Franklin Englishman: A very warm welcome to Gardeners’ Question Time. Today the programme comes from a fly-tip off Seawall Road in southern Cardiff where the panel and I are the guests of the Splott Horticultural Interest Team. May we have the first question please.
Member of the audience: Thank-you Mr Chairperson. My name is Riccardo Mortimero and I’m Lead Officer Research & Development, Splott Horticultural Interest Team – for brevity’s sake, Lord Shit. I have a problem with my raspberry canes. They’re out of control, wildly entangled, sending sprouting suckers everywhere, taking over my tiny garden and collapsing under the sheer weight of fruit that I can’t pick fast enough. I’ve been eating fresh raspberries by the bucket load every day for the last month and I’m sick of them, when will it stop?
Percy Trowel: Rubus idaeus should be grown in a sturdy fruit cage of stakes and cross-wires. That way this vigorous, shallow-rooting native bramble can be kept tidy and controllable. It sounds like you took some short cuts when you planted them out and now you’re paying the price. Pull yourself together you trug.
Bob Flowerpot: I don’t know what you’re complaining about. Raspberries are delicious and cost a fortune in the supermarkets. With the surplus you can make jam, freeze them or just give them away to your many good friends and kindly neighbours.
Bill Waterbutts: Well, raspberries keep fruiting till the end of July, so you could be making a small profit. Pay a couple of Bulgarians in cash to pick the crop, put them in punnets and sell them from a lay-by at £5 a go.
Ann Poppycock: In the autumn try transplanting a piece of root into a pretty pot and growing it indoors on the kitchen windowsill like a Bonsai.
Pippa Greenfly: Raspberries are prone to cane blight, chlorosis, crown gall, grey mould, honey fungus, spur blight and various viruses. Spray daily with dichlofluanid, thiram, captan, copper fungicide, thiophanate-methyl and benomyl – and then deal with the raspberries.
John Crocus: With fertile soil like that you should be getting down on your knees in gratitude not moaning. In the words of the poet: A garden is a lovesome thing, God wot!
Alan Tit: I recommend cutting it all down and covering the ground with decking and artificial grass. My company can supply what you need at a competitive price. I’m an MBE you know.
Daphne Deadwood: Didn’t you once sell me a lamp shade in Morgans The Hayes?
Jones The Clay: The lady wife puts the mafon in a Monmouth Pudding, look you.
Bunny Boiler: Don’t forget raspberries are good in crumbles, cheesecakes, steamed puddings, sorbets, coulis, liqueurs, trifles, tarts, fools.
Monty Rake: Mulch and manure, manure and mulch, and then go outdoors and attend to your couple of acres.
Franklin Englishman: I have to stop you there panel. We must interrupt this programme and go straight to Broadcasting House in London for a newsflash.
Newsreader: In the last few minutes Buckingham Palace has announced that Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second has d…
Just at that moment there was a power cut, mercifully.
You need a few blackbirds. The ones here have no trouble keeping on top of my crop and they’ve developed a taste for my loganberries.