Me and the Tayberry are going to fall out.
It promises fragrant purple berries, but at the moment the rewards are outweighed by the strife. In spring 2010 I planted a raspberry, a loganberry and a tayberry against the brick wall that runs alongside our vegetable beds. I wrote about the reasons for choosing the plants for the Town and Country blog.
Yesterday I decided to set about pruning them. First I had to remove the ‘anti blackbird device’. This consisted of strips of wood lashed together with cable ties and slung with a huge roll of bean netting. The barrier was a reasonably successful effort, other than the of time Mrs Blackbird snuck underneath it, gorged herself on berries then screeched until I let her out.
We had a great crop from the raspberry, which makes for very easy pickings. It made up the bulk of our harvest for the fool production. The loganberries were okay, although they were less productive and I find the hull of each berry a bit hard. The tayberries were quite mimsy with their difficult to harvest fruits, plus their softness leads them to be susceptible to grubs.
That slightly squished thing on top of the spoon is a tayberry, as is that vicious stalk on the right.
Back to the pruning: Firstly I cut out all of this years fruiting stems, which was fine on the loganberries and raspberries with their pliant smooth stalks. The tayberry mind you is as vicious as they come. I even found one of the thorns had snuck into my shoe and stored up an extra spiking for me this morning. There are nasty thin thorns on every inch of it.
Not only that, but it is rampant too, very much like its close relative, the wild blackberry. Some stalks were already several feet over the wall and into next doors garden.
Here are the plants ‘post hacking’ serving as a backdrop to the glorious rainbow chard.
I am putting its unruliness and lack of useable fruits down to it being a young plant that doesn’t know any better. Next year is another matter though. If it doesn’t buck its ideas up and produce more fruit and be less spiky it will be annexed to the back of the garden with the blackberries and I will replace it with a spineless, well-behaved and generally more abundant raspberry plant.