Moving a raspberry bed

If I were kind to myself, I’d say ‘five years is a good innings for a raspberry bed’.

The appalled side says ‘I can’t believe you didn’t weed out that fig sucker in the middle of the patch before to got out of control.’

Yes. I’m Team Appalled here.

I invested almost an hour, plus a pruning saw, in getting this monster out of the middle of the raspberry patch. Really hauling on the roots which are almost as thick as my wrist.

So I am chastened and appalled. But in mitigation I have to say that raspberries are tricky fruit to corral. You plant them with good intentions and then when they are happy they get going.

And going and going. Stoloniferous? I think so. I started out with two beds of raspberries and now there are four beds full of the beasts. Way too much being taken up by one mad fruit. It was time to act.

This is the sort of thing you do while waiting for the next permaculture beds to be built.

I have to accept that half my main vegetable garden will look elegant and filled with raised beds. And the top half will be the old system of long skinny beds with lots of gravel in between.

I’m fast running out of time for construction as spring threatens to romp away. So for the past three days I have been trying to fix up, patch up and generally turn the neglected areas into a garden again.

Two beds of the canes are on the move. And two can stay. I cut one bed to the ground so they become autumn fruiters. Mainly because I had to hack my way in and cutting things down seemed the only option. And I have to see if I can live with the chaos of the original beds I planted up and have mulched over the years – pernicious weeds and all.

Not full grown fig trees I hasten to add. But I can see nettles, and creeping mint, romping germander.

Oh, it’s a mess. Too late I realised that I ought to have sorted the oldest beds first and left the two young ones. But I am so fed up with the whole jungle scene, I actually planned on lifting the lot.

Except where to put them? There is still value in this crop, even if it is a beast. Answer, up at the top vegetable garden that is fenced, pretty tidy, but not easy to water. And these raspberries need good moisture to thrive.

Tough I say. I have reached peak cane. Peak laceration, peak trip hazard, peak pest. I just can’t keep them contained in their beds.

They did start out in life up at the top potager. I seem to recall I had a very tasty jungle there for a few years. But with drought and dare I say, a touch of neglect, the crop diminished.

So I started again when I did the major redesign of the bed. And I suspect I will be roguing the suckers out the neighbouring vegetable beds, paths, and just about anywhere you care to walk or garden for years to come.

Still, mustn’t grumble, the sun shone, it only hailed a bit every few hours. And I had a place to put all the rich compost that came out of the compost boxes behind my potting shed.

I mulch and feed therefore I am. One more row to plant up here and then it will be back to the lower potager to tidy up.