C:\fakepath\rhs year 1 week 24


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  • 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.
  • Check with class – any questions.
  • C:\fakepath\rhs year 1 week 24

    1. 1. RHS Level 2 Certificate Week 24 – soft fruit
    2. 2. Learning Outcomes <ul><li>1.1 Describe the factors to be considered when selecting suitable cultivars of soft fruits. </li></ul><ul><li>1.2 Describe the factors in choosing a suitable site for growing soft fruit </li></ul><ul><li>1.3 For named varieties of each of raspberry, blackcurrant, redcurrant and strawberry state in each case </li></ul><ul><li>1.3.1 planting, feeding and pruning requirements; </li></ul><ul><li>1.3.2 care and cultivation requirements; </li></ul><ul><li>1.3.3 describe 2 pests and 2 diseases for each and their controls </li></ul><ul><li>1.3.4 describe harvesting and storage requirements for each </li></ul>
    3. 3. Choice of site <ul><li>Sheltered – soft fruit is less dependent on bees than top fruit for pollination but windbreaks will still improve fruit set. </li></ul><ul><li>Sunny- south facing aspect for best ripening </li></ul><ul><li>Good depth of top soil – 30 – 45cm </li></ul><ul><li>pH 6.5-7.0 ideally. Lime if below 5.8. </li></ul><ul><li>Frost protection – avoid frost pockets </li></ul>
    4. 4. Choice of species and cultivars <ul><li>Personal taste – grow what you like. </li></ul><ul><li>Proposed use – to eat fresh, make jam etc. If you want to make reasonable quantities of redcurrant jam you need more than one bush. </li></ul><ul><li>Space available – redcurrants can be grown as cordons but blackcurrants need space for the bush to develop. If space is limited grow what is expensive or rare in the shops e.g. redcurrants </li></ul><ul><li>Certification scheme – DEFRA monitored schemes that guarantee plants are virus free and grown to prescribed standards. Buy certified plants if they are available e.g. Strawberries. </li></ul>
    5. 5. Raspberries – varieties <ul><li>Summer fruiting – Early ‘Glen Cova’; Mid-season ‘Malling Jewel’; Late: ‘Leo’ </li></ul><ul><li>Autumn fruiting- ‘September’ (red fruit); ‘Fallgold’ (Yellow fruit). </li></ul><ul><li>Buy certified plants. </li></ul>
    6. 6. Raspberries – cultivation (1) <ul><li>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. </li></ul><ul><li>Construct support – three strands galvanised wire 50cm apart between stout posts about 2m tall. Posts 3-5m apart. </li></ul><ul><li>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. </li></ul>
    7. 7. Raspberries - care <ul><li>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. </li></ul><ul><li>Watering – shallow rooted so need regular watering in dry weather. </li></ul><ul><li>Feeding – sulphate of potash in January; superphosphate every third year; sulphate of ammonia in late March, then mulch. </li></ul><ul><li>Net to protect the crop from birds. </li></ul>
    8. 8. Raspberries – pests and diseases <ul><li>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. </li></ul><ul><li>Birds – net or cage the crop. </li></ul><ul><li>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) </li></ul><ul><li>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. </li></ul>
    9. 9. Strawberries - varieties <ul><li>Early: ‘Pantagruella’; Mid-season: ‘Grandee’; Late: ‘Cambridge Late Pine’. </li></ul><ul><li>The classic ‘supermarket strawberry’ is usually ‘Elsanta’ which is tough enough to ship and stores fairly well. The flavour is reasonable but not up to the varieties above. </li></ul><ul><li>Using the Early, Mid-season and Late varieties enables strawberries to be picked from June until late July. </li></ul><ul><li>Perpetual: ‘Aromel’ – crops in flushes from June to October but this exhausts the plant so replace annually to get the best yield. </li></ul>
    10. 10. Strawberries - planting <ul><li>Buy virus certified plants. Prepare the soil by single digging and incorporating well rotted manure and adding balanced fertilizer. </li></ul><ul><li>Need good drainage. Can be grown in raised beds if this is a problem. </li></ul><ul><li>Plant in July or early August 40-50cm apart, rows 75cm apart. Can be planted through black polythene (with porous hose installed beneath for irrigation) to keep the fruit clean. </li></ul><ul><li>Strawberry beds build up pests and diseases so will need to be moved and the plants replaced every 3-4 years. </li></ul>
