Fruit planting: Currant affairs, with berries & cherries

This week, on a couple of sunny evenings after work,  I planted up the third part of the fruit patch. I built this bed last summer, at the back of the formal beds, once I realised that I needed a lot more growing space than I first imagined. I’ve been growing cabbages and red Russian kale in it over the winter. After much thought, this seemed the perfect spot for the black, white and pink currants, the gooseberries and the colt ‘Sunburst’ cherry tree. I’m planning to train this against wires, so it will remain accessible and easier to protect the cherries from birds. (I was lucky to win the Brogdale cherry and a couple of Cherry Aid nets on a Twitter RT last autumn, so a I ‘doff my cap’ in thanks to Cherry Aid for my new tree and nets!)

Last autumn, in a semi-circle around this bed, I planted up the strawberry runners that had come off my pot-grown strawberries. This was a bit rushed so I might replant these if I have time, as I did with the rhubarb, in the same place but with improved soil. There was a space in the middle that I’d left as access to the bed but, being a valuable sun spot, I’ve decided to plant the original pot strawberries in here. I gave these a good deep hole, lined and topped up with Dalesfoot compost, and then a top mulch of Strulch. I now need to think about building a frame to net this area, as the cheeky sparrows have already reached an amorous fever-pitch in the hedge. It won’t be long before they, and then their young, will be nibbling every juicy bud in sight.

I’m still not sure what to do with my three blueberries. For the moment I’m going to keep them in pots… Partly as they require acid soil, and I repotted them last autumn in quality ericaceous compost so they’re ‘good to go’. And I can move them around to get the sun. They are also making useful weights to hold down the temporary cardboard pathways in all this wind!

So, I think that’s the fruit more-or-less done. It’s a great relief that I’ve got everything in, just in time… Just a bit of tidying up around the edges. And some gravel to order for the paths. (Although there is room for another bed alongside the shed. But this will only get morning sun. Any thoughts on what I could plant there would be most welcome!)

Even though it’s turned cold again, the sun is out, the birds are chirping and the fruit leaves are springing forth. Tutti frutti!

P.S. There is room for another bed alongside the shed…But this will only get morning sun. Any thoughts on what edibles I could plant there would be most welcome!

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