NEIGHBORHOOD GARDEN FOR OCTOBER 18, 2014

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RASPBERRIES

BY GEORGE EDGAR

 

          If you want to grow RASPBERRIES next year, now is the time to decide what kind of RASPBERRIES you want and prepare your bed. First, layout where you are going to put them. Then dig or till in lots of compost, peat moss, or other organic material. You will have only one chance to improve your soil for sometime to come. The width of your bed depends upon the kind of RASPBERRIES you are going to plant, and the length is determined by the size of your garden

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I. EVERBEARING RASPBERRIES:

          EVERBEARING RASPBERRIES produce berries in the fall and again in the spring if pruned correctly.

          1. Beds should be two feet but no more than 3 feet wide. I have short arms so mine are about 2 to 2 Ĺ feet wide so I can reach across the bed in order to harvest and to prune canes.

          2. I use cattle panels to define my beds. My panels are 50 inches high by 144 inches (12 feet) long with 4 inch square openings and can be purchased at most any farm store. The panels are also available in 8 feet and 16 foot lengths. Mine are held in place with steel fence posts. The 4 inch openings allows for access to prune, weed, fertilize, and harvest.

          3. If you plan on having more than one row, make a walkway at least 3 feet wide between the rows. 

          4. Birds are a real nemesis. Cattle panels are really nice as I can drape bird netting over the cattle panels and then use clothes pins to attach the netting to the panels. The bird netting I get is 7 feet wide and 14 feet long so 2 pieces just about fit over the cattle panels and my 25 foot long rows.

          5. For two crops from EVERBEARING RASPBERRIES, remove the old brown canes clear to the ground after the spring harvest. Leave the nice new green canes that have started to grow, for fall harvest. After fall harvest or about March 1st in the spring, deadhead tops and these canes will produce the spring crop and then can be removed. Be sure to remove any dead canes, weeds, etc.

          6. If you want just one large crop in the fall (no spring harvest) remove all the canes clear to the ground in the fall after harvest or in early March while the plant is still dormant. Either method will yield about the same amount of harvest.

          7. EVERBEARING RASPBERRIES spread by underground roots (suckers). If they get out of bounds, I root prune them or pull out the suckers. If you want to share with friends, dig the suckers in spring as they start to leaf out and transplant as bare root. With good care they may bear in the fall.

          8. I have Red Heritage, and Fall Gold EVERBEARING RASPBERRIES. The UNL extension small fruits specialist likes ANNE YELLOW EVERBEARING RASPBERRIES because he thinks they taste better than Fall Gold.

 

II. BRAMBLING TYPE RASPBERRIES (BRAMBLERS) can be red, black, or purple and will produce only one crop in the late spring, on one year old wood.

          1. I moved my black raspberries (variety unknown) a few years back as they had anthracnose. (This disease can be controlled with annual applications of Lime-sulfur in the spring and then again in the fall.) However, I chose to purchase new disease free plants. My new bed is two feet wide with a cattle panel down the middle of the bed. These RASPBERRIES can get very long canes that droop so must be tied up or woven in the fence. If left alone they will bend and go clear to the ground and start a new plant. This is how you propagate your plants if new ones are needed to increase the size of your bed or to get plants to give to your friends.

          The first year or two RASPBERRIES spend most of the time developing a good root system. I help them weave in and out of the fence or tie them to the fence so they donít fall over. Even though they are planted on just one side of the fence, I can pick from both sides.

          2. Correct pruning is important. When the main stems grow to the top of the panel, I cut them off and train new side shoots to go horizontal. Berrie()s will form next spring on these side shoots. For best production, have only two shoots going one direction and two going another. These side shoots should be about 12 inches to 15 inches apart.

          3. In late February or early March prune side shoots so they are only 18 inches to 24 inches long. To have nice large berries do not let the side shoots get more than 24 inches long.

          4. In late spring after harvest, remove all old brown canes clear to the ground and allow new shoots to grow from the original roots and replace the old canes. As before, trim new shoots when they get to the top of the panel and encourage side shoots.

          5. To propagate new plants let a cane grow long and then let it root in the ground. When I think a cane is long enough, I bend it over, dig a hole, plant the tip about 2 inches deep, and water. I may hold the tip in the soil with a small metal horseshoe shaped stake, like the kind you use to hold weed fabric.

 

TIPS FOR GROWING RASPBERRIES:

          I fertilize my RASPBERRIES with a slow release 10-10-10 garden fertilizer in the early spring when the raspberry bushes start to grow new shoots and/or leaf out. The 10-10-10 slow release fertilizer lasts for 3 months. Do not fertilize after August 15th but allow the plants to start going dormant.

          RASPBERRY bushes are usually available for sale at the garden center only in the spring and they sell out fast. Put your order in this fall or winter to insure delivery. Purchase only quality northern grown RASPBERRIES to insure hardiness. 

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