Monday, 19 August 2013
Gardening with chooks!
Erin and I spotted raspberry canes on sale at Bunnings during a recent visit. We bought them - on the basis that we like eating raspberries and have seen them growing since moving to Victoria. We haven't seen them growing exactly in our local area but who's to say it can't be done?!
The canes have been doing very well in their plastic packaging but as Nick pointed out, they really needed to experience life in the ground - before they died. Not wanting to further my reputation as a plant murderer, I read the instructions. And then googled for more instructions.
With compass in hand, I located a piece of lattice beside Erin's caravan that was orientated correctly. I set about digging a trench. The chookies helped. Or hindered. I left them to their scratching and collected "plenty of well-rotted ... manure" as per the instructions. Fortunately the paddocks have lots of that.
The girls had wandered off in my absence but scuttled back when I started working beside the lattice again. I mixed the dirt, manure and some compost-ish soil left behind by previous tenants. The chookies un-mixed my efforts. I mounded the mixture along my trench in aesthetically pleasing fashion. Seemingly it was not aesthetically pleasing to chooks as they scratched over the mound, flattening it out again. Hmmm.
I chased the chooks off and planted my four raspberry canes. I didn't bother watering them in, nor mulching at this stage. It is raining now and given all the recent winds, I expect any mulch I put on would be blown away, or scratched off by the girls!
The Gardening Australia site recommends 15-20 plants per person to ensure a surplus. I was knackered after planting four. (Not to mention those four cost a total of $20.00, which is about right for our budget - and my gardening "skill")!
Given we picked raspberries in January, I was looking forward to eating home-grown fruit early in the New Year. However, assuming our canes survive (and thrive), they won't fruit till Autumn - when we are away. Drat!