The Q&A Archives: Running Raspberries

Question: I planted some raspberry bushes a couple years ago and tried to keep them tidy by pruning the errant shoots to the ground. This seemed to only encourage them to run farther from the original plant to the point of going under my fence and into my neighbor's yard. How can I best control this, is there some sort of physical boundary I can put in the ground to contain them?

Answer: Raspberries are brambles and, whether you consider it a blessing or a curse, the roots tend to colonize an area pretty quickly. Aside from digging the plants every 3-4 years and then replanting only a few, you may be able to contain the roots in the same way running bamboo roots are contained - fiberglass or galvanized roofing panels set on their sides in a deep trench. These panels are relatively inexpensive and available at home improvement centers (look for them in the patio roofing section). They come in 6 to 12 foot lengths and 24-inch widths. I'd set them about 3 feet away from the berry plants to give the roots adequate room to grow. Best wishes with your berry harvest!

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