Unfortunately the winter is the best time to prune and replant raspberry canes to ensure we have a plentiful supply of raspberries to make our “Fabulously Fruity” fruit wine later this year. Sadly, as recent weather indicates, this is also the last thing you want to be doing in driving rain, sleet, snow and temperatures creeping into the minus figures!
Removing last year’s dead canes allows the sun to reach the new cane growth promoting further growth and flowering, which will form 2015’s raspberry crop. As all our “Fabulously Fruity” fruit wine is made 100% from our own fruit it is essential that we get the best quality and yield possible.
Our efforts don’t stop at ensuring we have the raw materials to create our raspberry wine. Our gooseberry wine is a top seller and therefore our bushes need to be in tip top condition. Therefore we have also been pruning these back to promote new growth and reducing the lower branches, as once laden with fruit these drag on the ground and the fruit is spoiled. As we sell two varieties of gooseberry wine: red gooseberry and gooseberry, we have a large number of bushes to prune.
The huge downside of the popularity of our gooseberry fruit wine is that we have to pick the fruit and prune bushes that seem to delight in sticking thorns into unwary flesh. Even with thick gardening gloves the task is a painful business.
Thankfully this will soon become less of a problem for our bramble picking as we have just planted 80 thorn less bushes of various varieties including Obsidian, Astorina and Loch Tay. We expect to pick (painlessly!) some fruit from these bushes in the summer, but it generally takes a couple of fruit seasons for these to fully establish.
Although the weather has been cold lately – as you can see from this blog post photograph – we have had a number of dry days which have been ideal for working outside.