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Monday, March 03, 2008

Pruning Raspberries

March 1st was the first day of meteorological spring and spring does seem to be here. Today it got up into the mid 60's and I saw my first black vultures-3 of them wheeling around the sky. Yesterday it was in the 50's and sunny and I saw a small flock of male red winged blackbirds. Both good harbingers of spring.

Warm weather also means it's time to get one's hands dirty so this afternoon we got into pruning the raspberries. Eugene did the Heritage which are an everbearing. He hacked half the patch to the ground and the other half he pruned away the old canes. We have been told that cutting the heritage berries to the ground in the spring will mean huge harvests in the fall instead of a piddly harvest spring and fall. Worth a shot.

I did the summer bearing and got 1/4 of them done before it started raining. I was cutting out dead canes and any canes that looked diseased or were crossing other canes. Doing raspberries with no gloves is pretty damned painful, I gotta tell you. I had to stop frequently to pull as many thorns out of my hands as I could and go on. When I quit I had a lot of tiny thorns poking my hands and a lot of abrasions and cuts on my forearms (it was warm so I pushed up my sleeves, not the smartest move) and a big pile of canes on the wheel barrow. I pushed the wheelbarrow over to the apple trees where I told to dump the canes. I made it with 100' and big gust of wind from the south pushed half the pile on the ground. Raspberry canes are not fun to have to pick up and put back in the wheel barrow. But that is what I had to do so I could go the last 100 feet and dump them.

Now a cold front is coming and it is raining. Tomorrow winter will be back enforce. But the birds tell me that, soon enough, warm weather will be back and spring is indeed on its' way. I'm thinking that the groundhog just might be correct this year.

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