This week in the garden, our raspberry canes are looking past their best. The first thing we need to do is to distinguish between the raspberries that are summer fruiting and those that are autumn fruiting. We have a mixture, with the fruiting autumn ones at the top of the bed nearest the greenhouse, and the summer fruiting ones nearer the bottom towards the compost bays. Summer fruiting raspberries should be ready to harvest in June or July and those that are Autumn fruiting should fruit in September or later.

Pruning Autumn raspberries is simple – you just cut all canes down to the ground. However with Summer raspberries you need to be able to tell the difference between those canes that have already fruited and those which have not. At this time of the year we only cut down the canes that have already fruited and the best way to tell the difference between the two is to look at them closely. Where you see dark feathery bits high up on the canes, these are the remains of the fruit trusses to which the raspberries were attached. When you see this you know that this cane has fruited. If you can’t see any of these then the cane has not fruited. Another way of telling the difference between old and new canes is the colour of stem near the base. New canes will be green and old canes brown in colour.

We will cut down all the canes of the Autumn raspberries, and only the fruited canes of the summer raspberries.

Raspberries are known to be heavy feeders. They benefit from a thick mulch of well rotted manure once a year and because raspberries are fairly shallow rooted this mulch not only supresses weeds, it also helps to keep the roots moist in dry weather, and feed the plants too.

Our other job for this week is to rake up leaves from around the garden to ensure the paths don’t get slippery. We will also need to put a net over the pond to stop leaves falling into it. This is important because we do not want a lot of excess organic material / leaves in the pond. Leaves that fall into a pond start decaying, releasing harmful products which turn the water green or black.

In other BPCG news, on Saturday 30th October, 2pm to 4.30pm, Jelena Belgrave is running a Fermentation workshop.  And then she is running 2 more on 13th and 27th November 2 to 4.30pm. To book, go here https://www.brockwellgreenhouses.org.uk/events/?tribe_paged=1&tribe_event_display=list&tribe-bar-date=2021-10-04&tribe-bar-search=Fermentation

On Sunday 31st October 10am to 1pm, Cat is running a Willow Weaving Workshop teaching you how to make plant supports, living willow structures and wreath circles. For more information and to book go here https://www.brockwellgreenhouses.org.uk/event/willow-weaving-workshop-2/   There are 2 free volunteer places on this workshop, so if you can take part and help at the workshop, please email kate@brockwellgreenhouses.org.uk

We are really pleased that we scored 80+ in our 2021 Green Flag Mystery Shopper Award. If you’d like to read the report go here https://docs.google.com/document/d/13KS331Q_Y7B3Ss3CY0KsaV75wLdtMkZ7/edit?usp=sharing&ouid=102861745533999863947&rtpof=true&sd=true

BPCG volunteers, woodcarver and artist Morganico and therapist Liz would like to invite you to view the memorial tree sculpture which is almost complete in Brockwell Park, next to the 600 year-old oak tree, which is one of the ‘great trees of London’, just behind the cafe on 6 November at 3pm. The tree sculpture has been carved by Brixton artist Morganico, and was funded by Lambeth Wellbeing Fund (supported by Lambeth Mind) to commemorate those who have lost their lives during the pandemic, mainly due to mental health suffering. Both Morgan and Liz lost half-brothers at the beginning of the first lockdown in 2020 due to suicide.  Liz and Morgan thank all those who have supported the project – through donations and good wishes.

And this Saturday 23rd September is our last Outdoor Yoga at BPCG until next Spring, 10 til 11.30 and 12 til 1. Anna Dorman will be guest teaching.  To book go here https://www.naturalconnection.org.uk/yoga-for-all  Details of the indoor sessions to follow soon.

In other news, in the second half of November, The Orchard Project are running a Community Orcharding course which is designed to help people move into horticultural careers. It’s for unemployed/economically inactive people in South London and as such, is free to attend and obtain the qualification. More information and the sign up page is here https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/certificate-in-community-orcharding-14-days-over-a-year-south-london-tickets-169614841557   Please direct any queries about the course to Max@theorchardproject.org.uk

The Orchard Project are also advertising a 6 month internship here https://www.theorchardproject.org.uk/about-us/jobs/orchard-planting-intern-london/