Monday, April 21, 2014


It may just look like sticks and some wire, but this is the site of a major, bloody battle.

My black raspberries had grown wild over the last summer--arching and twining into each other, through the apple tree, into the chicken yard.  It was sheer, thorny mayhem.  Yesterday, I took my clippers and whacked them into submission, with a bit of blood-letting in the process.  Entire canes were plucked out, and the remaining were trimmed to a sensible height, next to the newest leafing bud.  The center path got re-established, with rooted canes yanked out and those that arched into the center clipped out.  My arms and legs got plenty of red scratches as the canes fought back against their treatment.  I also got a lovely pink sunburn, which made it really feel like spring has arrived.

After a serious pruning and dead-wood removal, it was time to trellis them.  Two T-posts per end and a length of heavy gauge steel wire  set the stage, and then it was a lot of twist-tie madness.
Each little cane had to be fastened onto the top and bottom wires, which will lend support as well as define where the canes should be.  Once they leaf out and start growing for the season, they'll be joined by a host of new whippy canes that will either be added to the trellis or trimmed out.  Eventually, I should see a bumper crop of tender, delicious black raspberries.  They are so delicious, it's almost worth the bloody battle!

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