I was stopped in the country lane outside our house this afternoon whilst I and Little D took our daily constitutional. A neighbour at the farm house was pruning his hedge and wanted to ask me about the onions his planted earlier in the year. None of his have grown. None of our's have grown. We both felt better for knowing that our onion failure was somehow universal, even if only on our lane. It did however make us both want to renew our vigour whilst tackling the garden and when I got home, after Little D was sated by his daily yelling at cows whilst waving a stick at them, I got stuck into our berry bed.
Our berry bed is located by the glasshouse path. It has been overrun by weeds. This has been largely down to the weather, weeds love rain, gardening does not. Weeding when raining ends with compacted mud beneath your feet, sodden bones and more sod to dig next time you're in the garden. However, a nifty organic tip is to grub out perennial weeds after a downpour. You will find that weeds like dandelions will come up in one when teased with a fork from wet soil. The best time to weed annual weeds is when the ground is dry. It is a simple and great tip for weeding. However, it does not solve the fact that we have had no break after a downpour, and weeding by moonlight may be an adventure but is not a practical solution on a moor reputed to have big cats wandering around on it (we were there before the alleged Essex lion).
Weeding may not be fun but it is satisfying. In 45 minutes I had cleared the narrow bed, tied in all the new growth on the blackberries: Himalayan Giant x 3, Beford Giant x 1, Loch Ness x 1 and the final Japanese Wineberry x 1 (all purchased from R.V. Roger). The bed revealed the remains of some calendulas and just showed how good the soil was in this part of the garden. I have been top dressing this part now for two years and it has paid dividends as the ground is easy to weed, loamy and like a chocolate brownie.