Saturday, March 13, 2010

Planning for a New Raspberry Patch

We have wild raspberry and blackberry bushes growing behind the shed, but the last couple of years have been pretty lean for fruit production. I think it is because they are mixed in among many small saplings, weeds, and even some poison ivy. It may take some time and careful pruning to get them back into shape so that they produce more berries.

In the mean time, I thought this area would work well for a new raspberry patch.

It is at the edge of the lawn near the vegetable garden. From this point, the ground begins to slope downward over a bank into the woods eventually leading to a small brook. Because this area is so uneven, it isn’t mowed and contains tall grass, weeds, and wildflowers. The blooming goldenrod, milkweed, and queen annes lace attract bees and butterflies and the seed heads provide food for the birds.

Today was the perfect day to reclaim a small section of this area to begin a new raspberry patch. I began by raking the dead plants aside.

Nothing has started growing yet and most of the dead plants were shallow rooted and easy to pull out. There were some clumps of grass that required a garden fork to dig out. I was impressed by the quality of the soil beneath. I still need to add some compost, till it in, and level the soil out the best I can on the slope. But this is the basic outline of the new raspberry planting area.

I placed an order today for Heritage raspberries. I chose Heritage raspberries because I have heard good things about tham from several blogs I follow, especially the growing experience shared by Daphne at Daphne's Dandelions and Laura at The Modern Victory Garden. A huge thanks to you both for the inspiration.

I felt really good to be outside digging in the dirt.


  1. You're so lucky to be completely snow-free and working your beautiful soil. Looks like a great spot for a patch. Quite big ! How many plants are you putting in ?

  2. That looks like it will be a great location for your raspberry patch! My patch of Heritage raspberries are on a sloped area too. Mine was too sloped and I had to do some leveling and terracing to keep the water from all running off when I irrigated. Looking forward to hearing how the patch comes along in the months ahead.

  3. Sounds terrific. Nice planning ahead. They'll love the spot, I think.

  4. Oh I wish I had room for a raspberry patch.

  5. I do love my Heritage raspberries. I hope they grow well for you too.

  6. Miss M: Yes, we’ve been lucky to have missed the recent storms that roared up the east coast. I have 5 canes on order to start with.

    KitsapFG: Thank you for reminding me of this. I learned from your “Raspberry Patch Rejuvenation - Phase 1” post that you had difficulty with water running down the slope when irrigating. I will level off the area where I’ll plant the new canes. Then allow them spread into the sloped area if they choose to in the years to come.

    Stefaneener: I know I will probably be battling weeds but I hope I can keep up with them until the raspberries become established.

    Liisa: I feel lucky to have room for expansion.

    Daphne: I really enjoyed seeing your raspberry harvests last year. I am keeping my fingers crossed and hope my new canes do well.

  7. I saw some Heritage raspberries at our local Home Depot the other day. I might just have to pick up a couple.

    Don't it feel great to be able to do a bit of digging this time of year? I'm hoping the ground will dry up soon enough for me to do a bit of digging myself.

  8. Looks like it would be a good spot for a couple of blue berry bushes also. John

  9. John: we have high bush blueberries in another part of the yard, but this does look like a perfect area for wild Maine blueberries. I'll need to do more research. Thanks for the idea.