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Kazedwards April 7, 2019 02:17 AM

Planting raspberries
So I just received an order of raspberries plants. I have 5 different varieties I’m wanting to keep in separate beds. I’m curious about the spacing of the beds. From what I have read I need 6 or so feet but that is mostly for commercial production it seems. I know they will spread too. I’m wondering if that spacing is really necessary because I would like to put them with 3-4 feet apart and a wood mulch path in between but I’m unsure as to how much of a problem that will be later on. My other thought is that I could make the beds farther apart and just have grass in between that I would mow. I also plan on having the beds for each variety about 2/3ish feet wide by 10-12 feet long although I only have one of each variety so I am counting on them spreading.

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Kazedwards April 7, 2019 02:56 AM

Also should I run the beds north and south or east and west or does it really matter?

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clkeiper April 7, 2019 07:13 AM

We grow raspberries for a farmers market. But I don't think that a 5 or 6 feet space between your rows is out of line. 3 -4 feet really is too close. they need to be on a wire too. put fence posts on the end of the row and run a couple strands of wire to keep the canes either clipped or tied to the wires. otherwise you will have an arching tangled mess. we plant at about 5' apart and if you have room go 6. we also put ground cover between the rows but this is a personal choice. it keeps the rows relatively dry between them and it keeps the grass non existant so my feet are dry when picking berries. we do tend to get tunneling varmits underneath the cover though and that drives me nuts. so ladt Fall I pulled all the cover up for the Winter. it needs to be put back down now.

we have beds going both directions but the one is new and we haven't picked anything off of it yet. the other is going e and w. I think you really want them planted e and w though for the greatest amount of sun and exposure and for airflow.

and last but not least even though you didn't ask about it... PESTS! the worst is the SWD or spotted wing drosophila fly. it is your enemy! you will find yourself going crazy over it if you don't spray for it. I don't know of anyplace that doesn't now have it in the US. you usually can get your first crop off with not too much damage but the here it shows up about August and wreaks havoc on the patch. they are the size of fruit flys but insert their eggs into perfectly good berries just as they are starting to ripen. within a day or two just as the berries are ready to pick they are mush and filled with little maggoty larvae. it is very disheartening to find it arrive in your patch. Spiders do a great job but you may not like spiders either. I don't know of any other predator for the fly. check with your local extension office for information pertinent to your location.

Scooty April 7, 2019 09:40 AM

I think you could get away with 3-4 feet if you keep the beds narrow and aggressively trim once they get productive. We have wild raspberries here, and they can get [I]quickly[/I] out of hand without constant attention.

Also agree on the SWD, but it really depends where you're located at, but they are maddening to deal with.

Kazedwards April 7, 2019 02:03 PM

So I guess I’ll be going with 6-7 feet between rows so my mower will fit in between. As far as a trellis I don’t have much of a plan yet. My thoughts are I have a good year to decide on a permanent solution. Until then I’ll just use t post or something when they are needed to get by. I have the space by I just need to figure the exact layout. We moved 2 years ago and it’s basically a blank slate right now. Garden is being put in this year as well along with the first of hopefully more fruit trees. Thank you for your help and the heads up about the pest!

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greenthumbomaha April 8, 2019 01:04 AM

Hello Zach -

Nice to hear from you again. For a large garden such as you are describing, I would follow Carolynk'S suggestion regarding the spacing and installing a simple T-post with two or three wires strung between the posts. This is the method master gardeners use in growing for a food bank. The raspberries will quickly try and fill in the mulched walking row. Digging strays will be more effective than mowing in the long run. Unless dug, the roots will keep running to another spot. To propagate, replant the strays when they are as small as possible and keep well watered.

I don't have space in my home garden, so I just let a clump grow in a corner of a raised bed of 4 X 4. Production is much higher with proper pruning and training, by an order of magnitude!

SWD is a miserable pest in my area, so I imagine yours is a hotbed for swd too. It's a toss up between the sweet flavor of a ripe berry and swd turning it to mush. I wonder if one of your varieties is cleaner than another. Please keep us posted!

- Lisa

Kazedwards April 8, 2019 02:45 AM

I am planning on moving any that get out of the bed to fill out the row. I have 5 varieties which are a gold called Anne, 2 red Rosanna and Autumn Britten, Royalty a purple and Jewel which is a black raspberry. I am planning on putting the black one on the other side of the garden because I have read they need to be kept separate. I also read that black raspberries should be planted much farther apart and root from the tips rather than spreading from the roots. I guess it will be a learning experience for sure!

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LDiane April 8, 2019 12:12 PM

Spacing really depends on the combination of the variety and the climate.

I couldn't get any West coast bred varieties - they were always sold out within hours of arriving at our garden centre, so I bought a dozen of the only one available and planted them on my allotment which is 20 feet wide. Within a year they were out to the edge, invading the path and almost into the neighbouring allotment. I checked their name online and found they had been bred for the prairies - super hardy.

My nephew who owns 10 acres dug them out and has been selling fruit from them.

clkeiper April 8, 2019 12:58 PM

Oh... Anne is yellow and fabulous we just planted autumn Brittan two falls ago. The few I have harvested we're very nice berries.
Black ones do arch and touch the ground then root. That's just their nature.

pmcgrady April 8, 2019 09:47 PM

Transplanted a 100' row of thornless and 100' of raspberries 2 years ago, I better get a trellis up quick....
Spaced post @20' high tensile wire, stretch wire 8' post 2' in the ground.

clkeiper April 8, 2019 10:19 PM

[QUOTE=pmcgrady;731958]Transplanted a 100' row of thornless and 100' of raspberries 2 years ago, I better get a trellis up quick....
Spaced post @20' high tensile wire, stretch wire 8' post 2' in the ground.[/QUOTE]

yep... get moving.

greenthumbomaha April 8, 2019 10:56 PM

I am wondering how successful the black raspberry will be if our climate is similar. My neighbor (at the aforementioned cabin near the recent floods) has a patch that never fruited, but my red raspberries a few yards way are prolific.

- Lisa

greenthumbomaha April 8, 2019 11:02 PM

I am actually trying to eradicate a 20 year old mislabeled blackberry thicket that started with a thorny single plant. I cut them down to 9 inches and painted fresh cuts with a formulation of Roundup for Poison Ivy (last resort). They still look green to me, and the stubs are a safety hazard. Any suggestions? The canes are as thick as rod pretzels, or better.

- Lisa

Kazedwards April 9, 2019 01:13 AM

Ok one last question. So I have a yellow, 2 red, a purple and a black raspberry. I know I need to plant the black away from the red and yellow but what about the purple? Can I plant it near the black? In the grand plan in my head, which isn’t much of a plan btw, they would work better planted near the black on the opposite side of the garden. I know that the purple will need similar pruning as the black and also a similar support.

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clkeiper April 9, 2019 07:57 AM

keep the black as far from the others as possible. that said... pfft. black ones spring up everywhere all the time. I haven't grown the purples so, I really haven't looked into their culture. if you get no answers here try your extension service or ask where you bought the berries from. generally they have an answer.

the other thing want to warn you about is overwatering.
raspberries only need about the top inch or so watered to damp. do not overwater or you will kill them. We have drip tape and sometimes it got turned on for too long and it actually killed the berries. I lost the carolines at the lower elevation and no one at the extension office could tell us why they were dead... guesses was what I got. Someone then told us they were too wet. So now we put a timer on the spigot and set it to water for an hour. that is if it is particularly dry out.

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