The Q&A Archives: Grass Out Of Raspberries

Question: I have two 30' rows of raspberries. They have been overgrown with grass. Is there an effective way for me to take care of the grass so it doesn't choke them out? Can I dig out all the berry plants, eliminate the grass and replant the plants? Must I move them to another area? Is there anyway to suppress the growth of grass in the future?

Answer: Besides looking unsightly, grassy weeds will compete with your raspberries for water, light and nutrients. They can also harbor insects and diseases so getting them out of your raspberry bed makes good sense. While it's labor-intensive, I'd vote for digging the raspberries, hand pulling the grass and weeds, then replanting the berries. Once the bed is clean you can help suppress weeds with a thick layer of organic mulch over the bare soil. The mulch material will eliminate sunlight which will help keep any remaining weed seeds from sprouting. If weeds do appear, they're easily pulled out, roots and all, from the mulch material. Aged compost is the material of choice, mainly because it will provide nutrients to the roots of your plants as it decomposes. Once you've given the raspberry plants a bed of their own, they should provide you with a bumper crop of tasty fruit!

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