Raspberry is a berry crop that ranks alongside plants such as gooseberries, black, cauliflower currants, honeysuckle and garden strawberries. There’s a time, Raspberry has joined them.
Raspberry is delicious and most importantly it’s useful. Whenever we feel sick, the first remedy is to make tea with Raspberry, put on warm socks, cover with a blanket and sleep soundly: by morning, the ailment will be gone.
But it turns out that it’s not that simple. In order to make Raspberry delightful, to raspberry bush care reasonably, it is necessary not only to work with her from time to time but also to carry out quite deliberate operations, even depending on the month of the year.
CARE OF RASPBERRY IN APRIL
In April we usually prepare the soil for laying Raspberry trees – thoroughly dig over a full bayonet spade, bring a bucket of humus per square meter and a tablespoon of nitromethane in the same area. Of course, remove all weeds.
The next step – planting. Take raspberry seedlings only from the nursery and carefully check that the shoots on the rootstock and the roots themselves are intact. It is also important to make sure that they are not damaged when planting.
When everything is ready, start planting: dig holes, leaving 20inch (0.5m) between them and 5inch (12cm) deep, then place the raspberry seedlings’ roots and fill them with soil – job done.
All that remains is to water the seedlings, compact the soil and cover it with a few inches of humus. Ideally, the roots of the raspberry seedlings should be submerged in the soil after planting so that the buds located on the rootstock of the seedlings are at a depth of about 1inch (3 cm).
Within a month, check the raspberry seedlings – those with signs of fungal disease are treated with a fungicide, and if the stems are very long, they are likely to be shortened to a height of 20inch (50 cm).
Spread a few inches of humus on the bare soil next to the newly planted plants or those already growing and remove weeds from the bare soil with a hoe or by hand.
CARING FOR RASPBERRIES IN MAY
May is already a hotter month, but during this calendar period, there are very severe night frosts that sometimes destroy the flowers of the Raspberry and leave the gardener without a part of the harvest.
To avoid this it is necessary, in agreement with neighbors, to build smoking fires on the periphery of the plots, for example with straw that is not very dry, and be sure to supervise them until the smoke stops, because the wind can blow the fire and it will spread to neighboring plots.
In May, if your Raspberry plantation is not very old, special nails can be placed on it as soon as the soil is completely thawed and it is easy to tie the Raspberry shoots to it so that they do not bend to the ground because of the weight of the crop and leaves, and it is possible to work with it.
Normally, one should tie to the nails those Raspberry shoots which will bear fruit in the current season.
Generally, there are not many such shoots, usually two, rarely three, but each one, properly tied to a stake, can provide a crop of up to 500 grams of delicious berries.
May is the best time for frequent weeding, loosening the soil, watering at least once a week, pouring a bucket of water on each square meter of the plantation, as well as covering the soil with hummus.
In May you can also apply some treatments for pest control – insecticides – and for disease control – fungicides – mainly to complete all treatments before the Raspberries flower, otherwise such treatments can damage flowering.
In more northern areas, where the snow has only partially melted, you can help free the shoots from their ice captivity; otherwise, combined with relatively warm weather and high humidity, they may begin to harden the shoots and even the buds.
Once all of the Raspberry shoots have been stripped of snow, take a good look at them, at which point it will be clear which shoots are completely undamaged and which may be broken, show signs of fungal infection, etc.
Broken shoots should be removed, and those found to have fungal infections can be treated by trying a fungicide, following the instructions on the package strictly.
Check the number of Raspberry bushes and shoots, for example, if there are about half a dozen shots, then don’t get greedy as they will only become competitors with each other. Simply select five or six of the most developed shoots per square meter and remove the rest, this is the end of May. It is recommended to prune all remaining shoots to the first fully developed bud.
If you find very few Raspberry shoots after checking your plot, you can leave the vast majority and if they are broken, prune them back to where they were broken.
Check the Raspberry shoots and for frost: if you notice frosty ends – be brave and remove them.
Often, Raspberry lovers cut off all the shoots to a height of about 60inch (1.5m), it’s best not to do this as you’ll lose more than half of your harvest.
Those Raspberry stems, as we have already said above, are simply tied to the pole and fixed at a height of one and a half meters, which, by the way, can be simply bent if the tips of the shoots are longer than the pole.
