Our fruit cage is a bit of a pain. The folk who designed it seem to have decided that a lot of innocent fun could be had by installers, if the attachment points only had little arms to fit into the sockets of the top-tubes. Much hilarity could then ensue as the top tubes randomly detach and fall on the unfortunate person trying to put in the next component....
|Pete battles the dastardly fruit cage.|
Amazingly, despite its truly duff design, the fruit cage has stayed up for almost 2 years now. The jury-rigged bracing with washing line has done a grand job in keeping it together, but we still don't want to tempt fate, so like last year we decided to remove the top netting. If we left it on, there is a real risk that the whole thing could collapse, or at least be bent, if we have a heavy snow, as it can sit on the mesh if it's icy enough. As it is, it's a good move, because it allows birds to get in to clear up any tasty minibeasts that have designs on next year's crop. Alex and Pete did a great job with that, rolling the netting and attaching it along one side, ready to be redeployed once the bushes are at risk of the wrong type of attention from birds.
|Austin, Mark and Chris de-weed|
The next job was to give the cage a careful weed through. We also added a sprinkling of bonemeal for each bush and a thick layer of mulch to keep the weeds down, and help keep moisture around the roots of the bushes. (You do need to make sure the mulch doesn't sit around the actual stem of the plant to stop it trying to root into the mulch, though).
|Austin learns the gentle art of pruning.|
We took the chance to take cuttings from the blackcurrant as we were pruning it (Austin did a good job despite it being his first attempt).
|The finished cage - all snug and wrapped up ready for winter|
The next job was to create a bean-trench. We have been saving our compostable stuff from the office kitchen at Groundwork, and from events here (in the compost tumbler), so Chris got to work digging down about 1 spades depth, spreading out the goey stuff and then covering it up.
|Chris really digs making a bean trench...|
This should have rotted down enough by late Spring to create a good moist root run for growing beans. Pumpkins and squashes should like it too.
|Add compostable stuff and cover for a great|
place to grow beans next year (good for
pumpkins and squashes too!).