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Raspberries

Are you planning a raspberry patch for your garden this spring? They are very easy to grow and the rewards are delicious. Here are a few tips for growing these scrumptious berries.

Choose well-drained sunny location-raspberries hate wet feet. Raised beds are worthwhile, as they don’t allow the spring melt to sit on top of the roots. Space the rows six feet apart and the plants should be spaced a minimum of two feet apart. It is worth the effort to make the site weed free. Your rewards will be great if you put your efforts into the soil. Our Cariboo clay needs to be broken up with a minimum of 4” of organic matter such a well-rotted manure, compost and peat moss. Plant the bare rooted canes into the amended soil and water thoroughly. Use a water-soluble fertilizer such as Plant Starter. The formulation is 5-15-5, which is high in phosphorus and contains a rooting hormone.

Raspberries only produce fruit on two-year-old canes. Once the canes produce fruit they die so it’s very important to prune out these old canes. Prune out the old canes in the fall. In the spring, thin the remaining one-year-old growth- leaving six to eight of the sturdiest canes to bear this season’s crop. Prune the canes to the level of your nose to promote more lateral branches.

Water is critical for high yields and cane production. It is most important the plants aren’t allowed to dry out between blossom and berry picking time. Spring mulching with manure or grass clippings will help reduce weeds and conserve moisture. Fertilize every spring by applying a band of Vegetable Booster 10-14-21.

Don’t’ limit yourself to one variety. The ‘Canby’ variety has large, juicy berries that are ideal for canning or eating fresh. The canes have very few thorns, which makes picking easy. To spread out the fruit over the season try growing the fall fruiting variety ‘Autumn Bliss’. These produce large yields of red firm fruit. The ‘Heritage ‘ is an everbearing raspberry, which ripens from September to late, fall. The plants are strong, vigorous and very productive.

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