Tag Archive | Raspberries

Pruning Raspberries and Blueberries


“We purchased many bare root raspberries and blueberries in the spring for our new garden…. Many of the raspberries bore fruit this fall.  I’m wondering how they should both be pruned this fall?  Please
advise…
Thanks
Jesse”

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Hi Jesse,

Thank you for the email regarding your raspberries and blueberries.

First question: do you have summer-bearing/everbearing or fall-bearing types of raspberries?

Raspberry PruningIf you have a summer-bearing and everbearing types of raspberry, you do not want to prune it in general.  The berries will be produced on canes from the previous year.  The only ones that you should think about pruning would be those that have grown up beyond the area you have designated for them, or any that are spindly or diseased.

As for fall-bearing types, you definitely want to prune them in late winter/early spring before the buds break dormancy.  Prune all canes that bore fruit last year; they won’t fruit again. These will have grayish,
peeling bark.  To force your everbearing raspberries to produce only one crop in the fall, prune back the entire raspberry bush in early spring. As the canes grow back in the summer, remove outside suckers and thin the canes to about 6 inches apart. Keep the sturdiest canes. This technique will give you a larger fall harvest and is good if you also have summer bearing raspberry bushes and you want to stagger the harvests.

As the summer goes on, you can always prune out any dead, broken or diseased canes or those that are outside your designated row area. Of course, you can prune broken, dead, diseased or infested canes at any time of the year, the sooner the better.

And one other thing:  wear thick gloves as raspberries have some serious thorns on them. And use clean, sharp tools.

As for the blueberries, spring is the best time to prune. Before domancy has broken, remove any diseased or broken wood, plus crossing branches. You want the bush to have a narrow base and a wide, open top that allows sunlight and air in.

I hope this information helps you out.  If you have any other questions, please feel free to ask.

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© Mertie Mae Botanics LLC and Horticulture Talk!, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Mertie Mae Botanics LLC and Horticulture Talk! with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Waxing or Waning: Gardening by the Moon


“Dear Horticulture Talk,

I have heard of people gardening by the moon. Does it really work or is it some kind of Wicca or pagan thing? Have you ever done it?

Thanks,

Carrie”

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Thanks for the question, Carrie. Yes, I have used the moon cycles to plan my garden and yard work for years. It doesn’t mean that you are all about Mother Earth or anything.  Gardening by the moon phases means that you are working with nature rather than against it.

Gardening according to the phase of the Moon is a centuries old practice, practiced by ancient cultures the world over. It has been long known that the Moon has a strong effect on our planet and its’ inhabitants. Its gravitational pull guides the ocean tides as well as our own inner tides. Plants are no different, as with the sea and our bodies a plant’s water content is affected by the pull of the Moon. Same for the insect, weed, fungal, and bacterial pests that may be attacking your plants.

People long ago lived by the cycle of the Sun, Moon and the seasons. In today’s busy world many choose not to track the Moon phases and instead opt to purchase a farmer’s almanac. The Old Farmer’s Almanac and The Farmer’s Almanac both contain useful gardening sections that do all the planning for you. With these you have everything you need for growing a successful garden, flowerbed or orchard.

There are two methods of practice, one is by the Moon’s phase and the second is by the Moon’s phase as well as its placement in an astrological sign of the zodiac. I admit, I have always used the former in my garden.

The Moon’s month long cycle can be separated into two halves, the waxing and the waning. The first half of the monthly cycle is from just after the New Moon to the Full Moon. The Moon grows larger and brighter and it is this lighter half that stimulates growth in a plant. One common practice that has been used for centuries is to plant just after the New Moon as this gives the seed, plant or transplant two weeks of increasing, moonlight and gravitational influence to encourage germination and growth. Plants that flower and/or bear fruit above ground are best planted during the first quarter which is roughly a one week period from the day after the New Moon (or so) to the first quarter Moon. The first quarter to the Full Moon is the ideal time to plant brambly fruits such as blackberries, raspberries and the like. This first half is also the best time to water your plants. As the Full Moon nears harvest any juicy berries, succulent leafy greens or other veggies for their optimum water content. It is also best to harvest herbs at the Full Moon as their essential oils are strongest, fragrant flowers will have stronger scent too.

The waning Moon is the period from the day after the Full Moon to the New Moon, when the Moon grows smaller and the night skies are darker. This half of the Moon’s cycle discourages growth in plants. The third quarter, which is from just after the Full Moon to the last quarter, is the best time to plant trees, vines, as well as flowering bulbs and plants that bear fruit under ground (root vegetables). This phase of the Moon is beneficial to those plants which rely on strong root systems like trees, root vegetables and strawberries. The last quarter is best used to weed, till, thin seedlings and rid your garden of pests, take this last week to mulch your garden and get a handle on those weeds. By following this method you will find that once the garden is established you will be spending less time in the garden having to water and weed.

