The Q&A Archives: Planting Black Raspberries

Question: In this area of Western Montana can I grow your Black Raspberry 'Cumberland'? It look like from the map that Missoula would be considered on the edge zone 5. Some of the plants I have seen in the local nurseries do fall into zone 5. If I can, what should I do to have a successful planting?

Answer: Yes, you are squarely in USDA Zone 5, and for best results, your black raspberries will enjoy a rich, moist, well-drained soil, much the same as your garden vegetables enjoy. Start any necessary soil improvement now, since you'll want to plant your raspberries early next spring. Have the soil tested and amend with slow-acting fertilizers this fall (such as greensand, rock dust, etc.) and compost. Avoid planting where members of the tomato family (eggplants, potatoes, peppers and tomatoes) have grown, since they can swap diseases.

Full planting instructions will come with the new canes, but just remember that any new nursery planting requires consistent soil moisture in order to get well established, and also during their flowering and fruiting stage. Drip or leaky pipe irrigation is best, and mulch is recommended, too. Mulch also keeps down competing plants.

You will also receive information on how to prune and train your raspberry patch for best yields. Enjoy!

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