How To Grow Raspberries
When we were about to buy our first plot of land, I told my realtor that the first thing I would do is plant some raspberries. After we closed the deal, she came by with a housewarming gift of 3 raspberry canes. They went immediately into the ground and have been growing ever since! With a little planning, you can have a raspberry patch that will last for years and years to come.
When you go to buy raspberry plants at your local nursery, don't be surprised to see a bucket filled with a bunch of "dead looking sticks". Don't be fooled, these "dead sticks" should soon be supplying you with more berries that you know what to do with!
Raspberries come in two types:
Everbearing will usually give you two crops, one in the mid summer one in the early fall.
Summer bearing, which gives you one big harvest during the late summer.
We usually plant everbearing, which ensures a constant supply of delicious berries throughout the season.
A couple of important things to consider before you plant your crowns.
1) Raspberries are invasive! If care is not taken beforehand, your innocent looking canes can overrun your neighboring beds, with suckers sometimes reaching 15'! It's best to dig a trench about foot deep around your planting area and use a plastic or metal border of sorts. Raised beds are rather common as well and help to prevent root rot.
2) Build a support system, using some old posts and wire you can easily support your berries for years to come. You would be surprised at how top heavy these plants can become once they're loaded with raspberries.
Plant your crowns in the late fall or early spring. Prepare the soil with compost or rotted manure and mix in a bit of organic fertilizer. Before you plant, soak the bare root plants for about 5 hours. Some people add a B1 growth stimulant to the water to give them a head start.
Caring For Raspberries
Raspberries are a rather care free plant, though one thing to consider is weeds. The tall canes will usually choke out most small weeds, but remember that it is no fun to weed in-between your thorny plants. A layer of compost mulch will usually do the trick, keeping your plants weed free and retaining moisture.
A compost mulch mixed with organic fertilizer in the early spring should take care of all of your plants nutrients for the year.
Keep an eye on any sucker plants that are trying to escape from your patch. If you don't keep on top of them, they can easily get out of control and invade your other beds.
Too much water will encourage root rot, however, take care to not allow your plants dry out during the summer, especially when they start to bear fruit.
There is some myth about pruning your raspberries. Summer bearing bears fruit on last years growth, while everbearing bears fruit on the current years growth. People often become confused as to which. It can all be summed up with one easy rule of thumb. In the winter, cut the canes (down to the ground) that fruited the previous summer. Pretty simple, eh?
Harvesting is rather non explanatory. Usually, berries become sweeter during the hotter parts of the summer. The best (and most fun) way to determine when to pick is through trial and error. As they turn red, simply eat a few every day or so and it will become quite obvious when the time is right.
Root rot, blight
Tomatoes, Potatoes, Eggplant