseases – principle pests are birds and eelworm. Principle diseases – virus and botrytis (grey mould).
Same technique for planting as for the apple tree last week.
Coral spot – try to avoid having old prunings or dead wood in the garden as this can form a reserve of coral spot spores. Only really a problem if the plants are stressed (drought or in the wrong situation) or damaged.
Early Autumn - Before planting clear ground of weeds; dig a trench one spit deep by three spits wide and add a layer of well rotted manure to the base. Fill in with the top soil and add balanced fertilizer.
Construct support – three strands galvanised wire 50cm apart between stout posts about 2m tall. Posts 3-5m apart.
Plant bare rooted certified canes when dormant (November to March). Shallow rooted so only plant 7-8cm deep. 40cm apart in rows 1.5m apart. Cut canes to 30cm immediately after planting to encourage new canes to develop.
Pruning – summer fruiting types fruit on previous years canes; autumn fruiting on this years. After fruiting cut out fruited canes. Retain the strongest 5-8 un-fruited canes per plant for summer fruiting types and tie in to the wires. Cut the tops 15cm above the top wire.
Watering – shallow rooted so need regular watering in dry weather.
Feeding – sulphate of potash in January; superphosphate every third year; sulphate of ammonia in late March, then mulch.
Raspberry beetle – the grubs tunnel the fruit and make it inedible. Control – use a pheromone trap to detect the problem and a pyrethrum based spray from beetle emergence until first flowering.
Birds – net or cage the crop.
Grey mould ( Botrytis cinerea ) – grey fluffy mould on leaves and fruit. No approved chemical control – improve air circulation and remove and destroy infected canes (or individual leaves etc if mild problem)
Cane blight - Serious fungal disease that enters through damage to canes. Canes wilt and die. Remove and burn affected canes; control by copper fungicide spray.
In early Autumn clear ground of weeds. Single dig and incorporate well rotted manure. Add a dressing of balanced fertilizer.
November to March, plant bare root bushes in a hole large enough to take the roots spread out to the same depth as it was planted in the nursery. 1.5m apart (Cordons planted 50cm apart against a framework of wires and posts or against a wall and tied in) and 1.5m between rows.
Feeding- balanced fertilizer and sulphate of potash in February. Mulch with well rotted manure but do not let it touch the stem.