Growing Soft Fruit
Speaker: Peter Barwick
Date: 30th January
Peter Barwick introduced himself by saying he has worked in the Horticultural Industry for many years, and always with fruit as his own particular speciality. He now works at Blackmoor Nurseries which specialises in the sale of Top Fruit and Soft Fruit plants.
His talk was most interesting and informative, with a great deal of practical advice. He started with the initial stage of planning to plant soft fruit, ideally two years in advance so that the soil can be prepared and rid of all perennial weeds. He told us that soft fruit enjoys a slightly acid rather than alkaline soil so for those of us on chalk, he advised a pocket of ericaceous soil for the plants to be seated in to give them a good start.
Next was information on how to grow and care for the plants and the different types of growing regimes that are needed, particularly mentioning the care needed in distinguishing between summer and autumn fruiting raspberries.
The wrong type of pruning could leave you with no fruit. He then gave very good advice on the pruning of all his subjects – raspberries, blackcurrants, redcurrants, white currants, gooseberries, loganberries, tayberries and blackberries. Peter also gave us recommendations on the best varieties to plant of each type and lastly the way to maximise the crop with details on continuing care, fertilising and watering of the plants.