Making compotes, smoothies and summer puddings from home-grown blackcurrants, loganberries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries and strawberries is an achievable aim. All of these berries are top favourites with birds, however, and will need covering as they begin to colour. A fruit cage makes the job easy but if you have them dotted around, fleece or mesh held together with clothes pegs will do instead. A surplus freezes well and you can always let the birds in to finish them off. Now’s the time to plan for new soft fruit canes and bushes by designing fruit cages, conditioning soil, and ordering plants for autumn.
Where rough, trampled ground, potentially harbouring bramble roots, requires cultivation prior to creation of a planting or seedbed, the Mantis Deluxe 4-Stroke Tiller (electric versions are available) will make light work of the job. This retails at around £480 and is small, easy to store, lightweight to use and effective. Most rotavators travel forwards but in this case, a small hole is excavated and the machine positioned ready to operate backwards. Soil is loosened, enabling further root grubbing and ultimately raking to create a neat surface.