    11. 11. Strawberries – aftercare. <ul><li>Water well until established and then as the berries are swelling in dry weather. Do not splash the berries or foliage as this will encourage botrytis. </li></ul><ul><li>Feeding – not likely to be needed unless growth is poor. Balanced fertilizer in early Spring if needed. </li></ul><ul><li>Strawing down – when berries start to swell put straw beneath the trusses (over a scatter of slug pellets) and between the rows. </li></ul><ul><li>After harvest, cut off leaves to about 10cm and burn, collect the straw and compost or burn. </li></ul><ul><li>Cover plants using cloches in January if an early (May) crop is required. Use an early variety for this. </li></ul>
    12. 12. Redcurrants – varieties and forms <ul><li>Varieties: ‘Junifer’ (ripens late June/July) ‘Redstart’ (ripens mid-August) </li></ul><ul><li>Virus certified plants are available. </li></ul><ul><li>White currants are a mutation of red currants and even rarer in the shops. Variety: ‘White Grape’ </li></ul><ul><li>Forms: Bush- pruned to an open, goblet shaped bush with 8-10 branches on a 10-15cm stem. </li></ul><ul><li>Cordon: single, double or triple stem. Require support (singles on wires between stout posts, others against walls). </li></ul>
    13. 13. Redcurrants – planting and feeding <ul><li>In early Autumn clear ground of weeds. Single dig and incorporate well rotted manure. Add a dressing of balanced fertilizer. </li></ul><ul><li>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. </li></ul><ul><li>Feeding- balanced fertilizer and sulphate of potash in February. Mulch with well rotted manure but do not let it touch the stem. </li></ul>
    14. 14. Redcurrants - aftercare <ul><li>Watering – water new plantings well during dry weather. Once established water in dry spells when flowering and fruiting. </li></ul><ul><li>Net to protect crop from birds (white currants are less affected). </li></ul><ul><li>Pruning: Redcurrants fruit on spurs on old wood. </li></ul><ul><li>Bush: Cut back new growth on leaders by 1/3 and laterals to 2 buds. </li></ul><ul><li>Cordon: Summer- prune laterals to 5 leaves </li></ul><ul><li>Winter: once the leader has reached the desired height prune to one bud. Until then reduce by one third. Prune laterals to one bud. </li></ul>
    15. 15. Redcurrant – pests and diseases <ul><li>Aphids – spread virus diseases. Control by fatty acid spray at the first sign of attack. </li></ul><ul><li>Gooseberry sawfly- attacks currants too; caterpillars strip the leaves. Spray with pyrethrum. </li></ul><ul><li>Leaf spot – fungal disease causing brown spots on leaves. Control is mainly to improve growing conditions, but copper fungicide may control in bad cases. </li></ul><ul><li>Coral spot – fungus that usually grows on dead wood, but will attack weak living plants. Pink pustules on dead shoots. Prune out damaged shoots and burn. </li></ul>
    16. 16. Harvesting and storage <ul><li>Raspberries – pick once they are ripe enough to pull freely away from the core (do not leave stems and cores on the canes) </li></ul><ul><li>Strawberries – again the fruit should come away from the core on varieties that have this. </li></ul><ul><li>Redcurrants – remove entire bunches of currants from the plant with scissors (taking care not to damage the spur). Strip currants from the stalks with a fork. </li></ul><ul><li>Storage – none store well; keep chilled for a day or so, jam, freeze or bottle. </li></ul>
    17. 17. Learning outcomes <ul><li>1.1 Describe the factors to be considered when selecting suitable cultivars of soft fruits. </li></ul><ul><li>1.2 Describe the factors in choosing a suitable site for growing soft fruit </li></ul><ul><li>1.3 For named varieties of each of raspberry, blackcurrant, redcurrant and strawberry state in each case </li></ul><ul><li>1.3.1 planting, feeding and pruning requirements; </li></ul><ul><li>1.3.2 care and cultivation requirements; </li></ul><ul><li>1.3.3 describe 2 pests and 2 diseases for each and their controls </li></ul><ul><li>1.3.4 describe harvesting and storage requirements for each </li></ul>