The second method of gardening involves planting and tending the garden according the zodiac sign that the Moon is passing through. For anyone unfamiliar with the astrological zodiac it consists of twelve signs/constellations in which the Moon passes through and spends a day or two in each sign during the lunar cycle, or month. The four elements each rule four zodiac signs. Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces are considered “water signs” and are the best time to plant most seeds and plants. While Cancer is the best, above ground plants put in at the time the Moon passes through any of these three signs will yield the best results. Air sign Libra is said to be best for planting flowering plants. The Earth signs of Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn are the second best choices for planting. Plant your root veggies when the Moon is in Capricorn or Taurus, Virgo is best left for weeding and tilling. Fire signs Leo, Sagittarius and Aries are also ideal for weeding, tilling, cleaning and ridding your garden of pests. Air sign Aquarius is good for harvesting and Gemini is also good for working the soil.

If all of this makes your head spin, then you can do what many people over the last two centuries have done. Pick up a copy of The Old Farmer’s Almanac and head to the Outdoor Planting Table section. Right there, at your fingertips, is a handy chart that tells you when to plant what. This method is also a great science experiment for you or your children. Plant two plants or seeds one at the ideal planting time and the second at a more “undesirable” time. Watch to see how these plants grow in comparison over the season. Will your plants wither and die if you plant them at the “wrong” time? Probably not. Your garden will still plug along, but you will lack the abundant harvest and lush growth that you could have had planting by the Moon.

Waxing

  • Sow plants that flower or bear fruit above ground (1st quarter)
  • Plant blackberries, raspberries and other caned plants (during 2nd quarter)
  • Water Plants
  • Feed Plants
  • Transplant
  • Nearest the Full Moon-harvest juicy fruits and greens. Herbs for optimum essential oil content, flowers for strong fragrance.

Waning

  • Sow root vegetables (3rd quarter)
  • Plant Trees and Saplings (3rd quarter)
  • Plant strawberries (3rd quarter)
  • Weed
  • Mulch
  • Thin seedlings
  • Divide plants
  • Harvest
  • Pruning
  • Hoe
  • Pest Control

© Mertie Mae Botanics LLC and Horticulture Talk!, 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Mertie Mae Botanics LLC and Horticulture Talk! with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Strawberry and Raspberry Weed Control


“i’m looking for suggestions for weed control in new plantings of strawberries and control in established raspberries. Any help would be appreciated, thank you for your time ~N.”

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Let’s start with the strawberries. Hand-hoeing and hand-weeding are very important in strawberry plantings. There are several weed-control materials for the strawberry, but in general home garden plantings are best weeded without the use of chemicals. It is difficult to apply the chemical at the proper rate without the necessary equipment and there is the danger of doing damage to adjacent vegetable and flower plants (spray drift). Subsequent crops following strawberries in the garden may also be sensitive to these chemicals. The basic methods of controlling weeds are:

–Machine cultivation (tilling) plus hoeing and hand pulling;
–Mulching with suitable material;
–Chemical herbicides (check with your county extension);
–Allowing geese to wander about in the strawberry patch (“goosing your strawberries” is still popular in some areas of the U.S.)

HERBICIDES SHOULD NOT BE APPLIED WHEN PLANTS ARE BLOOMING, WHEN RUNNER PLANTS ARE TAKING ROOT, AND DURING LATE SUMMER AND EARLY FALL WHEN FRUIT BUDS ARE BEING FORMED.

As for the raspberries, unwanted vegetation may be removed mechanically or chemically.  A combination of the two is usually most effective.  Mechanical weed control methods include shallow (1-2 inch deep) cultivation every few weeks with a sharp hoe, shovel, or rotary tiller, being careful not to damage the crowns, canes, or roots.  Weeds within the rows may have to be pulled by hand.  Do not injure emerging canes which will produce fruit the following year.  Alternatively, a mulch of shredded leaves, wood chips, sawdust, straw, or other organic materials that will stop weeds may be used.  Do not mound mulches up around the canes.  Apply them alongside the rows.  Renew mulches each year.

 

 

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© Mertie Mae Botanics LLC and Horticulture Talk!, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Mertie Mae Botanics LLC and Horticulture Talk! with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Why are my Raspberries not Producing?


