I was wondering when my blackberry canes might start leafing out. You can see them above with the garlic. I thought they might have gotten too cold, but when I gave one a little tug - it came right out of the ground! The @#!& blasted voles ate all the roots off over the winter. I am livid.
One of the three plants seems to have survived the vole's greedy little fangs, but I ordered some more plants to replace the two stumps. This time I ordered Chester, a thornless, floricane fruiting variety that is said to be the most cold hardy of the thornless blackberries. If I can keep the voles out, the combination of the Prime Ark Freedom and the Chester should get me at least some berries even after a hard winter.
The voles will find little protective hardware cloth cages around all the fruit bushes and trees next winter. And also, no more saltmarsh hay mulch for me. It isn't great for the environment, always seems to be full of icky dog ticks, and you might as well call it 'Vole Winter Wonderland'. I'll figure something else out.