Switching over to a more edible and wildlife informed approach to your garden needn’t be all encompassing or daunting and it can be gradual and subtle if you are renting or are undecided about appearance over production.
Fruit bushes are one example of an all round beneficial plant that also don’t look out of place in a normal flower bed. They do spread so aren’t trouble free but are fairly low maintenance and provide food for humans and birds alike. Protect what you want yourself. But leave a sacrifical plant or two – having birds in the garden is enriching and contributes to a healthy food web. If you have a lot of bushes it won’t be necessary.
While digging in the fruit I was surprised, that I hadn’t done this a lot sooner. We tend to have an abundance of wild raspberry patches around so it didn’t feel pressing but it feels exciting to increase all levels of benefit, fill up the beds. and increase yield.
We ended up with a huge amount of canes that were easy to transplant.
Raspberries are an fruit and the leaves make a vitamin c, iron enriched brew that is protective and nutritious. There are many varieties some fruit in Summer and some in Autumn so do check out what variety you have to know when to cut back and harvest ( though the birds will give you a good clue with that one)
Propogating raspberry canes is best done after they fruit – they spread enthusiastically so it will be easy to take a few from any well established area – ask someone you know that has a few raspberry they are likely to be happy to donate some canes.
Cut the canes with a sharp knife in one clean slice, place in water with a touch of rooting formula and when they root place them in soil until you have somewhere to plant them.
Make sure you keep a couple of healthy leaf nodules – no more than three ideally to mazimise energy going to them.
Fruit bushes in the flower beds are such a great option for people who may be renting, or using shared gardens or unsure about their longer term commitments. If you have community spaces that could accomodate that is also an option.