The Q&A Archives: Dying raspberry bush

Question: I purchased three raspberry bushes last August. I mulched them and did everything that I read that I should do in the fall. Now I have one that is growing beautifully, one that has just one new patch of growth, and one that is completely dead. Is there anything I can do to "bring them back" this spring, or is it just too late?

Answer: Two outa three ain't bad, considering the weird winter weather in your neck of the woods. Mild spells during a cold northern winter can wreak havoc on even hardy plants like raspberries, especially if they haven't had a long period beforehand to get well established. Ideally, you'd plant raspberries in spring in the cold north; this provides them with a whole summer to get their roots dug in and build up stores for the next growing season. It could also be that the cane that didn't make it just wasn't as vigorous as the others. Is the soil in your raspberry bed well-drained? They perform best in a rich, well-drained soil that's kept mulched. Provide the surviving canes with some mild, well-blanced fertilizer such as Gardener's Supply's organic 5-5-5 (; ph# 800/863-1700). Provide them with ample moisture during any dry spells. And if I were you, I'd plant some more as soon as I could get my hands on some - no such thing as too many raspberries! If you need more info, please visit us again. Good luck!

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