HOW TO GROW ORGANIC LOGANBERRY

If there is a rubbish heap or other unsightly view to be blocked out, the loganberry will do it swifdy and very profitably. Trained against some sort of rough trellis, or against two rows of wire strained between strong end posts, it will form a dense screen, producing every year new shoots up to 15 ft. or so long. It can be trained up a pole or tripod of poles (, left), up a trellis archway (, right), or be fastened back to a fence or wall, or be grown in a row across a patch’ of ground, with wire supports.

The berries, generally produced in pairs, dark purplish-red when ripe and about 1 in. long, have an acid and very refreshing flavour. They can be eaten uncooked as dessert; mixed with currants, goose- berries and other fruits to make jam, with considerable improvement to the latter’s flavour, mixed with other soft fruits to make tarts; made into jelly; and also be bottled or canned. The crop is large, and never fails in ground good enough for other fruits and vegetables.

Ready for Use. First pickings are ready in late July, and the canes continue to produce fruit up to mid-August. There is only the one variety.

Soil Preparation.

The loganberry will grow in heavy ground over a clay subsoil, so long as it is ordinarily well drained, and in soil above chalk. Thin, dry soil can be made to the plant’s liking by digging it deeply and mixing in animal manure, hop manure, or plenty of good leaf-mould or other varieties of rotted greenstuff.

A foremost requirement is full exposure to sun. This is necessary to ripen and harden the new fruiting canes that spring up from the base each year.

When and How to Plant.

Autumn is the best time to get loganberry plants into the ground. If that is not possible, early spring will do. Roots should be spread out to their full extent in the planting-hole and then covered with well-broken soil so that they are buried as deeply as they were in the nursery ground – as indicated by the soil mark on the stems.

Plants do not need cutting down the first year. The canes can be left full length, except for the removal of any damaged tips, and they will produce fruit next summer, and thereafter be annually productive.

Training the Loganberry Canes. To keep the fruit within reach the long canes should be tied out diagonally, fan rib fashion, if grown against fence, trellis, wall or wires; upright if grown against a tall post.

Watering and Feeding. In thin ground a lot of water will be needed, from spring onwards, to support the strong growth and ensure plenty of large, plump fruits. This will have to be given by the bucketful if rain docs not fall. A top dressing, or mulch, of old manure, or hop manure, will shut up the moisture in the soil. It should be put down wet, after weeds have been removed and the ground itself is wet, and will serve the further purpose of supplying much needed food to the roots. These are not far below the surface, and to avoid injuring them neither spade nor fork should be used within 2 ft. or 3 ft. of the plants.

Weeds should be removed by hand or with the hoe.

In the absence of manure, weeds or lawn mowings, or both, will serve as a moisture-holding top dressing, put down in spring or early summer, this to extend 18 in. or so out from the canes.

Pruning.

Canes produced one summer will bear fruit the next, and as many fruited ones as can be replaced by new canes should be cut right out as soon as the fruit has been gathered. The new and unfruited canes should then be tied back in place. Meanwhile, the new canes should not be allowed to flop about anyhow; they should be tied in, loosely, whilst completing their growth.

It is not necessary to remove all the fruited canes in autumn. The strongest of them can be left to fruit again if there is room for them without crowding.

Propagation. Young canes in excess of die number required take root with extreme ease if tiicy are bent over so that their outer ends can be buried 5 in. to 6 in. deep in the ground, during August. A long wire staple should be passed over the shoot to hold it down, or a brick or similar weighty object be laid on the shoot just short of where the tip enters the soil. It can be severed, with full length of layered stem, from the parent plant in February or March, lifted with all the roots that have formed at the buried tip, and transplanted where it is to remain and fruit. The soil around the buried tip should be kept moist in dry weather.

Maggoty Berries. Grubs of the raspberry beetle spoil the fruit by entering it and feeding on the interior. This pest can be con- trolled by spraying or dusting the plants with Derris insecticide three weeks after the flower petals have fallen. It is advisable to take this precaution whether or not the loganberries have been attacked the previous year. This is a valuable fruit, and grubs should not be given the chance to embark on their work of destruction.

Gathering the Fruit.

Berries wanted for dessert should be picked, when dark purplish-red, with the stalk attached; for other purposes the stalk can be left on the plant. Loganberries are easily crushed, and care is called for in their handling.

Picking should be done only in dry weather – not when the berries are wet with dew or rain – and only those that are quite ripe should be taken. The plants should be gone over every second day until the crop has been cleared.

Preparing for Table.

The berries need no preparation for dessert purposes. Over-ripe ones should be eaten on the spot or put to other use.

Preserving Loganberries.

Methods are explained in the section EASY HOME PRESERVATION OF FRUITS.

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