Thursday, 24 December 2009

Santa arrives European time

It is Christmas Eve and Santa has just arrived. Because I have been good all year he has bought me what I asked for, new soft fruit for the allotment. Three varieties each of raspberries and blue berries, an early, a main crop and a late variety of each. If the weather is good then the raspberries could be in fruit from early June up until late November, and the blue berries almost as long a fruiting period.

The raspberries are:

Malling Minerva - An early variety that will fruit from early June and carry on for up to six weeks, producing a bountiful crop of good-sized, deliciously flavoured, medium-firm berries. The succulent flesh pulls effortlessly from the central core, making picking easy. An excellent choice as plants are disease resistant, spineless and easy to manage.

Glen Fyne - Consistently voted as the best flavoured raspberry variety by a professional tasting panel, Glen Fyne is an exceptional mid-season variety whose firm, bright red berries retain their sweet and aromatic flavour right through the season. Plants are spine-free for easy picking, and will produce a heavy crop from mid June to mid August.

Brice - This superb late fruiting raspberry is a real winner. The growers trial plants produced heavily - over ½lb of fruit per plant each week from late July right through to late October - they even picked a few fruits in November. Leaving the primocanes over winter they picked a useful crop in June before removing them to allow the new autumn canes to mature. In this way they picked delicious, large juicy raspberries for nearly five months! Spine free canes make picking easy.

The blue berries have rusty red-tipped spring foliage and their attractive blossom are an added bonus! The varieties chosen are:
Earliblue - A very early variety with clusters of large, light blue fruit. Ripens from early July.
Bluecrop - An excellent mid season variety producing large sweet fruit from late July to late August. Very hardy.
Elliott - Vigorous bushes producing a high yield of juicy berries from early September through to mid October.

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