“We are concerned that our raspberried are not bearing yet, meaning ready to pick.  Doesn’t it seem late?  This is the second year, we had some nice berried although not a large amount last late summer into early fall.  We were expecting a great crop this summer, is it too early? They look very healthy and berries are beginning to set. Thank you, Diane and Robert”

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Thank you for the email regarding your raspberries.  What variety of raspberry do you have?  Based on your description, is sounds like you have a type of fall-bearing raspberries.  If this is the case, you have nothing to fear — if your berries were producing right now, you would have a problem.

Fall-bearing raspberries generally begin to produce in mid- to late August, depending on the weather conditions of the year.  By the time they start to bear fruit, many if not all of the beetles and worms that plague summer-bearing types have processed through their life cycle and do not affect the fall bearers.

If your raspberries are supposed to be summer-bearing raspberry, then there are a few different factors that may be at play.  Were they pruned this past winter?  Are there any signs of disease on the plants/fruits?  What type of area are they grown in — sun, shade, soil type, etc.?

I look forward to your response and helping you out.

 

 

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© Mertie Mae Botanics LLC and Horticulture Talk!, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Mertie Mae Botanics LLC and Horticulture Talk! with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Recipe of the Week: Raspberry Fig Newtons


This recipe can also be modified with blueberries, blackberries, mulberries, or strawberries as the filling.

Ingredients:

Filling:

  • 1 cup dried figs, chopped
  • 1 pint fresh raspberries
  • 1 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup apple juice
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • zest of 1 orange

Cookie Dough:

  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 1 egg white, room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups flour

Combine butter and sugar in mixer and beat until light and fluffy (about 2 minutes).  Add egg white, zest and vanilla extract and beat until you have a smooth texture.  Scrape down sides of bowl, add flour and beat until everything is mixed together.  Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and place in refrigerator for two hours.

Combine figs, raspberries, water, apple juice and sugar and bring to a boil.  Once it reaches a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer until figs are soft (make sure to stir figs occasionally so they do not scorch the bottom of pan).  When figs are done, the water/apple juice mixture will have cooked off and will be thick and sticky.  Remove from heat, place in separate bowl and cool to room temperature.  When cool, transfer to food processor or blender and blend until it resembles a smooth paste.

Take chilled dough from refrigerator and roll out onto flour-dusted work surface to a very thin rectangle (go for 16 inches long and 12 inches wide).  Spread fig filling along one length of dough and roll to other side.  Gently transfer to parchment covered baking sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes or until they are puffed and golden brown along the edges.  Transfer to wire rack and let cool.  When cool, cut into little squares and enjoy!!!!!

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© Mertie Mae Botanics LLC and Horticulture Talk!, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Mertie Mae Botanics LLC and Horticulture Talk! with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Recipe of the Week: Triple Berry Crisp


This is a wonderful berry crisp. I’ve used a triple berry mixture of raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries, but just one works well too! Serve it with whipped cream and it looks great.
INGREDIENTS:
1 1/2 cups fresh blackberries
1 1/2 cups fresh raspberries
1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries
4 tablespoons white sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups rolled oats
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 1/2 cups butter
DIRECTIONS:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
2. In a large bowl, gently toss together blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, and white sugar; set aside.
3. In a separate large bowl, combine flour, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Cut in butter until crumbly. Press half of mixture in the bottom of a 9×13 inch pan. Cover with berries. Sprinkle remaining crumble mixture over the berries.
4. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 40 minutes, or until fruit is bubbly and topping is golden brown. 

 

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© Mertie Mae Botanics LLC and Horticulture Talk!, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Mertie Mae Botanics LLC and Horticulture Talk! with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

June-Bearing Raspberry Selection


I was wondering which red raspberry would be good for early harvesting in spring or early summer? I already have some red’s that come in in august and september.  I am looking for berries that will start early and keep coming until the fall crop starts.  any ideas?” ~F.”

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The variety that I would definitely recommend is the Prelude Red Raspberry.  These berries are ready in mid-late June (about 10-15 days earlier than other summer-bearing varieties).  They are very sweet and easy to pick and does well for any kind of preserves or baking.  They also have a fall crop, but it is very small as most of the energy is given by the plants to the summer crop.

I would also recommend Latham.  It is not as early as Prelude, but is outstanding in the flavor for culinary uses.

No matter which you pick, or if you select Nova or Boyne instead, all will provide you with a nice crop of summer fruits.  I hope this information helps you out.

 

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© Mertie Mae Botanics LLC and Horticulture Talk!, 2010. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Mertie Mae Botanics LLC and Horticulture Talk! with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.