The Gooseberry and Raspberry Patch

gooseberry patch3

The other day Henry and I (with help from Jess and Annebel) redeveloped the gooseberry patch. Last year this area was my three sisters Meso-American garden. Once we built the fruit cage I needed somewhere for gooseberries and it got redesignated the gooseberry and raspberry patch.

Henry ripped out all the old, collapsed fencing and strimmed the nettles. I covered everything, all around the gooseberry bushes and along side the house with black plastic – hopefully this will kill the wretched nettles.

brassicas

Once the brassicas are finished I plan on extending the autumn raspberry bushes out until they meet the gooseberries. I will just pull up ‘runners’ and shove them in – I won’t buy any more raspberry canes.

gooseberries

I meant to cover the area round the gooseberry bushes with weedblock to let water through, but I forgot. So afterwards I went and stabbed lots of holes in the plastic. Yes it would also have been easier to put weedblock down first and then plant the gooseberries, but that isn’t how things work here so instead I cut out odd shaped bits of plastic to wrap around the bushes. We also cut holes for the rhubarb

rhubarb

Henry, Jess and Annabel unloaded the woodchip that we had and then Henry made a lot more from our fences that got blown down in the storm.  Jess and Henry brought the old sleepers that had previously been used in the pear garden and put them round the edges to stop the woodchip spilling everywhere.

gooseberrypatch2

I weeded the raspberries, added a lot of alpaca poo and then dumped hay on them as a mulch. This is all the attention my raspberries get all year.

raspberries

Then I dug out some mint from the fruit cage in preparation to plant currant bushes or something and replanted it along the edge. I will probably plant lavender or something low maintenance in the narrow ledge alongside the house.

mint

It’s not quite finished as we need more woodchip and have to renew the post and rail fence which is falling down, but it is certainly getting there and I am really happy with it – thank you all for your help.

N.B. there are also a few currant bushes in here from my friends Christine and Nathan. They are well established and as the birds didn’t steal the fruit last summer so I thought I would leave them in place – it is still called the gooseberry patch though!

 

3 responses to “The Gooseberry and Raspberry Patch

  1. A great post and reminder – I must do this with my raspberry bushes. I only planted them a year ago as moved them from my last house. The nettles around them were dreadful last year. I kept pulling them up, got stung numerous times, beastly things. 😉

    Have you got black plastic over you vegetable garden as well as your gooseberry patch?

  2. Yes, I put black plastic down everywhere, then take it up when I plant. Sometimes I use weedblock, but it is more expensive. If I want to plant through the ground cover I use weedblock. I do this for brassicas etc. I have no time for weeding and we garden organically so it is a real help. On the hugelkultur I planted a cover crop of clover which helped suppress weeds. I will probably cover it with plastic for a couple of months though before I plant on it in the early summer.

  3. Pingback: Strawberry World | smallholding dreams·

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