At the end of the sling, all raspberry plants should be treated with 2% nitrocellulose, which is good for inhibiting the development of fungal infections.
What else did we do in May? Reapply fertilizer, once again you can use nitrophenols, 15 grams per square meter is enough, or you can pre-dilute it in water.
Next, check carefully to see if it is easily washed away by rain or irrigation water. If so, all drains must be made or cleaned, provided the soil is soft and bendable.
Towards the end of May, you can weed the Raspberry soil a few more times, both in combination with removing weeds and cutting off young shoots if there are more than a dozen in the bush or three per square meter.
In May, it is obligatory to carry out another treatment before flowering. Use insecticides to control Raspberry pests and fungicides to control Raspberry diseases.
RASPBERRY BUSH CARE IN JUNE
In June, care on the raspberry tree is probably minimal. The main focus is on maintaining optimum soil moisture, watering one bucket per square meter of raspberry per week, weed control, and preventing the formation of soil sludge by regular loosening of the soil.
RASPBERRY BUSH CARE IN JULY
In July, it is extremely important to keep the Raspberry hydrated, so the watering rate can be boldly doubled, but the weather should also be guided: if it rains, it is better to loosen the soil more and not to flood it more.
Of course, weed control is important, and if the weather is dry, a few inches of mulch should be placed over the soil after weed removal and watering.
July is, of course, harvest time. You must be careful to decide what you are going to do with the Raspberries, for example, if you are going to use fresh Raspberries they need to be fairly ripe, but if you are going to transport them they need to be picked early when they are not quite soft.
Tip – Raspberries transport better if they are left in a normal refrigerator for a few hours.
To prevent Raspberries from crumpling, place them in a container with no more than four layers.
RASPBERRY BUSH CARE IN AUGUST
As soon as you collect all the fruits from the shoots of the Raspberry, the last one can be safely cut off and they have served, that is, given us the harvest.
Also, you should not just throw the cut shoots in the plantation as many people do – they should be removed from the ground and burned outside the ground.
From about the first decade of August, the soil you trample should be loosened and tidied up for harvest. The best tool for this is a good old-fashioned hoe, which can be used to kill weeds and improve the air and water balance of the soil.
At the end of August, when there are no berries at all, Raspberry plants need pest control again.
By the way, if you don’t want to use chemicals, there is a deadly folk recipe – take a bucket and put in five pounds of tomato stems, pepper, and nettles, a kilo of potato leaves with flowers, a handful of chamomile, mugwort, pine needles, finely crushed garlic heads and 250 grams of onion husks, all in a 200-liter bucket for three days, stirring occasionally.
Then dilute the infusion with water and treat the plants before the snowfall – it works very well.
RASPBERRY BUSH CARE IN SEPTEMBER
During this month you can start planting new and interesting varieties of raspberries. If you like a variety you can not find, then you can ask your neighbor for plugs of this variety – in September you can propagate raspberries in this way. The main thing is that the cuttings should have roots as long as a simple pencil and have roots, otherwise they will not take root.
Such plugs can be planted in small wells, deepened by 2inch (5cm). In the future, the main thing is to water them, and it is best to cover them with spruce paws in winter.
RASPBERRY BUSH CARE IN OCTOBER
Now is the time when the shoots of Raspberry bend over the winter and it is not worth taking the risk of not knowing what kind of winter awaits ahead.
Also, early October is a convenient time because the shoots are now flexible and pliable, and they are easier to bend without breaking. It is possible to leave the leaves uncut in order not to disturb yourself – nothing bad will happen, on the contrary, they will be an additional insulator.
If you have highly winter-resistant Raspberry varieties and are 100% sure about them, then at the end of October we recommend tying the bush to a large stake and covering them with fleece material – the least expensive, but your variety has the greatest chance of being protected from frost.
Near the plants you can put down a layer of 2-3.5inch (6-9cm) of humus, which will add insulation to the root system – this should be done at the end of the month.
RASPBERRY BUSH CARE FOR NOVEMBER AND DECEMBER
In winter, it is necessary to try as much as possible to delay the snow, trample it, lay the paws of deadwood, spruce, water will certainly be useful in the spring.
We have given a simple calendar for caring for raspberries throughout the year. Of course, some things depend on the region where you live, on the characteristics of the variety, on the type of soil, etc,.
But in general, these tips are relevant for most areas and should not be ignored.