Saturday, September 17, 2011

Garden Mistakes

Liz asked about pruning raspberries.This is what I accomplished a couple of weeks ago. Thing is, I shouldn't have. Because I didn't prune shortly after the canes were done bearing, they were too crowded. Next year's canes didn't grow strong enough. The wind has bent and broken too many of next year's fruiting canes. What I should have done (given my neglect in July and August) was to prune out all of this year's fruiting canes and some of the baby canes. But I should have left plenty and then pruned again in spring. Right now, I have no margin for loss to winter's ice and snow and deer. But for the sake of Liz's education, this IS how thick the bearing-canes should be standing when a person is done with the spring pruning.

The strawberry patch has been a project screaming for attention for about 10 weeks now. Mark & Julie loaned me their Mantis [tiller] and I love it. It's lightweight enough that I can handle it. It took me three hours to spade up the weeds and eliminate that row by hand, till deeply and add manure, and replant strawberry crowns/plants. So, only about 12 more hours to go.

I can't believe how exhausted I was from fixing that one row. I couldn't make supper, clean, or do anything last night except collapse and relax. Not good. I felt so lazy. All I did was three measly hours of manual labor, and then I was shot. The plan was three more hours each day until I was done. But rain interrupted today's efforts. That does wretched things to my momentum!

Look at those miserable cucumber vines. The fungus got 'em. And yet, they bore. Not much, to be sure, but they did bear something. The powdery mildew also plagued the volunteer cantaloupe vines that showed up in the compost pile. And yet, we have 8 nice cantaloupes out there ripening. "God certainly gives daily bread to everyone without our prayer, even to all miserable gardeners, but we pray that He would lead us to realize this and to receive our daily bread with thanksgiving."

On a science note: I think this fungus problem in the garden is helping me figure out things in the Bible where it says the crops were destroyed, and yet there was still something left for the next plague to come along and destroy.


  1. I chickened out on that alternate method for dealing with raspberry canes. I like raspberries too much to take a chance on not having a good crop next year.

  2. Thanks! That helps a lot. (And makes me realize that my raspberries really are pathetic. But hopefully I can start to correct that next year.)