June 16th, 2015

Cutting back

The weather was great for working out in the yard this weekend. I started by making more bamboo cages for the beans, some of which have vines that are waist-high already. Then I replenished my supply of bamboo stakes by thinning out my bamboo patch. If you've never tried thinning the center of a clump of bamboo...it's tricky. Small clippers can fit between the stalks, but they don't have the power to cut through the tough material. Large pruning shears are powerful enough to cut, but there's insufficient space to open the handles wide enough to get any leverage. It was quite a struggle, but I finally got it thinned out to my liking.

After that was finished, I picked a quart of cherries and a pint of rhubarb, pitted and chopped them, and stowed them away in the freezer. The blackberries are showing signs of ripening, so I covered those with bird netting for protection.

The next project was pruning back the gooseberry, which had turned into a substantial hedge, though it hasn't produced any fruit yet after three years. I'll give it a little longer, but if it doesn't perform soon, I may rip it out and plant something else more valuable. Then I cleared out the forest of weeds and branches that were shading my young apple trees.

My cucurbits are really starting to take off. I'm hopeful that I'll get a good crop this year. The beans are all flowering, and I have the first signs of baby pods appearing. Also, I'm beginning to get figs ripening in the front yard (finally), and the ground cherry is covered with fruit that should be ready to harvest before long. Summer is going to be a busy time.