Pruning is needed, but rejuvenation comes in stages

Yuletide wreath. Picture by Tom Pattinson.
Yuletide wreath. Picture by Tom Pattinson.

There is still pruning to complete and all the woody ornamentals, soft and top fruits need a once-over to ensure there’s no diseased growth, branches crossing or snags. It’s all in aid of starting next growing season with a clean bill of health.

There is work to do on the raised vegetable beds. Two need lightly forking over after I’ve applied a dressing of Dolomite limestone because they have a slight deficiency and brassicas will be grown on them next year.

Winter greens are harvesting well, especially the sprouts. The only maintenance they require at present is the constant removal of yellowing lower leaves. There are some long leading stems on the espalier apples that need tying-in, and this is an ideal time for definitive spur pruning. The initial cut came at the beginning of August, reducing the laterals to 15cm. This encouraged the wood to ripen and begin forming rounded fruit buds. Now we can finish the job, pruning so that only three or four buds remain.

Now that the soft fruit bushes have lost their leaves we can see at a glance what further pruning is needed. Two blackcurrants have several older stems and it’s young growths emerging from soil level we need, but rejuvenation will be done in stages.