Plant cane and soft fruit

Activity

Plant soft fruit at the correct depth and spacing for optimum cropping in the school garden.

  • Estimated time: 30 minutes
  • Location: Outoors
  • School term: Early Autumn, Late Autumn, Early Spring, Late Spring
  • Level of experience: No experience needed
  • Subject(s): Maths, Science

Learning objectives

  • Learn the methods used for planting fruit and choose the correct tools for the job
  • Measure the correct distances between each plant for optimum harvests

Essential background information

Preparation

Prepare the ground well, removing all weeds and digging in organic matter (e.g. garden compost).
Source fruit plants from a reputable nursery or garden centre.

Equipment needed

  • Soft fruit plants
  • Weed suppressant membrane, pegs, scissors (optional but helps reduce weeding)
  • Measuring tape or spacing ruler
  • Trowel, spades, gloves, watering cans

Step by step

  1. If using a weed suppressant membrane, lay it over the prepared bed and peg down. Find out the planting distance for the chosen soft fruit plants.
  2. Cut a cross shape in the membrane, where each plant is to be planted. Peel or fold back the membrane to expose the soil for planting.
  3. Use a tape measure or spacing stick to measure between each planting hole, cut a hole in the membrane ready for each plant.
  4. Use a trowel to dig a hole of sufficient size for the plant’s roots, keeping the excavated soil next to the hole. For larger plants, that need a bigger hole, use a spade. Carefully place the fruit plant into the hole, ensuring the roots have enough space.
  5. Back fill with the soil and make sure the crown of the fruit plant is just above ground. (However, blackcurrants are planted with the crown 5cms below ground). 
  6. Prune raspberries, currants and gooseberries hard back to encourage new growth.
  7. Repeat steps 1-5 with each plant. Water the plants in.

Hints & tips

  • If not using membrane, just dig the planting holes at the right spacing.
  • Mulch around the plants with bark chips or well rotted compost.
  • Summer raspberries will need staking. Place stout posts at the end of the row with wires.
  • Use this activity as a part of Focus on Fruit class growing topic

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