Wednesday, 13 July 2016
The last three days haven't been too bad but they have been fairly breezy days for July. We're still waiting for summer to start and the forecasters aren't daring to suggest when that might happen.
Last month Sue posted about how our raspberries, Glen Ample mysteriously died off after growing away and flowering in early spring. You can read her post here. We sort of dismissed that the roots were waterlogged thinking that this would be the drier end of the row. We might have to think again about that waterlogging issue.
I've added a little graph showing our rainfall for the last four weeks. There's not been many dry days but on the other hand we've not had any enormous amounts of rainfall. It's just been rather miserable showery weather all the time. Anyhow, I decided that it was time to dig over the rest of the bed that the raspberries are in. It's been left since last summer when some old strawberry plants were removed and I never got round to digging it over winter. Left for 12 months I expect the ground to have gone very hard, that's the way things are on our plot. I've now got half of the bed dug over and it has certainly been hard work.
Conventional wisdom would suggest that all the weeds are removed as the bed is dug. That's just not a possible option when the ground is as solid as this bed is. Not only is the soil very hard but also very wet. Normally after turning the soil over hitting any lumps with the back of a spade or fork will break the soil open and any weeds along with their roots can be removed. If any of these lumps are hit with the back of a spade they merely change shape rather than break up.
As you can see from the above photo the dug over soil isn't a pretty sight and I've still got another half of the bed to dig over.
Other areas of the plot certainly aren't waterlogged and where I'm digging our Casablanca potatoes I'd describe the soil as dry rather than wet. So perhaps this patch of ground where our raspberries are planted is susceptible to waterlogging resulting in our raspberries problems and some additional drainage requirements are needed.
Posted by Martyn Garrett at 10:21