Raspberry Planting Day
There was a lot of digging done today, but the raspberries are in! My raspberry plants arrived in the mail on Monday, but I didn't have time to plant them until I had the day off today. After much research, I selected Polana Everbearing Raspberries for my yard. Until I started researching them, I had no idea there were so many different kinds and types of raspberries. Raspberries and blackberries are referred to as "cane fruit" since their stalks are referred to as canes. The plants send up canes every year from their perennial roots. And this is where the differences start to appear. For raspberries there are two main types, types that produce fruit on first year canes (referred to as "fall bearing" or "everbearing") and types that produce fruit on second year canes (called "summer bearing"). There are many advantages and disadvantages to both that I won't go into here. I will highlight the one difference that made the choice easy for me. By producing fruit on first year canes, the everbearing types can be cut down to the ground every winter while the summer bearing types must be left up through the winter. This means I won't have to worry about snow damage to an everbearing plant -- making them ideally suited for my side yard where my wonderful neighbors like to pile all of their driveway snow...
First step in planting was to get out my tape measure and plot out the size of new raspberry bed. I then staked off the area:
Then it was digging time. I had to work under the sod/weeds. Then I dug down about 15-18 inches to turn over and loosen the very compact soil. I spread some compost over the new area and then dug it into the soil. Once the bed was prepped, I marked every 2 feet for plant spacing.
I mixed a little extra fertilizer and a product called "Soil Moist" (small granules that absorb water and then slowly release them to the roots) at the bottom of the planting holes. Once the plants were in, I watered them well.
The planting directions recommended cutting the canes off at ground level and mulching well with straw. When the project was all said and done, this is what it looked like:
Now I just have to wait for the canes to grow and the berries to ripen! If you're interested in starting your own little berry patch, I would recommend the book "Homegrown Berries" from Timber Press. It has a wealth of very accessible information. I will be relying on this book a lot as I work in my yard.