While the first of the vegetables are taking their time to get going, the fruit trees and bushes are starting to bear, well… fruit.
One of the first things to emerge from the bare earth at the end of the winter was the rhubarb. At the time it looked spectacular, lurid and somehow extra-terrestrial. Unfortunately, it’s been disappointing since. Whether that’s because when we planted it we didn’t have any manure so it went into exhausted soil, or because we didn’t water it enough during the month-long drought, or because we didn’t force it, or just because it needs time to get established, we’re not quite sure. Whatever the cause, everyone else now has impressive, expansive rhubarb while ours looks pretty sickly and pathetic.
Thankfully, our other fruit has generally been doing better. The cherry tree blossom in April was beautiful, bringing life and colour to the plot when there wasn’t much else going on. Despite being but a sapling, it’s now set fruit, so we may even get a small taste of things to come.
There are a few blackcurrants forming as well, although the blackcurrant bushes only went in recently, and are looking less healthy than the fruit trees.
The raspberry canes really haven’t got established yet. Although there’s some new growth from the canes, they’re well behind the volunteer raspberries that are growing everywhere on the plot that we haven’t cleared effectively. We’ll look forward to them doing better.
The gooseberry bushes look healthy enough, but their time has not yet come.
The latest development has been in the strawberry bed, where several bushes (particularly the Honeoye and Elsanta) are now sporting fruit. That’s brilliant, but it does make the question of how we’re going to protect them from birds rather more pressing.