Tuesday, May 5, 2015


A few flower pictures which are blurry due to the very windy conditions:
lilac flowers starting to open

west apple tree

east apple tree

ornamental flowering crab

 a few greenhouse pictures:


peppers (three kinds)


tomatoes (five kinds)


East end of the greenhouse



west end of the greenhouse

butternut squash
and half done with the raspberries
the row of raspberry canes

the unfinished half, old canes and long grass

the finished half, canes tied to wire and weeded
I have been working on the raspberries.  A couple years ago I dug up some black raspberry canes that grow wild on the edges of our grove.  I was hoping that by moving them to a dedicated space of their own that I could get bigger, easier to pick fruit.  Usually by the time the fruit is ripening the weeds have made it difficult to get to the berries to pick them.  These raspberries fruit on the second year canes.  So each season there are three types of canes, the new ones, the one year canes from last year that will fruit this year and the two year old or older canes that have fruited.  The growth habit of these canes is that they grow tall and are arching.  When the tip of the cane touches the ground they develop roots and will start another plant.  This habit will eventually create a thicket or bramble if not managed.  This is what happens on the edge of my grove.  Last year was the first year that we have gotten much of a crop off of these plants and so this spring I am cutting back the spent canes and tying the year old canes to the top wire to keep them from arching all over the yard.  Last year it got to be impossible to weed or even mow close.  This year I am determined to do a better job of keeping the canes fastened.  I have been pruning the old canes and pulling the grass that is growing around the plants.  Then I am using long twist ties to fasten the prickly canes to the wire.  I have a low wire that is not helpful at all and I will remove that once I get the rest of the row done.  I am using the stirrup hoe to weed out any remaining grass or weeds and when the row is finished I will mow close, cutting the long grass on the edge of the bed that has been growing under the arching canes.  Once the new canes start to grow they will need to be tied up as well but getting these done will make it so much easier.

I am transplanting more raspberries into the big garden.  They will be planted between the posts alternating with rows of asparagus, four sections of each.  I started last year and hope to finish this year.  It will be a couple of years before we are able to harvest a crop.  Last year I made a jalapeno onion black raspberry chutney (recipe here) and I have been pinning raspberry recipes on pinterest and keeping my fingers crossed that we get a big crop.  


  1. I'm coming over for dinner...and a raspberry dessert!! The birds eat all attempts at raspberries and blueberries over here. I have never tried, but I have been at neighbors' homes watching them carefully cover their plants with nets, only to see them torn up by the birds. I guess no one can resist the yummy!! ;)

    1. We placed bird netting over our raspberries last year and it got stuck in the thorny canes and was a devil to remove. Not sure if I will try it again. The year before we didn't get a berry off our canes as the birds ate every single one. I am wondering about making a PVC frame and attaching bird net to that and then set it in place.

      It would be fun to have you over for dinner and dessert. Ever get to Minnesota?

  2. ps- you are one hardworking lady!!

  3. I have never been. It'd be quite a drive, but if I ever come your way, I would totally take you up on the offer!! Thanks!!!