April 24, 2017

The Wonders of Pruning + Spring Chores

Hey look! It bloomed!

Remember the forsythia bush at the top of our slope that I pruned last summer?
Last year I just happened to notice a few yellow flowers at the very tips of some of the branches, which was the only thing that tipped me off that it was a forsythia.
It was way overdue for a pruning.

Well, what do you know?
It's covered with blossoms this spring!
It has been quite satisfying to look up there and see how pretty it is, knowing that I had a hand in that!
I don't know that anyone else has even noticed it, but it makes me happy!

In other news, I finally got out and got the raspberries pruned last Saturday.
I'm actually a bit concerned about the old raspberry patch.
Several of the old canes I cut down had a nasty white grub hiding out in the middle of them, right at ground level. In the same area, there weren't any healthy fruit-producing canes for this year.
If there were any canes at all after I took out the old, they were spindly and short.
I killed all the grubs I could find, (GROSS!) pulled out all the dead pieces of canes, and even dug around the roots a bit, too.

Even though I won't be around to see the end of it (NMP), I hate to leave it in such a state.
I've done some reading on various extension websites and I think they may be Raspberry Crown Borer--the larvae of a clear-winged moth that has the coloring of a wasp.
I do remember seeing what I thought were wasps around the raspberry patch last year.
I probably did not get them all.
My apologies, future home owners!
Yuck. Grubs are just gross.
Also, they squirt when you kill them. Sorry--TMI, I know.

Meanwhile, the black raspberry canes were going crazy: sliding through holes in the fence to invade the neighbor's yard and sending long shoots behind the shed.
Showing their parentage there, I guess.
Sidenote: those canes are a pretty color right now, kind of a powdery blue, but super prickly.

Anyway, it was obvious some extra means of restraint were needed, so I put up a line of twine through the middle of that side of the bed for them to drape over.
They're much more drapey than the other raspberries.
I also yanked them back through the fence and chopped off about a foot off most of the ends to stop the leggy growth and get them to settle into fruit production.
I am curious what the fruit will taste like--too bad I won't be around for that!

Finished up the day's work by pruning the hydrangeas.
Everything looks so much better once it has been pruned!
Well, ok. The roses maybe not so much.
They look pretty bare.
Never fear, though, they will fill in quickly over the summer!
The rest, though. Definite improvement all around.

Then after I had cleaned up and come in, I looked out back and realized I didn't get the oregano cut back. Strawberries could probably use it too.
Next sunny day.

Meanwhile, my 9-year-old begged to rototill the garden.
So I let him!
Didn't want to deprive the boy.

No comments:

Post a Comment