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Another day spent at OrganicLea and I was hoping for another glimpse of sun…it was not my lucky day. Arriving a bit late this week I was pulled into the first team to spy me arriving which unsurprisingly was the guys working on the nursery bed (it’s along the entrance road).

Task One

I joined the guys weeding the nursery bed. I was looking for stray raspberry runners from the plants that had be previously lifted and moved to their permanent homes. We were also adding fresh compost to the beds to top them up for the year and give the plants that were still young a bit of nourishment.

Our team were working on improving the nursery bed (weeding, adding fresh compost, making cuttings, replacing boards).

Our team were working on improving the nursery bed (weeding, adding fresh compost, making cuttings, replacing boards).

Fresh wheelbarrow loads of compost were being delivered and spread around.

Fresh wheelbarrow loads of compost were being delivered and spread around.

Task Two

We were also taking the last of the year’s cuttings of the raspberry bushes. Having not done this before, I took instruction from Mary. The ideas was to get two cuttings from each stem taken from the bush. The top cut is made just above a healthy looking bud at a 45 degree angle. The top most bud (I don’t know what this is called but it’s the bigger one that sits on the very end of the stick, not off the side) is removed during this process, which apparently triggers the cutting into action (that’s how I understood it!). The bottom cut is made at 90 degrees to give the right length to the cutting and remove any un required buds. Once prepared, the cuttings were planted, a half to 2 thirds deep into the prepared soil. The buds that have been buried will be triggered by the dark and damp surroundings to becomes roots and the buds in the sunshine will start putting on new growth. It’s all very clever for a stick if you ask me!

My first official cutting! This is 'Ben Lomand' a raspberry from scotland (anything with 'Ben' in the name is).

My first official cutting! This is ‘Ben Lomand’ a raspberry from scotland (anything with ‘Ben’ in the name is).

New cuttings freshly lined up.

New cuttings freshly lined up.

Naming my row of raspberry cuttings (fingers crossed I did it right!).

Naming my row of raspberry cuttings (fingers crossed I did it right!).

Other fruit bush cuttings made last month (by other volunteers). Gooseberries, Blackcurrents mainly (I think).

Other fruit bush cuttings made last month (by other volunteers). Gooseberries, Blackcurrents mainly (I think).

Task Three

The task for the afternoon was to the complete more maintenance around the nursery bed. This mainly involved weeding the back walkway between the fruit trees and the glass houses which apparently was a meter high with weeds last summer. They had tried to surpress the weeds using a membrane which they laid last year, however the (excuse my french) buggers have got through / around that. The plan is to add another layer over the membrane of gravel, but before this can be done, the weeds must be removed…come rain or snow, this was the last job of the day.

The stuff of nightmares.

The stuff of nightmares.

Weed, weed, weed...

Weed, weed, weed…

Those clear patches make it all worthwhile!

Those clear patches make it all worthwhile!

I wasn't the only one weeding in the cold, rain and snow! (We must all be a bit crazy to be doing this willingly).

I wasn’t the only one weeding in the cold, rain and snow! (We must all be a bit crazy to be doing this willingly).

The fruits of my labour! (It was more than this when I finished.... promise)

The fruits of my labour! (It was more than this when I finished…. promise)

While putting my tools away at the end of the day I wondered through the glasshouse to see what was going on…

In other news: seeds are being sown in the glasshouse.

In other news: seeds are being sown in the glasshouse.

Seeds seem to like it here (more than my kitchen window cill) + tiny trowel!

Seeds seem to like it here (more than my kitchen window cill) + tiny trowel!

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